Bugs – A short short story

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Recently I moved to Georgia. It’s a nice place. But it seems like everywhere I go there are bugs. At home, at work. I have even come to embrace them. Like I’m king of the bugs or something. I am their king and they are my royal subjects. They enter by castle after a long day’s work and travel. For their feet are tiny but their will is strong.
They come asking for safety from the night. Safety from the beasts that lurk in the shadows. The giant green beast with a tongue that can swipe up hundreds. It can leap down from the sky. The legend of the Toad. There is another beast. It owns the sky and feasts on my people. The bird.
The night is scary but the storms are nearly as bad. When the water floods down my people’s cities and destroys them. It’s either that or the heat dries up the water and there is no food. It’s a feast or famine. Do you kill the starving beggar who steals food from your home? No. Then why would you kill an insect who does the same?
I bet I made you feel for the insects inside your home. You’re fucking disgusting. They’re bugs. And bugs are only good for one thing. Squashing.

This has been a short story by Zachary Will in preparation of his new book, Exterminator’s Assistant.

Advice to New Filmmakers

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Filmmaking is a very technological art. There are many skills to learn and master. Camera, Lighting, Sound, Writing, Acting, and many more. However I think that there are some ideologies which are even more important than the technical skills. There are two. The first is “Story Comes First”. The second is “Hierarchy of Command”.

Story is the most important part of a film. It is the plot, theme, conflict and characters of your film. Without these, your film is just a test video. Test videos may be cool to filmmakers but the average person won’t care. Story should be a key thing that helps you make every decision. For example which shots you want. If you are filming a fight scene, a handheld look might increase the tension. However if you were filming a beautiful dance, a handheld look would make the dancers look less elegant. A steadicam shot might be more appropriate.

Hierarchy of command is a very important concept that many beginning filmmakers do not grasp. On many beginner sets, everyone tries to direct the film. They try to decide what should happen and even important details like which shots they should have. But on an experienced set, everyone follows a single vision of the director. Everyone else is focused on their specific task.

On beginner sets, the sound guy might suggest a shot. Many beginners welcome this because they believe that more input creates a better film. This is wrong. By suggesting a shot, he is taking his mind off of sound and may compromise the film’s sound.

It may be hard to create this on a set where everyone is on similar levels of experience and all working for free. The best way to off balance this is prepared-ness. If the director is the most prepared, he will be able to command his crew into the best direction. However a lack of preparation will likely lead to everyone trying to throw in advise and thus a slower shoot. But also each individual element will not be as cleanly executed.

Hopefully these ideas will help you on your next shoot.

 

How to Make It Full Time Freelance

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Recently I have moved to Atlanta, a big filmmaking hub. I’ve also decided to try and make it as a freelance only. It’s been difficult but I’ve learned a few things over the past month.

1) It only takes one “yes”

Don’t let an endless sea of nos get you down. Sending out resumes and cover letters to nearly everyone is part of the job. Everyone else is doing the same thing. One job can end up leading to another and soon your booked.

2) Check job sites several times a day

Many jobs are posted mid-day. I typically check craigslist and staffmeup daily. But there are plenty of other sites out there.

3) Send your resume to people who aren’t hiring

I know this one seems kind of counter intuitive. Why would you spend the time to message someone without a job? Well everyone with some sort of success in the industry will end up hiring someone. Maybe in the near future. By sending a resume early, they may call you even before posting the job.

4) Networking Events & Facebook Pages

Just simply commenting on someone’s post could land you a job in the future. Make some friends. Atlanta has a facebook page, Atlanta Film Community, plus a weekly networking event, Film Bar Mondays.

5) Keep working on passion projects

Working on passion projects keeps you learning when all you get is corporate videography jobs. It also may help you get noticed and get new jobs. Who knows?

Hope this helped! And good luck! (you’ll need it)