Staying Healthy Will Make You a Better Filmmaker

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Internationally-acclaimed wedding filmmaker Ray Roman should be the poster child for this blog post. Photo © Jessica Roman

Last week I returned from a week-long trip where I was shooting six days in a row (no, that is NOT me in the photo for this post.  I wish!). It’s after weeks like that when I’m reminded how important a healthy body is needed in this business, especially if you’re a small studio or a “one-man-band.” Here are four health reminders for all you filmmakers out there. Take these seriously and you will be a better filmmaker (or at least, last longer as a filmmaker).

  1. Get Plenty of Sleep. When you have to get up a 5 am every morning then shoot all day, a lack of proper sleep will start to take it’s toll; especially around noon. The last thing you want to do is start dozing off on the job, especially if a client is on set with you. Also, studies have repeatedly shown that getting plenty of sleep makes the brain sharper. You’ll make better creative decisions and think faster on your feet when you get plenty of sleep.
  2. Eat Right. I know, I know. This is almost impossible when most craft services on a low budget film set (or a client shoot) involves bagels, cream cheese, pizza, hamburgers, potato chips, Coca-Cola and/or cookies. If you have to eat junk food ON set, at least try to keep your diet OFF set healthy. High fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated anything will sap energy.
  3. Work Out. This is particularly important if you’re a one-man-band. If you’re carrying all the tripods, cameras, lighting gear, pocket dollies and jibs yourself, it pays to have lots of strength. And don’t even get me started on having to run around with a glidecam all day!
  4. Stretch. This may seem like an odd one, but it makes total sense. When you’ve been doing all that lifting, bending, kneeling and running around all day, you are working out your muscles. And like any good workout, it’s a good idea to stretch before and after those shoots.

What other health tips do you suggest for staying a healthy, happy and creative filmmaker?

P.S. I can neither confirm nor deny I that I’m any good at doing these tips well.

2 thoughts on “Staying Healthy Will Make You a Better Filmmaker

  1. Great post! I’ve been trying to get back to healthy living .. since I started my own biz about a year and a half ago I’ve gained 30lbs and feel complety spent. Lack of sleep, stress, travel, bad eating and drinking habbits… it’s easy to let yourself go .. need to make some changes ASAP!

  2. I like all your suggestions!! I might add a one: take some time to relax/chill in the middle of the day. Meditation, a walk, or deep breathing. Sometimes it’s just not possible, but if you make the effort, you’re usually able to get back to work more focused and energized.

    Also, it’s nit picky, but I think hamburgers sans the bun are actually a perfectly fine food. Especially the grass-fed/finished kind.

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