PictureJoseph Baca and Erin Feaster
Let me get this out of the way first, I have never gone to a film school. I never went to; LA Film School, New York Film Academy, Full Sail University, or The Art Institute. Nor did I go to ; USC, UCLA, or NYU film schools. So how do I know what a film school isn't going to teach you? Because I've noticed a few things, SCHOOLS LIE. Just like they told you in math class: 8 - 5 = 3 but really it's: 8 + (-5) = 3 because there is no subtraction only adding negative numbers. Film is the same thing. They only tell you what you need to know. It's once you start doing it you learn what is really happening.

My experience as a filmmaker has been small but very concentrated. I wrote, directed and am in the process of producing a web series and we're in production of season two as i'm righting this blog. Check it out HERE . I'll admit the first season was a little rough, but season two will be well worth your time. So stay updated. Now, on to the list:

1. It's Fucking Hard. And I don't mean like breaking bricks or brain surgery is hard physically and mentally hard. I mean filming will challenge you in ways you've never imagined. Each shoot will be different each day. One day this is important the next day that doesn't matter. Priorities change with the wind.

2Use Common Sense. They don't teach you this in school because really you can't teach it at all. In whatever job you are doing, add common sense to it. For example, if you're going to slate, pay attention to the order of numbers and alphabet. Know  what scene you're doing. And for the love of God, don't walk on set without a script in your hand.

3. It's a business. Never forget it. You may love every aspect of film making. But you can't build a house without supplies. Sure you'll get lucky with passion projects in life but it will come at some compromise. The only way you can make a movie is with some hope of making a return on the investment. Period.

4. Beware what you write. Especially in independent film making you are limited in how you can tell a story. I don't care if you have the best interpretation of Hamlet and all you need is three castles and half an army. It's not going to happen on a small budget. That means you have to write smaller; which is tricky and something you can't work around. Sure a good story is a good story but if you don't have the means to tell it properly then what do you have?

5. It's not always fun.  When things go wrong, and they will, it will hit you hard. That's if you care. When you're trying to plan your shooting schedule and no days match up and it takes months to film. That sucks. When people miss days or come late or you forget a prop. That sucks. Things just not going your way, editing footage for hours and seeing every mistake you made. That sucks. Spending hours of hours of timing on a video and only a few people watch it. That REALLY sucks. Sometimes the only thing you've got going for yourself is your love of the project and the people helping you make it real.

All that being said, independent filmmaking is hard. You've got to appreciate the small things. Take it one step at a time and remember that mistakes happen. Things are going to turn out shitty sometimes, but if you believe in your work and you've got a kick-ass cast a crew like we have, you can't go wrong no matter what happens. No film school can teach you that!

Happy film making!


10/1/2013 03:26:48 pm

All that being said, independent filmmaking is hard.


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