For the past couple of weeks I have been working with my 11 year old son and two of his friends. They are making a video “TV” series for YouTube. I am not at liberty to reveal the name of this series or what it is about, but rest assured I will let you know about its debut.
The first day of shooting we had to go through the whole drill. How to use the camera; How to start and stop scenes. Did I say scenes? Yes we had to learn the importance of having a written script, a scene story board, and a shooting schedule. The process of teaching this really took about a month because one of the boys, my own son, just wanted to make a movie and did not think we needed a plan to do it.
Anyway we finally got a script and a shooting plan and shot the first 6 scenes about two weeks ago. Let me tell you it was rough. There were several false starts. But things smoothed out and we got quite a rhythm going. After about two hours scene setup and takes were going like clock-work. It kind of felt like a Hollywood production (ok just a little bit of exaggeration here.) The boys were really clicking along and we got the first half of episode one “in the can.”
Day one I was helping with every step. On day two I gave them the camera, tripod, and dolly and said have at it. They setup most of the shots and did all the camera operation by themselves. I set up some technical stuff to simulate some of the locations that needed to be simulated (like GCHQ for instance.) They had a blast and got some really good material on tape.
Today we began to edit their 10 minute “TV” show. As on the first day I showed them how to use Final Cut Studio and my editing system to capture scenes and organize them for use in the timeline. We got about half the episode captured an laid out in the timeline. Monday we will trim this up and then I will turn them loose to capture and place the rest of the scenes. Since they are off from school, sometime on Tuesday, they will trim up the second half; and add titles and soundtrack elements. On Wednesday we hope to publish to YouTubel
Now I already know how to do all of this (well enough to do my job anyway.) But there is much about helping others succeed I have learned during this process. I have learned the power of showing something to someone then turning the doing over to them, like, almost, right away.
My son and his friends now know how to do everything we have done together because of my showing then handing the controls over to them quickly. I had to learn the YouTube upload process for this (never done that before) so I made a short video for my church and uploaded it to promote our Christmas program. Now I am ready to support my budding production team as they undertake the final step in their project this coming Wednesday.
I am doing the same kind of thing in our new photography business. In each new situation I have a lot of technical learning to do prior to the shoot. When we get to the location I have been setting up then I have been handing both my wife and my son cameras and they have been diving in to the work. Wonderfully they have become passionate about learning how to put all of the pieces together to get a great shot. Soon I will have competent, creative, and excited helpers; and we will have all grown through the process. And we will be able to expand what we offer our clients.
This growing is one of the greatest things about working together in a new (or any) enterprise. Working with others as they grow in passion, creativity and skill is an addictive way to live. Enlisting our clients in the process, involving them in the excitement of creating something wonderful has equal reward. And I think this is why I am doing this new thing. Yes, I hope for financial reward too, but I believe that is a by-product of the act of creation and not its goal.
If you and I can help others achieve a dream, wow, what greater accomplishment can there be that that.
Hope this has been helpful and encouraged you today. Help some one succeed today! What Joy!!!
See you in the work!
Robert Curtis, Lightplay Media, in the human endeavor.