Diane's Diary #41: How a Newbie Filmmaker Creates Quality Work
Note: This is Excerpt #41 in Diane’s Diary. If you would like to read previous excerpts, you can find Diane’s Diary 1-40 here.
Prefer to listen to the blog? Try this!
How a newbie filmmaker creates quality work
What do Henry Ford and Diane Rose-Solomon have in common?
I can’t speak for all new filmmakers, especially since many of them have formal film school training. But I can speak for myself since I only have limited film experience.
It was time to employ the Henry Ford method of doing business. Ford has widely been known to have said:
“I am not the smartest, but I surround myself with competent people.”
And in this case, I have a vision for a film series but minimal experience, and collaborating with competent editors, producers, and directors who do have experience will be key.
One of the realizations I had early on is that the stories and experts we will be filming are all over the country which means we will be traveling. Maybe I will have one crew that travels with me. But more likely I will end up hiring different production crews at each spot.
What happens when one cinematographer uses one kind of camera with one type of lighting and the next cinematographer uses a different camera and so on? How do I create a cohesive film series, not a disparate mish-mosh?
I don’t have the language or the skillset to make it all cohesive.
But what I do have is the ability to reach out to people who do.
I also knew that once we had footage to give to an editor, it would have to be formatted a certain way. I do not want to be the producer who hands an editor a pile of footage and says: “go.” I want it to be organized and delivered in a way that makes it easy for them.
So, I set out to meet an editor and/or a producer who has directing experience who could help me impart my message.
I got super lucky in a Facebook group for filmmakers when one such person raised her hand responding to a request from a non-profit. Her name is Julia Huffman. Julia shares my passion for animals and has produced films about wolves (check out Medicine of the Wolf), wild horses, and more.
Julia wears many filmmaking hats: editor, director, producer and has agreed to be my Supervising Producer for this project! She is an absolute delight and it’s a pleasure working with her.
Additionally, I had mentioned that I found a professional story editor named Karen Everett who helped me decide to create a docuseries rather than a feature. Karen and her editor also helped me edit an upcoming piece that was created about Mowgli the Service Dog. (More about that in a future post!)
I am speaking with other editors and production companies too and we shall see how it all works out. Stay tuned. I’m learning as I go, and I’m delighted you are on this journey with me.
**WATCH our most recent Mini-Doc!**
What have therapy animal teams been doing during the pandemic when they couldn't visit in person? Watch our latest mini-documentary to find out!