I've always wanted to make a video about all the videos I made since I started my YouTube channel, and if you're willing to read through to the end, you might find I didn't make this for any reason you might be thinking about.
I even put markers in this video every two minutes so if someone gets bored, they can skip to the end.
This was fun as I get to poke fun at myself and share my thoughts on what I think are useful videos, and the ones I DESPISE.
I would say “HATE” but was told not to use the word hate as apparently I can say f**k and s**t and a bunch of other words all I want nowadays but I can’t use the word “hate.” So I won’t say “hate” because the word “hate” offends people. They hate when I use the word hate.
But I digress.
Having many years of experience (working away quietly in the background) somehow “allowed” me to be wrangled into helping people in other disciplines such as engineering, software development, robotic design, sales, marketing, music, graphic design, writing, the internet (you thought Al Gore invented it?) and a crap ton of other things I thought I would never be doing as a filmmaker.
Because of that I have thoroughly disabused myself of the idea that everything you are going to make is going to be great.
Hell, if you make ONE thing that is GREAT, consider yourself lucky. I am fortunate in that I am very, very lucky, and mostly due to the great people and groups that I have had the pleasure to work with.
One day over 3 years ago, I decided to do some giving back. Call it a pay it forward. Call it payback. Call it anything you like. But that’s what I decided to do.
I entertained starting a film school, or a film college, or a traveling whatever you would call it, or teaching at a university, or any number of things that would help filmmakers, mostly because filmmakers are really cool. :)
After much research, I decided my skills and abilities would best serve new filmmakers who were trying to figure it all out, and the best vehicle for that would be YouTube.
I had no desire whatsoever (and still don’t) to “show off my works” or be popular or make money or any of that. I just wanted to help new filmmakers, much like I was helped in almost every endeavor in my life.
OK, so let’s do this. I mean, how hard could it be? I am a very experienced person in a lot of creative endeavors, so this would be a no-brain-drainer, right?
And since I’m going to make videos for new filmmakers, I am going to only use the simple gear and equipment new filmmakers would use, since that kind of stuff was now available. Cool!
So I grab a cheap DSLR with a crappy lens as that's what most new filmmakers were using at the time.
OK, what the [bleep] is this thing? Where’s the fricking aperture ring on the lens? And wait, a 29 minute limit on recording time? The lens aperture starts at a ghastly 4.0 at the low end and MOVES as I zoom? And the sound in these are TERRIBLE!!!
I decided to stop bitching about not having “real” filmmaking equipment, and just learn as I go. And oh boy, for someone with a lot of experience, I learned A LOT!
"Real" filmmaking resembles nothing these new filmmakers are facing. Sure, the basics are still the same, but seriously? Six dollar can lights with 60 watt bulbs from Home Depot? Get the [bleep] out of here!
Whatever, I'm committed (you can use that term in various ways), so let's rock and roll.
First video, I walk out from behind the camera and stand in front of it. And I freeze. What the hell is this?? Just watch my first video and you’ll see. Better yet, don’t, and save yourself some cringing. I always do.
Even my photographer brother writes me and asks, "What exactly do you think you're doing?"
I owe him for that by the way, as he walked me through this new world of "crippled" "film" gear.
Anyway, it’s not that I am hard on myself, it’s just that I’ve created videos I think suck.
The point is, so what?!
My respect for actors and people who do well in front of the camera has risen to great heights – it is NOT something that comes easy to most people. It takes hard work and experience.
I can’t say enough about the respect I now have for people who do YouTube channels mostly on their own. They are everything - producer, camera person, audio engineer, editor, renderer, special effects person, social media coordinator, finance investment person, and to infinity and beyond.
I mean like – WOW!
So, maybe this short walk down 3 years of video lane may help someone. I fully intend to keep helping new filmmakers as long as there are new filmmakers who come to watch my videos.
I also fully expect that many of these new filmmakers will become not so new filmmakers and "graduate" if you will into a higher level of learning that I don't offer on this channel.
And that's good, as that means what I am doing is working. As of this date, I have over 15,000 comments and emails from new filmmakers thanking me for helping them in some way, shape or form.
But really, the true message I didn't put into this video is simple and very personal to me.
You’re a creative type person, and no matter what you do, there are things that won’t work, or look like hell, or don’t sell, or you don’t know about, or whatever.
Again, the point is, so what?!
You’re in the small percentage of people on this spinning dirt ball called Earth who have the guts to actually try and create something, fail, and try to do it again.
And as far as I’m concerned, that makes you the most special people I know.
The Basic Filmmaker
Update: 09 Jan 2016
I want to thank Headline Graphic New York for posting this blog entry to their headlines. http://bit.ly/BFMHeadlineGraphicDesignNY