Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Friendship is Magic: Why All Filmmakers Need Film Friends

Yes, this is what my filmmaker crew looks like. What does yours look like?
If you're going to be a filmmaker, you need good filmmaker friends. First, because it just makes life more fun. You all just love film the same way and have a lot of shared experiences. Second, good filmmaker friends hold you accountable and give you the tools you need to do well like no one else.


“Your camera is shit.”

That was the subtle way my youtuber friend Rachel told me I needed to get a new camera. If you don’t know her, she’s ilovekimpossiblealot, a big deal in the world of My Little Pony Analysis videos. We met through a mutual friend at my school and kept in touch. We’d done a partnership or two in the past. To me, she’s my buddy always willing to give me some tough love.

Don't be deceived. She is fearsome.

Film people are snobs when it comes to the quality of product. And rightfully so. Because the audience is too. They don’t think they do but when they see a bad quality product they respond.

If you are going to be a filmmaker you have no choice but to use the best equipment so you can get the best product.

That’s where my other friend came in.


Starting out, you’re not going to know your way around the equipment you need. You can do research on your own. But there are always going to be people who know more than you and it’s good to utilize them.

I know this cinematographer who really knows his way around cameras. He’s basically the Batman of the freelance DP world. Only a briefcase of lenses instead of utility belt. 

"I see now what I have to be come to film movies like him..."
He’s got those lenses off craigslist from guys in Russia wherever. We went to school together briefly, had a lot of mutual friends, and worked together on a couple of projects. One time we were chewing the fat before our actresses got there and he mentioned he was selling one of his old cameras and lens packs.

I did not waste a minute offering to buy it.

We negotiated a payment plan and there I had my camera. I’ve used that camera and lenses for project after project since.


Filmmaker friends also force you to watch important movies you might otherwise not watch but you should. For example, I love lots of types of movies, but the artsy, pretentious films are a harder swallow for me. Even though those movies are important for your development as a filmmaker. 
Thank you, Upstream Color, for being my trump card when I need to explain what I don't like about indie films.

When you have filmmaker friends, if you don’t watch these films, you will spend a bunch of your hearing this:

“You mean you haven’t seen that?”

That gets old real fast. It's a great incentive.


Even more important that all of these though, is that other filmmaker friends love movies as much as you do. There is a reason you are all in the business you are in. It's because you've seen the magic that film can bring and you appreciate it in the same way.

As you grow up you learn that this is true: there's nothing better than sharing what you love best with others who love it as much as you.

That's why filmmakers really need filmmaker friends. To share that love together.

And there you have it! How about you? What are some ways that having film buddies has helped you make better films? Sound off in the comments below. 

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