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Confessions Of A
Filmmaking Amateur


Are you a filmmaking amateur? Are you just getting started and trying to learn the basics? Are you overwhelmed with the filmmaking process?

You are not alone!! 

Documentary filmmaking requires a multitude of skills and talents. To be successful, you have to become part techie, part storyteller and part business person. From choosing the right equipment like camcorders, computers and software to scriptwriting to fundraising -- it's enough to make your head spin!

Scott

No one understands this more than Scott (pictured left) who started off in video production right out of college, working briefly at a TV station in master control and dabbling a bit in reporting. Life has a way of sidetracking us sometimes and Scott transitioned into more of the business side of things working in communications-corporate-marketing at Habitat for Humanity International for ten years.

Although immensely enjoying his time at Habitat, and continuing his passion for photography on the side, he couldn’t seem to shake the constant tug back to filmmaking - it just never seemed to get out of his system.

Scott made the bold move to step away from the comfort and security of his 9-5 job in mid-2011 to pursue his dual passion of photography and filmmaking.

We thought this was pretty cool, so we asked Scott if he would be willing to document his journey as he re-enters the filmmaking world and share what he learns as part of a special “Filmmaking Amateur” blog here on Desktop Documentaries.

You can participate too! Read Scott’s blog posts below, make comments, interact with Scott and even write YOUR OWN “filmmaking amateur” blog post.


Two Ways To Participate

Follow the blog entries below -- either join in on the conversation at the bottom of each page or write up your own blog post in the section provided below. It's super easy and it's free to join in!


Instructions For Writing Your Own Blog Post

  1. Choose a specific topic that represents a filmmaking lesson you've learned in the past or are in process of learning right now. (Examples include why you chose a certain piece of equipment over another, a fundraising success example, a lighting trick you've discovered, etc)

  2. Ideally, your blog post should be at least 300 words in length (3-5 paragraphs)

  3. If you have a video that illustrates a project you're working on, include a link and we'll make sure it gets embedded.

  4. That's it! Share, comment and enjoy!

Write Your Own "Filmmaking Amateur Confession" Blog Post

Are you just getting started in filmmaking or video production? Got a story or lesson to share? Post it here!

Read Blog Posts Below

Learn what Scott's been up to and what he's learning. Join the conversation!

Filmmaking Amateur | Grappling With Music and Garage Band 
Have you ever watched a movie without music? Have you ever noticed music in a movie? Oftentimes, the music is heard but not noticed. Especially if the …

Filmmaking Amateur | Dumb Mistakes I've Made On A Shoot 
I recently got hired (yes hired!) to produce a video for a non-profit which involved an out of town shoot. I've been improving my video production skills …

Filmmaking Amateur | Converting Video Files to DVD 
Just when you think you're starting to get the hang of it some new snag finds its way into your life and you have to start all over again. Or so it would …

Filmmaking Amateur | Best Way to Store Digital Video Files 
Lately, I've been trying to figure out the best way to store digital video files. My iMac has a terabyte of storage space and I've pretty much used that …

Filmmaking Amateur Confessions | My First Documentary 
I've been spending the past several months shooting footage for my first documentary at a mental wellness facility in my hometown. I say mental health …

Filmmaking Amateur | iMovie Review 
iMovie, admittedly at first, confused me. The timeline wasn't like other editing software I had worked with. It became even more frustrating when my …

Filmmaking Amateur | Garage Band Rookie (Day Seventeen) 
Garage Band Rookie, Help! For me, one of the most important aspects of any film is the soundtrack. Whether it's a movie or a documentary, the music bed …

Filmmaking Amateur | Video Editing for Dummies (Day Sixteen) 
The main reason I like documentaries (or documenting stories) is the travel and adventure aspect of the work. I find that I am mostly excited about taking …

Filmmaking Amateur | Odd Two Camera Shoot (Day Fourteen) 
I recently shot a couple of interviews for a video segment about Koinonia Farm, a small Christian community in southwest Georgia. This was the first time …

Filmmaking Amateur | What NOT to do on a shoot (Day Six) 
Saturday was to be a big day. It was my first time to shoot video with a purpose. It was an easy gig. Sure it was self-imposed, but a gig is a gig, even …

Filmmaking Amateur | Cables Are Evil (Day One) 
It's not like I'm a total filmmaking amateur, but today I am starting to document my journey into the world of documentary film making. A good place to …

