6. Editing: Take Breaks and Find your Speed by Rahum Brown

I have a serious love and hate relationship with editing. I love to edit but I hate the fact that I have to stay still. I'm a person who loves moving, so the idea of sitting in one place (that's not resting) just makes me not want to do it. I find this is the problem most adults have with editing, and why you never complete a project.

This gif was just funny as hell!

So here's my tip: Take Small Breaks! 

If I'm editing for 8 hours, I take small breaks and do something outside of looking at a screen. Taking breaks is important, it's like refreshing your mind and looking at the work with fresh eyes. I'm currently doing it right now, I'm editing a project and I took a break to write this, then it's back to work. 

Make sure when you pick a break activity that it doesn't take up too much time, I mean you have a deadline to meet for christ sake!

Some of my activities consist of - A small workout, reading an article or a chapter of a book. I stay away from youtube videos because youtube is a time sucking vortex. Staring out the window (my form of meditation) Looking at Instagram or Facebook (but I give myself 10 minutes max) Walking around the block. Play with my daughter (if she's home) I'm serious this is what I do, and it works. I walk back to the edit bay with fresh eyes and I may see something that needs fixing, or the best is when everything looks great and I can move on to the next scene. 

Fresh eyes can make or break your editing. So you have to find your speed. Some parts of the edit may be more difficult or easy than other parts. Pay attention to your editing habits like take note of your 're-watch' rate and how many new cuts you add to the sequence.  Some scenes you may take days, and some may take hours. 

Because, Parks and Recreation

So if your edit isn't coming together like you want it, it's probably because you're not taking enough breaks. 

5. How Good are You and How Fast Can You Work? by Rahum Brown

You're misunderstanding why no one wants to work with you. It's not because you're not good at what you do. It's not because you don't work well with others, it's because you're a perfectionist. 

Lotion that Shit Shaq

Now, don't get me wrong, being a perfectionist has its advantages, the main one being your work looks perfect. However when someone hires you, they not only want you to produce top notch images, they want you to work fast. 

Every project you're involved in is a learning experience. So never look at any opportunity to film as a 'throw-away' job. Every time you put that camera on the tripod, you start to learn how to light faster, how to direct faster because you're learning the rhythm of how you work. 

Whenever I first get on set I have butterflies in my stomach, the way I get rid of this nervousness is to prepare. Preparation is especially great for the perfectionist. Prepare first then worry about the execution. If it's something that is a narrative, I storyboard, I write a shot list and blueprint a light layout of the scene. If it's something that is a documentary, I bring all the tools I would need to shoot. 

So be prepared, and stop wasting everyone's time. Eventually, you'll get to a level where you don't need to prepare as much, and when you do, you have exceeded the Matrix, you are the one--Neo. 

3. What is an ISO on a DSLR camera? by Rahum Brown

An ISO in digital photography measures the sensitivity of the image sensor.  

 The quickest way to explain what an ISO does-- 

The quickest way to explain what an ISO does-- 

The lower the number the darker the image, the higher the number the lighter the image. Some photographers use an higher ISO when shooting in dark situations to get faster Shutter speeds. 'Speed' is the time it takes for the light of what you're shooting to reach your camera's sensor. For example:

 The left side is lower ISO producing a clearer image, the right side is higher producing a grainy image. Duh!

The left side is lower ISO producing a clearer image, the right side is higher producing a grainy image. Duh!

ISO 100 would take 1 second to reach your camera's sensor

ISO 200 - 1/2 of a second

ISO 400 - 1/4 of a second

ISO 800 - 1/8 of a second

ISO 1600 - 1/16 of a second

ISO 3200 - 1/32 of a second

 Yet another example--

Yet another example--

The longer the light takes the noiser the image. The quicker the light takes to get to the sensor the cleaner the image.  

When shooting, you really shouldn't go any higher than 200 ISO. If you need to make the subject you're shooting brighter I would add a little more fill light, or just rethink the camera angle. When taking a picture in low light you tend to get an image with a lot of grain or as it's called "Noise." Unless you're going for that look, it really won't give you the sharpest image. 

Tell me what you shot today using an ISO at 200

2. CREATE YOUR OWN CONTENT by Rahum Brown

So you're new to the game? You're an actor, a director, a writer, a singer, and you want to break into show business, huh? You think your pot-o-gold is awaiting for you on the other side of the hill, do ya? 

uhhh,duh

Well, you're almost there. What you do is usually limited to why you do it. As artists, we all want one thing and that is this-- 

"Look at me, look at me, look at me, look at me" (-Quoting Dustin Hoffman's Acting Coach) 

We have grown up wanting our community to recognize our brilliance, and now we're ready to show the world our glorious developed and honed talent. 

