Why I still Suck at making Short Films

I made a new short film called Entanglement. As a filmmaker/director I have lots of things to learn. In this video I share my mistakes.

Filmmaking is Hard

There are so many different tasks and assets to filmmaking. That’s why people specialize in one craft instead of trying to be good at everything. Even within the camera department we can find people that are specialized in operating a Steadicam, a drone or high speed capture.

And if you don’t have access to a big crew of specialized people; you’re on your own! The one thing I learned from previous short films I made is to keep the actual production as small as possible. This eliminates the need for people in the production department.

Eliminate Crew Members

From every department you can eliminate crew members. Shooting outdoor? You can get away by only using some diffusors and reflectors. Don’t have access to a sound guy? Use a lavalier mic on the actor. It’s not ideal, but it sure does helps the production.

Keeping your crew small makes your production easier. But on the other hand, you also need other people to help. So try to find a good balance.

Entanglement Short Film
On set of ‘Entanglement’

‘Entanglement’ Short Film

My new short film ‘Entanglement’ is planned to release early August. I have written a story that only involves one actor and one location. This way I was able to keep the crew and cast small, making the production less complex.

We’re currently in editing and things are looking good. I can’t wait to share it with you’ all 🙂

3 thoughts on “Why I still Suck at making Short Films”

  1. We all suck, to some degree. Experience (good and bad) is the only way to grow. Seeing my mistakes on earlier projects makes me realize I have made progress. Mistakes are OK, as long as they are new ones, not the ones we should have learned from in past experience.

    Reducing the size of the locations and actors, in theory, could help in some ways, but I would caution against minimizing crew. Rather, delegate a limited range of tasks to each crew member. A director works more efficiently if they have an AD to manage the crew. A DP works more efficiently if they have a gaffer/grip crew to create the lighting they desire. Small crews require everyone to wear more hats, and there is greater potential for mistakes, miscommunication and compromised results when people are spread too thin. I’m overstating the obvious, but I see compromise happen with micro-crew projects all the time.

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  2. Jordy, just hang in there and keep progressing by learning from those mistakes. Yes, delegation of authority is critical, even if you are running a small crew. A little of my background, I came to this from the stunts/special effects side of things. I’m a 54 yr. old with between film/tv/stage I have over 100 productions. I currently run the TV station for a medium sized city in Texas. I am a 1 man shop. So I do everything by myself with little to no crew. When I walked into this job in 2011 I had never done anything digitally. Especially editing. But as they say YouTube is your friend. I had to develop the technical skills to do what I had been doing analog for many years. So my issues were the reverse of yours. I had the directing hands on set experience to do everything for the production but had to learn the technical/editing/video side. But it all applies to learning from your mistakes and then moving forward appling what you learned.

    I have learned from your videos and many others. I have a few people that want to learn what I do and teach them, because you really do learn more about something when you teach someone else how to do it. Keep up the good work and keep moving forward.

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  3. I genuinely appreciate your honesty and candor. You have a thoughtfulness and self-critical awareness that keeps you searching and working to improve. Good for you!
    However, it might be useful for you (and your viewers) if you took time to consider how much you’ve improved over time.
    Think about where Cinecom started and where it is now. And all this happened under your leadership!
    Would you consider an episode where you and your team members discuss your personal accomplishments with Cinecom? Look at how much Yannick and Lorenzo have improved as presenters and the VFX skills they’ve acquired. Look at what Gilles is accomplishing at Premiere Basics. What is Timo’s greatest accomplishment since joining Cinecom?
    What about you, Jordy? When you think about it, aren’t you amazed by how far you’ve come in the past 7.5 years?
    I encourage you to share with your viewers your thoughts on some of the amazing things you’ve accomplished. Perhaps it will encourage them.
    Cinecom is a joy to me. Thank you for all you do. You should take great pride in all that you and your team have created.

    Reply

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