Behind the Scenes – Episode 6 – Practice makes perfect


When I was in college taking economics classes, I spent a lot of my nights and weekends with malt liquor and Final Cut Pro. Usually together. Since then, I’ve only gotten better at Final Cut. My name is Mandel Lum and you’re watching Behind The Scenes, a weekly internet series that brings you backstage to show you how I make my films.

I would spend a lot of time during those years volunteering on video shoots. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t in my major, I just really wanted to keep practicing. So I joined filmmaking groups on campus, competed in a 72 hour and a 48 hour film festival, and made friends with filmmakers like me.

At first I just was looking to meet more people who were also filmmakers, but I stumbled upon one of the most important things that i believe every filmmaker should do: Make other people’s films first. It’s really good practice and that is my advice for anyone who’d like to make their own short films.

A few things happen when you make other people’s short films.
You can see what other filmmakers are doing. Volunteering on shoots are great opportunities to see what other people are using and what technology is working for them.

You’ll get more practice working in lots of different roles and you’ll be able to learn things that you wouldn’t have a chance to on your own. Even if you’re just holding a boom pole, you might learn a lot about audio capture that you wouldn’t by yourself. Treat every shoot like a learning opportunity and you can’t go wrong.

The biggest thing is meeting other filmmakers, crucial because you will need to reach out to others to help you in making your project. You’ll also find out more about those people and get the impression if they work well with you.

Those filmmaker friends of mine taught me a lot back then. In hindsight, working with them and making films together actually made my entire college experience. And when it came time to make my own films, we had all matured as filmmakers and they really helped me to create my vision.

Thanks for watching Behind the Scenes. If you’ve got any questions you’d like me to answer, put them in the comments and I’ll answer it in a video. Check back in Tuesdays for new episodes. You can subscribe right here.

So until next time, stay inspired.

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