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I had to ‘spit out’ those pearls like teeth learning from my early production mistakes. If I can help someone avoid similar mistakes that’s all the better. Thomas brought up a very good point about ‘watching video’. In between the time I stopped working for a production house and starting my own company I realized I had been making films for 3 years and got some major experience, but I really didn’t understand how to ‘make movies’. Yeah, I knew the technical ends but the creative part eluded me. I was a journeyman film technician, not a filmmaker. So to correct that I watched movies. Lots of them.
I literally saw an ungodly portion of Turner Classic Movies collection and American Movie Channel’s stuff too! While watching I took note of how the story and character elements flowed, how the lighting was done, camera movements, sound effects, music, you name it. Then I would go out and shoot test shots with my little handycam to emulate what I had seen. By the time I got my business started, I was on a much stronger track. So strong, I got sponsored to study at a prominent filmschool. I learned quite a bit there, but mainly it just backed up all the training I already had and reinforced the observations I made watching all of those movies.
For a long time, video production was always considered the ‘inferior stepchild’ to film production. Now hardcore film afficionados are turning to video to make their films. Except for a few gear additions (35mm adapter, lenses, etc.) all the rules that govern video still apply. So to Inspire and all the other ‘newbies’ or intermediates, you master the basics through the methods mentioned by the other experienced videographers and then the advanced stuff will be within your reach.