The Thankful Filmmaker | Seek First Productions

Filmmakers, what are you thankful for?

Guys, turn that Bing Crosby nonsense off. Thanksgiving is in 24 hours, and SURELY you can last 24 hours without that Sufjan Stevens album until your belly is full of turkey and mashed potatoes. In the spirit of the season (which is STILL the season of EATING till after tomorrow...), I thought I’d share the three things I’m most thankful for as a filmmaker.



Filmmaking used to be a terrible hobby. Unless you were rich, the child of a Hollywood veteran, or insanely lucky... you had next to NO chance of making it in the production world.

Just look at the cost of the most basic film equipment.  You can get a camera that shoots in full HD for less than a fraction of an HD camera’s cost 5 years ago. Can’t afford an ARRI Kit? Well they sell bi-color LED light kits for 1/3rd of the price... and those don’t even get hot! Think buying media is expensive? At least it’s not 35mm stock... 



For any filmmaker in any scenario, a smartphone is going to be the answer to 99 problems, which used to only be solveable with one entirely separate piece of equipment.

Need to level a dolly track? There’s an app for that.

No slate? APP.

No audio recorder? VOICE MEMO.

Where is the nearest Starbucks is? I HOPE YOU GOT GOOGLE MAPS, YA P.A.

Not sure which gels to order? DOWNLOAD A  SWEET SWATCH BOOK.

Forgot to bring your script? I BET IT’S ON YOUR EMAIL.

Can’t tell if the lens is dusty? BOOM. FLASHLIGHT.

There are very few problems that can’t be solved on set with a smartphone. Sure, it may not always be the most optimal scenario, but it’s better then not having an option at all.


Ok, so this may not seem very applicable... but I don’t think there’s a better way to grow as a storyteller than to have nearly unlimited media available for you to study. Nowadays, it’s cheaper and easier to study modern and classic films alike. All you need is a Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription.

Seriously. Load your Netflix app and start browsing through the “classics” or “critically acclaimed” sections. Think to yourself, “Have I seen all of these?” If not, watch them. Ask yourself “why is this good?” If you don’t know, please watch it again. It won’t cost you anything but time and ignorance. Tarantino fonce famously commented on his own study of film this way: "When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them 'no, I went to films.” (1) Just because you couldn’t afford to go to film school, that doesn’t mean you have to think of yourself as being behind the pack.

What else are you thankful for as a filmmaker?  

Sources: (1)