Establishing a filmmaking community and connecting to others around you is very important.
Today, I spent my afternoon at the NJ Film Meet-Up from 1:00 to 3:00. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet fellow filmmakers and learn from their experiences.
First, we each introduced ourselves through our filmmaking specialties and experiences. It was awesome to hear about others’ projects, including various independent films and even a film festival!
Next, we watched two finished films. The first was shot with a $20,000 camera, but was full of basic filmmaking errors and bad choices that lead to a choppy and, quite honestly, confusing film. It was interesting to see how it is not fancy, expensive filmmaking equipment that matters the most, but rather the way in which they are used. Another film, titled “Brains, Trains, and Automobiles,” uses clever filmmaking shots and techniques to teach topics of psychology. It was uncommonly professional for a high school assignment!
My favorite part of the meet-up was the gear demonstrations. The DJI Osmo is a stabilized camera that attaches to your phone. This small, portable stabilized camera can be bought for around $600. Another piece of DJI equipment, the DJI Ronin, is a large stabilizing base to which a camera can be attached. It takes a while to learn how to set it up, but it seems to work great at stabilizing moving shots. This large-yet-handheld stabilizer costs around $1000.
Future announcements. The next meeting is set to be sometime in April. A 24-hour film challenge was also introduced, in which groups have one day to make a film based on a prompt.
After the meet-up, I stayed an extra half hour to talk with the other filmmakers. I got to hear and share funny film experiences. It was also a wonderful opportunity to both see people I haven’t seen in years and meet new people as well. You can learn a lot by chatting with other filmmakers!
Three heads are better than one. And I’m not talking about the three-headed dog Cerberus. Making films in a group rather than by oneself results in both a better film and experience. And thus, building these filmmaking connections is essential, and mixers like these allow those ties to form.
Cut to black.