FILMMAKERS GLOBAL NETWORK
Digital Content & Video Creation
So, a little about my work and current projects. I run a creative agency called D-MAK Productions (https://dmakproductions.com) where we specialize in producing media for the corporate space. We just finished a high end set of marketing videos for Collins Aerospace which was a really fun shoot for a military equipment manufacturer where we had some real soldiers and a Humvee in a mock battle situation. We also just put together a behind the scenes video on how that production turned out – https://youtu.be/IDpzliqcab8. On the film front, my business partner is currently writing a book about his music festival experiences that we will be turning into a script for a film by years end.
One of my most memorable projects was when we did a set of videos for healthcare technology company Cyracom. The spokesperson for the set of videos was Michael O’Neal of Grey’s Anatomy fame. It was the first time we worked with a Hollywood actor, and he was just such a pleasure to work with. It really broke the fear and stigma of working with people with any sort of fame, as we realized they are just like everyone else and they want the finished outcome to turn out just as great as the production crew does.
CHALLENGE & SOLUTION:
The most memorable production challenge and solution that I’ve experience BY FAR is when we worked on our first full-length documentary about mine and my business partners college fraternity experience called Alpha Class (https://www.alphaclassmovie.com). The principle photography for the film was taken while we were both seniors in college at Arizona State University. At the time, we really didn’t know what this film was going to turn into, so outside of the main fraternity brothers featured in the film, we really didn’t have any signed releases from anyone else. As anyone who has ever produced a documentary knows, definitely NOT the thing to do. Years later when we were in post, we realized how many people were in the documentary that we didn’t have releases for. I literally went through the film frame by frame and took a screen shot of any individual’s face who you could recognize that we didn’t have a release from. I took those screen shots and shared them on Facebook to try to find all the people in the film to get signatures after the fact. Surprisingly, I was able to secure release forms from a vast majority of the people in the film, but anyone that watches the film will notice that there was a lot more where we didn’t, as there’s face blurs all over the place throughout the film. Biggest lesson from that is to make sure you get all documentary releases done BEFORE they show up on camera.
3 PRODUCTION TIPS:
If I could share 3 production tips, the first would definitely be to start working in the production position you want to be in NOW! I see way too many people that want to be a director or cinematographer take PA gigs because they feel like they need to “work their way up” to that end position. If you want to be a director, you should be DIRECTING! Don’t wait on anyone else to get you what you want, because you can find yourself 20 years later in the same spot, still not doing what you want. The second production tip would be to find others that compliment your skill set. What makes our team so successful is that we complement each other really well. I am really strong with management and organization skills. So, I make a really great producer, however, when there’s a problem that needs a creative solution, my business partner has a stronger skillset in thinking outside the box. If you’re a great cinematographer, find a great AC to collaborate with. If you’re a great director, find a great actor or producer to work with. There’s a reason why big-name directors in Hollywood typically use many of the same crew and talent in their movies (think Adam Sandler, Martin Scorsese, Judd Apatow). The 3rd tip is to find a mentor in the production specialty you’d like to get into. Most folks with some years under their belt are more than happy to share their experience with a newbie, and you can save yourself many pitfalls by learning about what they are before you make them. This was probably the single biggest factor in our success, is finding great mentors that you can go to when you experience failure, but most importantly when you experience success!