“If you have the means to make something, give it a shot and learn.”
- Drew Maynard, Writer/Director
In episode 23 of the MAKE IT podcast, our friend Drew Maynard gave our filmmaking audience a piece of advice that seems so simple but can be so complicated for filmmakers. Let's break this one down:
"If you have the means to make something..."
So many indie filmmakers get caught up in the traditional route of filmmaking. They set out to make a short, or an episodic, or a feature. This binds them to preexisting formats, preexisting, constraints, and preexisting expectations of what the resulting film is supposed to be. This way of thinking slows down the creative process because filmmakers think that they need to have all the things in order to make something: investors, a crew, a full cast, hair & makeup...all the things. The truth is that most filmmakers have the means to make something without having all the things. You'd be amazed at what you can accomplish with a cell phone, some lighting, a few friends, and an idea. Just take a look at the success of content creators on YouTube and TikTok. There is an abundance of great content out there being created by those with the desire and the means to do so.
When it comes down to it, "having the means" to make something is all about resourcefulness. It's about leveraging the people, the skills, and the technologies at your fingertips to bring a piece of art into the world. These days, the technology part is being democratized and simplified more and more every day. There are apps that serve as one-stop-shops for filming and editing and there are YouTube videos to teach you how to use them. There is even Udemy and Masterclass which enable you to take your skills even further through expert online training. People are starving for content, and it's becoming easier and easier to deliver it.
"give it a shot and learn."
A wise man once told us, "Do or do not. There is no 'try'." Dean appears to be a student of his teachings. (That was quote was from Yoda if you didn't know.) "Give it a shot and learn" is all about doing for the simple fact that the outcome will always be learning. The next piece of content you create doesn't have to be award-winning; it can be experimental. It can be the thing you create in order to test an idea whether that idea be for a story, a character, a way to light a scene, a joke, a camera angle, or a special effect. The thing you create next doesn't have to be a finished product or be worthy of a festival submission but if you don't create, you can't learn.
"Give it a shot" brings the "Just do it" mentality to filmmaking. It invites us all to put our limiting beliefs and preconceived notions of what "film" is aside and create something worth learning from. When you think about making content for the purpose of exploration and education, it's easier to shrug off negative self-talk about who might not like what you create. After all, learning isn't about them; it's about a better you.
We'd like to thank Drew for this awesome piece of advice and would like to invite you to check out his work at www.drewmaynard.com. Drew is the creative genius behind one of our favorite short films entitled 'The Saurus'. This is a must watch and it stars another of our filmmaking friends, Aaron Muñoz.
Be Better. Be Creative. Be Engaged.