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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Buggs

270 - How to Manage Feast & Famine in Filmmaking - (Industry Insights)

This and all other episodes of the MAKE IT podcast are brought to you in partnership with Women in Film and Television as part of the Voice of the Filmmaker Program. Please help us keep the conversation going.

MAKE IT Podcast, Industry Insights, Nicholas Buggs

In this edition of Industry Insights, Nick expounds on the confession and wisdom of Actor & Director Matt Williams. Nick talks about how to mitigate the feast and famine swings while living and working the creative life.

"When things are going well, you get a little cozy."

- Matt Williams, Actor


About Matt Williams

Matt Williams has a curious mind. Originally from the small town of Franklin, Pennsylvania, Matt grew up drawing, writing and constantly playing pretend. That is no less true today.

Since he was a child, Matt has been fascinated by cinema and captivated by performance. He would frequently sit through the end credits of films, seek out long-form interviews with artists, and memorize his favorite monologues and lines. When asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, the first thing Matt ever remembers saying was, “an actor.”

Matt became known for his roles in films such as Shaken Not Stirred, Introverts Anonymous and the improvised performance art mocumentary, Pieces. He has made an appearance on CMT’s Nashville, and starred in the hit web series WTF?!, as well as appearing in commercials for brands such as Toyota, Valvoline, Zappos, Cotton: The Fabric of Our Lives, ADS Security, Cox Business and Sport Clips, among others.

In 2016, Matt branched out into the world of improvisation. After joining the Third Coast Comedy Training Center, he quickly fell in love with the art. “Improv is the purest form of art I do,” he says. “When you come to a show you’re seeing something that has never existed before and will never happen again.”

Recently, the multi-talented creative completed his first short film, Gateway, which he wrote, directed, produced, and starred in.

Matt went from writing stories in note pads and constantly playing pretend to developing film, television, and sketch projects and… well, still playing pretend. No matter the experiences in between, one through-line certainly remains: Matt is limited only by his imagination… which continues to actively, curiously expand.


Listener Reflections

  • Consider the difference between confidence and arrogance and think of how you can keep yourself from crossing the line.

Confidence - a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities.

Arrogance - an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuousclaims or assumptions


Actionable Advice

The last thing you want to do is to allow your success to be the cause of a creative drought. So, how do you avoid the famine after the feast? Well, here are just a few things you can do to keep the ball rolling:


The best time to network is when you are on top of your game. When you're on top, you'll meet others who are at least equally as qualified as you are. By reaching out and creating relationships with these people, you can position yourself for projects with collaborators who have a proven track record for success. Exchange business cards, social profiles, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses and don't forget to stay in touch. Networking isn't about building a contact list; it's about building relationships.

Stay Grounded

It's important not to lose sight of the work that got you to where you are. If you were taking classes, keep taking classes. If you were working with your agent to find new opportunities, keep working with your agent. If you were exercising and eating right, maintain those good habits. Everything you were doing up to this moment led to this moment. Don't throw away the process while celebrating your progress.

Be Humble

When things are going well, it's easy to let success go to your head. The more highly you think of yourself, the more likely you are to look down on others. Though people admire confidence, they despise arrogance. By practicing humility and showing gratitude for the people and the process that got you where you are today, you'll build a positive reputation amongst your peers. This is just the type of social credit you'll need to keep the momentum going.

Though we wish nothing but good times for our creative family, we know first hand the ups and downs of the independent artist. As Matt explained during our podcast discussion, those ups and downs are often out of our control, but it's easy to self-sabotage when you get too cozy. Here's to putting in the work and maintaining focus on all the right things so that the famine is few and far between.


About Nick

Nicholas Buggs is a filmmaker, advisor, content creator, author, and advocate of the filmmaking community. As co-host of the MAKE IT podcast and co-founder of Bonsai Creative, Nick works alongside his co-host and co-founder Christopher Barkley to produce multi-media educational and inspirational content. Nick is a firm believer in harnessing the collective power of the community to give each of its members a better chance at success.


This and all other episodes of the MAKE IT podcast are brought to you in partnership with Women in Film and Television as part of the Voice of the Filmmaker Program. Please help us keep the conversation going.


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