This semester, I evolved as a filmmaker in more ways than one. I worked on projects that I wouldn’t attempt otherwise, and I became stronger cinema student because of this. Our first project, the stop-motion PSA, was a huge step in my filmmaking career. Even though it was a very short project, I learned so much about animation and about how I work as a filmmaker. This project was very challenging for me, as I don’t like working with too much detail. I’m kind of a perfectionist, so projects like animation or editing, where I’m in my own head, really stress me out. They become time-consuming because I’m so focused on making sure little things turn out right. The animation project, though stressful and, quite frankly, annoying to complete, helped me recognize that I can do projects that are outside my comfort zone, and that I’m more creative than I give myself credit for.
I used the burst of confidence I got from successfully completing the animation project to work on my next few projects with a positive attitude — nothing could be more frustrating and time-consuming than the first project of the semester. The experimental project was another challenge for me — again, I don’t consider myself to be super creative — but I surprised myself with the number of opinions and creative critiques I had when we edited the project together. I learned that I’m pretty good at creating an overall aesthetic “look” for a project, which is a good skill to have if I want to pursue a career in producing.
I am so proud of our documentary project. Often, I feel that collaborative projects don’t always reflect what I’m actually capable of as a filmmaker, but I felt that this doc really captured my abilities. I learned a lot about editing for a story in this project — we had three options for our story, and I think we picked the best one. I also figured out the types of people I like to collaborate with, and where I fit in on set personality-wise.
The last two films I worked on were fiction films, and I am very proud of both projects. My intention is to work on fiction films, and so it was great to have two opportunities to do so in class. Often, when I work as a producer on a fiction project, I’m not very involved with editing; however, with these projects I did do some editing, and again found that editing can really help the “look” of the piece. I feel more confident about my aesthetic choices and editing abilities after these two projects.
Overall, I am more confident about my abilities as a filmmaker after taking this class. I am more comfortable using equipment and lighting scenes, and more comfortable editing as well. The last few projects I’ve done in this class have affirmed to me that I can create really strong films, especially when I collaborate with the right people, and I am looking forward to only getting better in the future.