#IdeasWorthSharing: Awesome With Any Camera


It happened—you’ve fallen in love with filmmaking and now all you can think about is getting out there and shooting something.

But if you’re like a lot of new filmmakers, you may not know exactly how to get started. Well, while the path toward having a career in filmmaking is full of challenges, there are far fewer roadblocks in your way than you might think, a sentiment DP/Director/editor Matty Brown wants you to embrace:

The guy has racked up a total of 16 Vimeo Staff Picks, so he certainly has plenty of wisdom to share—but just to get you heading in the right direction, here are five major points that I think we can all take away from Matty’s journey:

Pick a camera—any camera

Guess what. Gear doesn’t really matter. If you can’t afford to shoot on a brand new ARRI Alexa, your $300 DSLR will work just fine. We’re living in a time when feature films that are shot on iPhones can take Sundance by storm, just ask Sean Baker, director of “Tangerine.” So, grab a camera and get busy!

Shoot everything and anything

So, you’ve got your camera and you’re super pumped, but you’ve got this nagging question in your head, “What do I shoot?” The answer: literally everything. Record the numbers changing on your alarm clock. Record water going down the drain as you brush your teeth. The cool graffiti, street signs, two birds fighting over the last crumbs of a Big Mac in a parking lot—whatever. Shooting stuff is the best way to learn the craft.

Don’t be afraid to experiment

The great thing about being a beginner is that nobody cares about your work yet. You have the freedom to shoot and edit anything you want, make a ton of mistakes, and nobody has to know! Take advantage of your professional obscurity and try new things—discover your voice. You’ll fail constantly, but failure gives you immense opportunity to learn and grow in your craft.

Shoot. Edit. Repeat.

One thing that a lot of burgeoning filmmakers do is they go out, shoot a ton of footage, and let it all sit on memory cards. Do not do this! Sift through your shots, find the good ones, and edit them together. The point isn’t even to make a feature, a short film, a music video, or any kind of structured piece. The point is to get familiar with the entire production process, as well as having finished pieces to reference, share, or potentially use in your demo reel in the future.

In the end, it’s all about storytelling

Don’t worry about gear. Don’t worry about your dinky free editing software. Don’t worry that you have no idea what you’re doing. Filmmaking is about telling stories and there are countless ways to do that. As you get started, you’ll begin to see your inner storyteller blossom and grow, and as you get further in your career, it’s up to you to keep that storyteller alive.

Hopefully, I heed my own advice here and start implementing the inspiration that Matty Brown has given us here. I know I need it just as much as the next guy. It’s time to just make it happen!