It's been a little over a year since I started working on Filmmaker Freedom. In that time, a good 60 or so longform articles have been published here — including a ton of great guest articles from filmmakers all over the world.
Today though, I just want to look back on a few of my favorite articles that I've written. These are the ones that define this site's unique take of filmmaking, and they're the ones that set the tone for everything that's coming in the future.
Thanks for reading, and here's to more in-depth articles like these in 2017 and beyond.
This is still my favorite article that I’ve ever written in more than 5 years of doing this professionally. It’s also the most important. Technology has changed the game of filmmaking immeasurably, and there’s no reason to play by the old rules anymore unless you really want to. In 2017 and beyond, you can incorporate filmmaking into your life in any way you please, regardless of whether you choose to make it a business or not.
This article is the followup to the last one, and it lays out some ideas for how we can be more intentional and purposeful in our filmmaking, and how we can start making films that matter.
If you’re brand new to Filmmaker's Process and are wondering whether this site is for you, definitely read these two posts. They should give you a pretty solid idea of where I'm going from here.
In this detailed article, I make a case for why those of us looking to improve our filmmaking skills, find our unique artistic voices, and even build an audience shouldn’t be focusing on feature films, but instead on very, very short ones. This lays the foundation for the next article on this list, which is an in-depth case study of a micro-short film.
If anybody ever tells you that you can’t tell emotionally complex stories in very short films, just point them towards this film and this article. It’s an in-depth case study of Undertaker, a 3 minute film that rocked my socks off.
Storytelling is a fickle beast, and its rules change drastically depending on how much time you have to tell the story. If you only have a few minutes, as is the case with most short films, this article will help you make the most of it.
Even though it was one of the first articles I published last year, it's still one of my favorites. It’s all about working with non-actors, and it features two extraordinary films that have used non-actors to masterful effect. These case studies will help you with the processes of both casting and directing non-actors, and you’ll leave with an understanding of when non-actors are ideal, and when you should cast professionals.
In an article I published prior to this, I took a major shot at the idea that indie filmmakers can only be successful by making features, getting accepted at major festivals, then getting picked up for traditional distribution. That’s just not a viable option for most of us anymore. However, what’s always a viable option is defining success for yourself. And that’s just what I’m attempting to teach in this article.
This is probably the most unorthodox article on the site so far. Instead of teaching you something about filmmaking, it's all about the things that making a film can teach you.
In this article, I try to pinpoint what exactly sets great filmmakers apart from good ones. It has nothing to do with filling theater seats or getting YouTube views, nor is it about how good you are with a camera.
“Great filmmakers aren’t satisfied to do the same things as everybody else just because “that’s the way they’ve always been done.” They take risks and push boundaries. They cultivate a unique artistic voice and perspective, and they have the courage to actually infuse their work with that voice.”