WTF WEEK: Teaching, Learning, Filmmaking Drills - Basic Filmmaker Ep 146

     Wow. This video was sooooo long before editing it down for consumption, like over a half an hour before I decided most of it was a lot of rant.

     Well, I'm glad saner minds won out.

     I'm am so very passionate about education. You've heard me say I am passionate about helping other filmmakers, and frankly, I cannot overstate that.

     Hell, I feel it is my job to help others, period. My pay? A better world.

     Yeah, it sounds all noble and heroic and all that, but really, I don't do it for any other reason that I like to help people and I think helping others is a gift that anyone can use. Plus, it's an awful lot of fun to see smiles and light bulbs go off and all that.

     I should mention the shots of me talking to myself.

     My goal WAS NOT to create some epic me talking to myself thing. My goal was too see HOW FAST I COULD SHOOT AND EDIT TOGETHER a little skit of me talking to me.

     That's an entirely different purpose, so if you don't like it or think it's cheesy, well, I understand. I'm not paid anything for doing this channel, so the client is you, and me.

     I also have a lot of fun playing around with stuff like this - SPEED DRILL! :)


     That's in quotes as it's not really a behind the scenes. Let's call it a "Behind the scenes of all the crap I cut out and some additional thoughts" thing.

     I hope you watched the video first, or you'll get lost on these.

     To make my point(s) in this video, I had whole sections of examples, where I am dressed up as a waitress, the boss of a restaurant, a programmer, and all sorts of things that got cut.

     Here's some of the text and cuts (photos) from that video.


     Let’s take a waiter or waitress in a restaurant. You ask them how they are doing and you get a download of how shitty their day was. They ignore you because they are busy texting or talking. They come over and act like they are put out having to take your order. They don’t WATCH to see when you need a refill on your drinks. They bring out food that is not cooked right or not what you ordered.

     You may think they’re freaking stupid. They may be.

     But I promise you – they don’t know what their product is, and the person they are working for never made sure they knew what their product is or worse - no one cares.

     You ask them what their product is - their job, and you’ll get amazing answers like:

     “To serve people food.”

     “To show up on time.”

     “To get good tips.”

     “To make sure the cooks don’t screw things up.”

     “To sell liquor, it’s the money-maker.”

     More often than not, you’ll get this. You ask, “What is your product, your job, as a waitress?”

     “Ah, well, you know, ahh...taking orders, and ahh, said sell lots of drinks, and ahh...”

     No one gets off the hook here.

     That’s a fail for the waitress not insisting on a clear cut definition on WHAT her product is, the thing she is supposed to DO.

     AND that’s a fail for the boss or owner for not having clearly defined, AND MADE KNOWN, what the product is of the waitress.


     If I were running a restaurant, I would clearly define what the server’s product was – their job, what they DO, and let them know what they were in for before hiring them.

     Then I would constantly remind them that they were doing their job well. I would gently correct any mistakes by reinforcing what their job is, I mean, I’m not going to beat this person up – I want a server not a slave!

     I would gauge how they were doing using this description. I would make sure that they practiced it until they became an expert.

     Heck, let me work that out right now.


     Hi. I don’t know what you’ve done at other restaurants, and don’t care."

     You are server – a waitress. That means you serve. Not just food, you serve the restaurant, the customers, the owners.

     Your job is really important. Your actions could elevate this restaurant to new heights, or crush it into dust.

     If you’re up for the responsibility, here’s what your product is – your job.

     To warmly greet customers, give them a reassuring smile, to make sure their dining wishes are fulfilled, to make sure they are attended to, to make sure they are treated like they are the most important people in the world, to make sure they have a dining experience they remember.


     Now the owner or boss has two choices. They can be really lazy, and spout all this crap off, and think the new waitress is going to take all this in and do a great job.

     Or, if he cares, he takes the next step and SHOWS her how it’s done.

     He walks up to the table, and it’s BETTY, a regular. She’s talking to her friends about her cat. He waits until she’s done talking, or until she notices him standing there.

     It’s not about him, or his time, or how he’s got other customers. At that moment, it’s all about Betty and her friends.

     He explains this to the new waitress by demonstration. He has her practice this, first on other employees in the restaurant, then finally on real customers. He has her recite what her job is until she knows it cold.

     He NEVER EVER makes her feel wrong for not knowing. She’s being educated – so – she isn’t going to know things.

     He is CREATING a top notch waitress, who knows her job.

     He lets her know that if ANYONE ever tells her that her job is something else, she can ignore it with enthusiasm.

     He got his product – an excellent waitress. She has her product – an excellent waitress.


     Now Mr. Owner has a gauge. He sees customers being happy. He see the waitress doing her job.

     Waitress #2 comes up to him and starts nattering about the other waitress, takes too many breaks, blah, blah.

     He ignores it. Waitress #2 is not doing her job, she’s nattering on about someone else who IS. So he calmly sits down with her and asks, “What do you think your product is, your job?”

     “Ahh, err, ah...”

     And he runs her through the same drill.

     Or she keeps nattering, won’t do HER job despite all attempts to help her.

     He knows that the livelihood of the restaurant, all its 50 other employees and their families and children, are dependent on the restaurant doing well...

     ...not the hurt feelings of some bitchy can’t do the job you want me to - cause I’m entitled to money for showing up lady, so he gets rid of her...

     ...and either hires someone else who is willing to do the job, or gives a pay raise to the others who are.


     Ahha! We’re back to education, and we are going to hit filmmaking in a moment.

     Would you say education is an area of unusual “solutions?”

     I could rant on about these solutions forever.

     We have an education system that thinks they can blabber on about something and some mysterious magic will occur where the student will fully understand what they are talking about.

     And if the student does not, there must be something wrong with the student. Or the teacher. Or the this or the that or the other thing.

     We have teachers responsible for educating our future workers, company leaders, and government. For that job description – they are way underpaid.

     We have students, who are the future workers, leaders, government officials, that can’t balance a checkbook, and can’t wait to get credit cards in their hands.

     We have teachers that can be sued for hurting little Johnnie’s feelings, because they stopped him from beating the shit out of Sally.

     We have students that are put on the latest wonder drug to make them sit quietly in the chair so they “learn”.

     We have a lowering the bar system so the failing students don’t feel excluded – everyone gets an award.

     We have enormous budgets for education, yet have all these educational “problems.”

     Let’s stop the blaming and finger pointing, yet another unusual solution that hasn’t worked.


     This video could have been really short, too short. The whole point was I wanted to put my foot down a little bit about educating, educators, and the student being educated.

     Dump all the stupid confusions, and pandering to the 2% who are making the problems, and leaving the 98% who, if given a chance and a good reason to learn, would learn.

     When you teach someone, realize that that person is TRUSTING you to give them valid, workable, usable information, that they will carry into later life.

     What a mean trick to ACT like you know something, and try and teach someone else something you don't really know about, and can't do.

     What a STUPID trick to act like you've learned something for a passing grade, instead of insisting that you BE TAUGHT to do things that you will be able to do.

     Basically - it's the product of education, the teacher AND the student.


                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker


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