What’s Next for Film Smarter

It’s been a while since the Film Smarter section of the website has been updated – but that’s just because exciting things have been developing behind the scenes.

There are some great blogs and websites out there about freelance filmmaking – DSLR Video Shooter, Learning DSLR Video, CheesyCam, PhilipBloom.net, DSLR Film Noob, No Film School… the list of great resources goes on and on.  (Speaking of DSLR Film Noob – has anyone seen Deejay?  Is he OK?)  Each one of these websites – and their respective filmmakers – offer a lot of insight from a unique perspective: reviews, tutorials, gear guides, and more.  Part of the reason that it’s such an exciting time to be a filmmaker right now is that the internet has made these fantastic sources of knowledge more accessible than ever before.

I’m always trying to learn and grow as a filmmaker.  Over the past few years, I’ve dived headfirst into the world of DSLR video, honed my production skills, expanded my skill set as an editor, and picked up a few additional tricks along the way.  One of the ways that I’ve learned is through maintaining and updating this website – especially the Film Smarter section.  Writing the blog posts and gear guides on this site has forced me to do some serious research; if I’m going to write about something, I want to make sure I really understand it.  The aforementioned websites have been monumentally helpful in that department.

With that in mind – and with the continued goal of learning and growing as a filmmaker – I want to take Film Smarter to the next level.  I want to take my own unique experiences as an independent filmmaker and put them in a form that will reach even more people.  I want to do this for two primary reasons: first, so that I can contribute, in some small way, to the wealth of filmmaking resources available online; and, second, so that I can continue to evolve as a filmmaker through the process of putting that resource together.

As someone who creates video for a living, it makes sense to use video as the medium for this message.  As such, Film Smarter will soon launch as a standalone YouTube channel (separate from the already existing Wataingi Media channel).  The videos posted on YouTube will continue to appear on the Film Smarter area of wataingi.com, but as things progress, it may spin off into its own website.

So what will Film Smarter be all about going forward?  The mission will remain the same: helping fellow filmmakers create compelling, creative video content, with an emphasis on low-cost solutions.  There will be tips, tutorials, reviews, and gear guides – the kind of content that I’ve already been tackling in blog-form.  What will change is the focus, the frequency, and – importantly – the organization of that content.  Up until now, I’ve been updating the site at irregular intervals – whenever I happen upon something I feel like writing about.  For Film Smarter, I’m taking a more measured approach, especially in terms of filmmaking tutorials.  There will still be spontaneous posts, but the core content will be organized and structured to be as accessible and understandable as possible.  For example, the first tutorials will be fairly general – the ” current state of video production” – then we’ll dive into the basics of photography, then other gear, then the three stages of production, etc.

I’m currently in the process of writing episodes.  Each show will be short, focused, and digestible.  While the videos in total should provide a cohesive whole – a sort of “Digital Filmmaking 101” – I also want viewers to be able to find specific information quickly.  Unsure of what ISOs to use?  There will be a video.  Need a refresher on how aperture works?  There will be a video.  Want some tips for your editing workflow and file organization?  You get the idea.

Writing it out like this, the process feels ambitious and a little overwhelming.  And it should be!  I want to push myself out of my comfort zone with this project and create something valuable in the process.

I hope you’ll join me for it.

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