New Year's Resolution: Be An Artist Right Now

Shooting 'Exodus Road.'

Shooting 'Exodus Road.'

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2015. I was scrolling through my Twitter feed this morning and came across an article from the TED Talks blog, titled "Your TED-Inspired New Year's Resolutions." It was a nice, inspiring read and I encourage you to take a look at the article and listen to the full TED talks. Resolution #1, "Be an artist, right now," caught my eye because of its relevance. It brought up some fond memories for me.

I've often thought about the fact that there is really no excuse not to get out and shoot some kind of video project. The economic barrier to entry is so low. The tools for making some quality film projects are readily available. The time is now.

I can remember as a teenager calling up my friends at the last minute and saying, "Let's get together and make a movie." And then we would grab my dad's VHS camcorder, run outside and make something up as we went along. Then we would bring the tape back to my house, hook two VCR's together, and edit what we had. It was a great way to pass the time.

Now that I'm an adult, things have changed. A job, wife, children, bills - those responsibilities take up time and energy. But every once in a while, it's nice to go back to that place; the place when you just took out a camera, used whatever resources were available, and created something. I, fortunately, had such an opportunity over the holidays.

While on the road to visit family, I knew that I would have a few extra days off. The question was: what should I do with that free time after the presents were opened and the family reunions were over? I thought, "Why not make a short film?"

My nephew is a freshman in college and an aspiring filmmaker. I brought the idea to him and he was eager to help. On a Friday afternoon he and I fleshed out a story and I hammered out the script. Meanwhile, he was busy texting friends in an effort to scrounge together a cast and crew.

It was a great creative exercise. We were forced to use exactly what we had available to us, which dictated what type of story we could tell. We used two main characters and one wooded location. We had one main camera (Sony FS-700), a GoPro Hero 3 Silver, a Rode shotgun mic, boom pole, and tripod. The assembled band of cast & crew could only give us about five hours of shooting time. They were extremely gracious to volunteer during the holidays. It was a good experience for everyone involved.

Additional information about our short film, Exodus Road, will be posted over the next few weeks, so stay tuned. I also hope to post some tips, advice, insights, etc. about using the Sony FS-700 and about the workflow of producing a spur-of-the-moment short film. I hope that this post, along with the TED Talks article, will inspire you in the new year to make the time to create. Good luck to you in 2015 and to all of your creative pursuits.