Filmmaking Amateur | Gettin Jibby with It 
A good friend has let me borrow his homemade dolly and his factory built jib arm. I am using them with a Canon EOS 60D . The dolly and the jib were …

Filmmaking Amateur | Learning Final Cut Pro 7 
Just when I thought I was out, they brought me back in. The demon editing Gods, that is. I've spent the past year working with a pretty basic editing program. …

Filmmaking Amateur | Shooting Video on a DSLR vs. the Flip 
Canon 60D vs. the Flip -- Is there even a comparison?? I just bought a Canon EOS 60D to replace my broken Canon 30D. I'm still learning the ropes …

Filmmaking Amateur | The Agony Of Self Promotion  
I’m awesome. But I have a hard time telling people about it. This is a problem. The agony of self promotion. I’ve been able to take advantage of filming …

Filmmaking Amateur | Entering The World Of Video Graphics 
Lately, I 've been editing a lot. I edit in iMovie and find, as a beginner, it has plenty of what is needed to produce compelling stories. But after almost …

Filmmaking Amateur | Practice Makes for a Perfect Production 
Recently, I secured my first major production shoot for a client (does that mean I'm no longer a filmmaking amateur!?). It's a non-profit organization …

Filmmaking Amateur | Getting a Grant and Staying Focused 
I recently came across an organization that provides grants to amateur filmmakers. I'd tell you who they are and what they are about but I don't want you …

A new flimmaking approach for a new year in 2012 
I've spent a good portion of this past year making mistakes and learning. One of the things I'm learning about myself is that I am finding myself making …

Filmmaking Amateur | Two Camera Shoot with Flip and DVX100A (Day Fifteen) 
Recently, I did a shoot with two cameras. This, in and of itself, is not a big deal. People use two cameras for video shoots all the time. But on this …

Filmmaking Amateur | Express Video with the Flip MinoHD (Day Thirteen) 
A week ago I was wrapping up videotaping a house blitz build with The Fuller Center for Housing. Going in I had no plan. I've been on enough of these build …

Filmmaking Amateur | Get the Soundbites First (Day Twelve) 
B-roll footage is a necessity when doing a news story or documentary. It's helps to tell the story and move the story along. Plus, it gives the viewer …

Filmmaking Amateur | Flip Mino HD Audio Challenges (Day Eleven) 
Lately, I've been spending time at a center that provides support for those with mental illness and severe addictions. It's a great place. They've transformed …

Filmmaking Amateur | Happy Flip (Day Ten) 
Yesterday I shot a short news story for our local paper with my brand new Flip Mino HD video camera. This was my first day out with it and I was curious …

Click here to write your own.

Filmmaking Amateur | Flip Mino HD vs Panasonic DVX100A (Day Nine) 
Like all great documentary filmmakers (ha ha), I now have a Flip video camera. It arrived in the mail today. To be specific, it's a Flip Mino HD. It's …

Filmmaking Amateur | How To Find The Story (Day Eight) 
This past weekend I visited a local Civil War battle reenactment in Andersonville, Georgia. Initially, I thought I would go there for an afternoon, get …

Filmmaking Amateur | Learning Storytelling and the Importance of Interviews (Day Seven) 
Learning can be fun! :)) Whatever. Learning is mostly a pain in the butt. You want to do something...you don't know how to do it...so you have to sidetrack …

Filmmaking Amateur | YouTube, Interlacing, Aspect Ratio, Oh My (Day Five) 
Today was spent doing two things. The first was completing a fast-paced video I made for The Fuller Center for Housing. I began editing this 40 second …

Filmmaking Amateur | Pre-Production (Day Four) 
Today was spent planning an upcoming shoot with the Fuller Center for Housing, a non-profit housing ministry. Each year, to honor the Fuller Center's founder …

Filmmaking Amateur | Simple Video Editing: Video Pad vs iMovie (Day Three) 
Digitizing video today took longer than I expected. I digitized (uploaded) some test footage that I shot yesterday using my Panasonic DVX100A. The DXV100A …

Filmmaking Amateur | Playing With The DVX 100A (Day Two) 
Yesterday was almost ruined by the Evil Cable Overlords. Trying to find the right cables to get my Panasonic DVX 100A to talk to my PC was a nightmare. …

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