Zacuto is known for being sort of the “Cadillac” of the indie film camera gear industry. Founded by two veteran filmmakers (Steve Weiss and Jens Bogehegn), they make rugged uber-quality gear for DSLR filmmakers. They also produce some of the most educational and inspirational video podcasts on the web. One of them is actually an Emmy-nominated: FilmFellas.
FilmFellas takes three successful luminaries from various disciplines in the filmmaking community, and seats them at a dinner table with host Steve Weiss to discuss all things film as it relates to their particular discipline. They’ve had casts representing indie filmmakers, internet filmmakers, DPs, Documentarians, and even a 2-cast series last summer on wedding filmmakers. (You may recognize one of the cast 5 guests as a certain filmmaking blogger with an alluring smile. 🙂 Their most recent cast is comprised of top ASC Cinematographers: Stephen Goldblatt (Julie & Julia); Nancy Schreiber (Serious Moonlight); and Rodney Charters (24).With a departure from their usual host, this cast’s host is Jens instead of Steve.
The current episode is a much watch one for anyone seriously considering this art. This particular episode is called “Commitment to Craft” and the three of them discuss a whole gambit of topics related to shooting in Hollywood. But there were three key take-aways I had from this episode that I think are worth doing:
- Learn from the masters: they comment on the fact that so many of today’s privileged film school students don’t know the masters. So as a commitment to the craft, take time to at least watch the AFI Top 100 films. (I just may do that as a 2011 goal).
- Turn off the sound: take one of your favorite films, turn off the sound, and just study the visuals. The composition. The cutting from take to take. The lighting. There’s a lot to be learned when you focus on the visual nuances.
- Learn from other disciplines: you can improve a lot as a director if you learn from, and even perhaps study some of the other disciplines required to produce film. Learn about acting, editing, lighting, etc. And the same goes for you editors out there. When you can put yourselves in the shoes of your collaborators, you’re sure to learn more yourself.
The next time you have 19+ minutes to spare, head on over to FilmFellas and watch this episode.