The problem is, no one cares about you. I mean who the f--k are ya? No one is willing to give you 'that shot.' You're good at what you do, you know you are, but no one knows you exist. So what do you do?

You create your own content.

It took me awhile to grasp this concept. Most of my career was spent working on someone else's project in hopes that someone would look at my work and go "Who was that brilliant person who animated those graphics, or did that editing? My god! Let's give him millions of dollars, and a flying car!" 

Well, the f--king flying car never landed, and I was just stuck going from one project to another, and although I loved the experience, and I had fun producing and creating, I still wasn't scratching that artist itch of notoriety.  As soon as I started to work on my independent projects, that's when doors open. 

When you work on your own content it helps in a lot of ways, let me list some of the benefits of creating your own content

1. You're The Boss: No one can tell you to change that edit, move this shot, get this shot, sing this tone, or that tone, re-do this paragraph. The only oversight is what you have in mind. That helps you with your creativity. 

What She said

2. Sharpens your Craft: Working on your content helps you develop your craft. Once you know what goes into making a great short film, a catchy song, or a great piece of literature, you will soon discover your strengths and weaknesses. My advice is to always focus on your weakness and embellish your strengths. For example, if you're a great editor but a poor shooter, only shoot things you know will go into your edit. I do. 

3. You Showed The World You Can Do It By Your Damn Self: People are extremely impressed that you've had the discipline, self-reliance, and self-motivation to complete a project. The project may not be a perfect one, but always remember that perfection, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder (MESSAGE!)   

You, baby, you

4. It's Easier: It's way easier to work on your own content. Not that it should be, but easy to me sometimes equals fun. If you're having fun, then you're in the right place. It's really all about having fun doing what you love. 

or not

5. You're Forced To Learn New Skills: Most of what I know comes out of the fact that I hated to wait for someone else to do it. Because if you're not paying a heap loads of cash, please believe, you will be the last thing on that "expert's" list. That frustration forced me to learn how to edit on Premiere, how to animate and composite in After Effects, Cinema 4D, Photoshop, how to light a scene, how to drive a car, how to direct actors, and produce. I told myself that everything I need for learning is right on the internet. I was like a sponge, I soaked up everything and wrung out what I didn't need. This should be easy for you because most artists are autodidacts.  Hit them tutorials and carry what you learn into your project. 

To say it plainly, stop waiting for that big break, if you're an actor, produce your own short film, if you're an animator, animate something. Just keep working, keep putting yourself out there because you never know whose watching. 

Here are some books that I read that will help sharpen those skills. Click on the picture so you can view them. 

WHAT CONTENT WILL YOU CREATE?

1. LOOK AT OTHER WORK AND GET INSPIRED by Rahum Brown

I'm sitting here with my daughter, who loves to draw. She's six years old and I swear she's a genius, and I'm not just saying that because she's my daughter. I mean, look at what she drew from the top of her head--

 My daughter just being awesome

My daughter just being awesome

She asked me just a few minutes ago "Daddy, what should I draw today?" then I handed her her own drawing, and told her "this should give you an idea." She looked at it and said "I got it!" then pushed the paper on the floor in which I had to pick it up. My daughter throws a lot of things on the floor I pick up, but I digress--

As producers of art, we go through many stages of our creative development. Sometimes we may hit a wall. Some of us smash our faces into the wall. Some of us give up and just take a nap leaning on the wall. I say the way to get over, or break through it is to be inspired by works. It may be your own work, or it may be someone else's. 

As the saying goes "Good artist copy; great artist steal," it will always be your 'original' idea, because it comes from your head. I put 'original' in quotes because nothing is adherently original. What I mean is as creative as we may be on a certain level it is almost a rarity to produce a truly unique piece of work that no one has ever seen. So don't feel pressured into producing the next "Godfather", or write the next "Network." (I love 70's cinema)  

Hop into what I call pockets of creativity which are often recycled from some piece of art, or life experience you've seen and/or encountered. It's in those moments that we strike great connections of inspiration, but we have to take time and enjoy the things that got us started in filmmaking in the first place. So watch films you love, watch shows with great writing, read books (not just filmmaking books), and search for that connection. 

Boom-boom-boom--And DONE!

Below is a link to a book I'm currently reading, that has nothing to do with filmmaking but will send your imagination into a frenzy. It's called "The Peregrine: The Hill of Summer & Diaries: The Complete Works of J.A. Baker" Click on the picture below to view it.

Let me know what inspires you to create--