Monday, April 4, 2016

How To Make a Short Film: Make Their Dreams Come True

So long guys. What an amazing journey it's been.
(Photo Cred: Tianna Halldorson)

This past Saturday I finished my last day of shooting a short film with King’s Image Films (KIF). KIF is a student filmmaking organization I started back in fall of 2013 as a sophomore. Now, as a senior, I am preparing to walk away.

It made me so happy to watch my KIF family taking charge of things. The short film was from a script by a freshman, Rachel Sheldon, directed by another freshman, Ashley Morris, cinematography and sound were done by two of my best friends and loyal exec team Tianna Halldorson and Deryka Tso. I am president of the filmmaking org but I was simply there to make sure everything went smoothly and everyone was okay. Soon, I will be graduating and no longer president. One of these people will be the new guy in charge. I feel a lot like a dad watching his teenage daughter leave for college.

Left to Right: Zeke Ward (star), Ashley Morris, Rachel Sheldon,
Deryka Tso, Me, Tianna Halldorson
(Photo Cred: Tianna Halldorson)

My KIF filmmaking family is the best. They are hard-working, talented, passionate and full of love for the film medium. They know how to laugh through the crazy production problems, improvise, encourage each other, and just tell amazing stories in a short film. It was and is a privilege to know them and work with them. I started this club so that people like them could learn to be the best filmmaker they could be in a community that loved and supported them.

When you’re a filmmaker you often get caught up in our own vision. It’s about me. My story I want to tell. My short film. My dream. But we forget that we inevitably bring other people with us. Other people dedicate their time, talent, to make our filmmaking dreams a reality. And in indie films, they’re not doing it for the money. They are not doing it for your dream. They are doing it because—for some reason—they have decided it is their dream as well.

You want to be a great filmmaker? Make other people’s dreams come true. Give that actress the role of the lifetime. Give that cinematographer the best stuff to shoot. Help that screenwriter make the best script she can. Be the person who allows them to be their best filmmaking self. And they will always come back to work with you again. And you will find something more precious than that by the end.

Remember Mad Max: Fury Road? That movie won every technical award for filmmaking there was to win at the Academy Awards. George Miller, the guy who made all that possible, didn’t get nominated for best director. But he made a space for other people to be geniuses who won awards. And everyone who did is glad they worked with them. Same with your short films.

Your film—short film or not—is not just about your dream. If you learn that, you will not just be a filmmaker or succeed at filmmaking. You will gain a family. Without even knowing what you're doing.

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