The Level-up Method of Filmmaking

Making a film (can be) complex.

Start with something very small, a microshort.

Then with each additional project, add another layer of complexity. If you’re feeling bold, you can add many layers at once. Too little challenge and you’ll get bored. Too much challenge and you might get overwhelmed (or rise to the occasion).

Either way, you can add something new every time you go out:

  • SAG actors
  • Asking other people for money (crowdfunding)
  • Getting investors
  • A bigger crew
  • Locations that you don’t own
  • Professional post-production
  • Insurance
  • Permits
  • A camera that you have to rent
  • Enough lighting equipment to require a truck
  • An art department
  • A composer (instead of free music)
  • Special FX
  • Stunts

You can also up the creative difficulty:

  • More developed characters
  • Blending improvisation with scripted work
  • A larger cast
  • More visual storytelling (or more dialogue-driven)
  • Adapting an original work
  • Challenging material
  • Risky, personal material

My sweet spot is where I’m pushing myself and it feels like there a real risk that it will fall apart but I’m also having fun and experiencing the joy. Suffering and stress don’t have to add up to unhappiness.

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