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Is video art or a job? (Share Your Perspective)


andrgl

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Being able to script / storyboard a concept - then shoot using beautiful lensing and sound capture - and follow up with editing where you move the viewer through the story in the 4 dimensions of time and space NEVER gets old.  Getting paid to do what you love totally rocks. Its money AND love as far as i am concerned. 

 

The trick is to have control over the whole process - If you just shoot and hand off your shots then it can be hard to maintain the love. I know a lot of jaded "camera operators" who clock on and clock off with little job ownership.

 

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Because of my actual day job giving me so many great oppertunities I felt obliged to capture some of those moments. That started out as photography... my first 1080p camera (Canon SX1 IS) just blew me away and I fell in love with video... started to do more with it in my free time. With the bridgecamera I did begin to mind the noise in sub-optimal lighting conditions and lack of manual focus mostly when I figured I needed to step up to either the GH2 or 550D/T2i. I went with the more compact (carrying around friendly) system and have stayed true to the MFT system since (GH2, GH4, G7, GX80, E-M1, BMPCC, Z Camera E1) with the exception of the Nikon D5300. I'm already happy with my current day job, but I'm hoping that in the near future I can cut some hours and do filmmaking on the side commercially, I'm all for getting paid to do what you love (I just happen to like more than one thing). But for the time I'm just having fun with video and experimenting with techniques looking for an own style. I just strive to capture the beauty of something and do it justice. But I probably have too much of a technical approach to achieving this. I see other filmmakers that are more creative. They don't just capture moments, they create them. That's really the thing I've got to nail down now. :grin:

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For myself it has been both and there is a balance between the two. I started working freelance videography just about 3 years ago and hustled my way through film production to pay the bills. I live a frugal life and was able to build up some momentum and get the ball rolling. I've filmed shorts I was very proud of and had a deep emotional connection to that didn't make me any money. I made films I didn't really feel proud of that did pay well. And vice versa. But when push comes to shove and you need to film to pay rent and eat you do need to check some of the emotional attachment at the door and go out and WORK.

 

The business aspect requires a ton of effort to keep yourself running and sometimes that can feel discouraging. I definitely had days when I longed for a job that was simpler where I didn't need to be the creative director, cinematographer, sound guy, interviewer, and editor for every gig. But I love it and was thankful every day that I was lucky enough to love my job. Another plus from making it your professional life are deadlines. The deadline is for the client, not for you. You are responsible for your work and your deadlines. This does have a positive side. When you make films to get paid it's actually nice (and definitely necessary) to be able to separate the attachment and say "Ok, I need to cut this in 2 days, lets get it done." Accomplishing those tasks trains you to do it better next time. Just like sustained regular physical exercise at the gym.

 

I think your creative side is what makes you good enough to do it for work and what you can bring to the table. I love telling stories with my camera, I love watching for moments and looking for composition and using my camera to record what I see. I love stitching those moments together to make a story one can watch. Absolutely I get pleasure from this process. But work is work, there is no way around that. You need to put in the time if it's work and you have to get it done. 

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