Everyone starts a website with the best intentions of updating it everyday or at least once a week…and then finally once a month. It appears I’ve fallen victim to the same fate lately. I’m currently in the middle of work on two documentaries, a few corporate videos, and a move to Harrisonburg, Virginia, so my site has unfortunately taken a backseat.
The good news is that there will soon be a kickstarter campaign for one of my documentary projects in July, so be sure to check back soon for the preview we’ve been hard at work on. This is a collaboration a few years in the making with a talented director, Marsh Chamberlain, at Crawl Walk Run. I’ve been working on the project with him in some respect since 2008, so it is exciting to see the doc gain the momentum it deserves. In the past year we have had the fortune of the incredible Vivien Hillgrove signing on as post-production supervisor and having a few much-needed grants come through. It has been such a pleasure working with Vivien and Marsh. They truly have no egos, and all of our unique ideas have been given a chance to breathe.
On the topic of collaboration, there is a fantastic podcast called The Digital Convergence Podcast, that I try to listen to every week. First of all, I have to hand it to the trio (Carl Olsen, Chris Fenwick, and Mitch Aunger) who are all working professionals, but find the time to take an hour or two out of their busy week to create a fun, informative show. This past week they had on Steve Weiss of Zacuto who talked a bit about the power of collaborative filmmaking and a few tricks he has developed to getting great interviews.
Steve really gets to the heart of what I love about the art of filmmaking. Many artistic mediums allow for creation in somewhat of a vacuum — and it’s true that you can be a great solo filmmaker (or as Steve calls it, a Preditor — When one person is the producer, director, editor) who grabs his/her camera, runs out and shoots something beautiful, spends a while in the lonely edit room, and finally releases it when personally satisfied. But to me, (and don’t get me wrong, I’ve had to be a “Preditor” on many shoots myself) the best productions are those that have passed many sets of eyes and ears, all of whom have added something of their own before letting it escape into the world.
This does not mean that there is no room for “auteur” directors. Every production needs a cohesive vision, but if you’re a director who is so obsessed with micro-managing every aspect of the production, you will undoubtedly stifle the creativity of your crew to the detriment of the film. Let your crew come to you with their ideas before/after you’ve imparted yours, and the film will take on a new life.
In the coming months, as I get deeper in the trenches of a few productions, I definitely want to post about these projects and hopefully get back to more “photos of the day” but I will also begin to write more posts like these, where I share videos, podcasts, articles, and stories I think are deserving of your time.
So, on that note, if you haven’t already, do check out The Digital Convergence Podcast EP 79 for some great insight on the filmmaking process:
Also be sure to watch Part 1 of Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout, where you’ll see some fantastic cinematographers interviewed about collaboration: