In this episode of The Next Level Filmmaker Podcast, I talk with Jakob Owens from BuffNerds about filmmaking, music videos, money, and more…
There’ll be days where, for example, we have a shoot here, a shoot at eclectic, and then I’m off working a job. That’s I’m making money three ways in one day.
Welcome to another episode of the next level filmmakers show where we interview filmmakers from around the world to explore their pathway to success. What worked, what’s working now, so you can take your Korean business to the next level. I’m your host, Clarke, Scott. And I believe that having the right systems in place is the difference between taking your career and business to the next level, or just being another dude or dudette with a camera. So if you’re tired of hustling for one off projects, the undervalued and underpaid, I’d like to invite you to an exclusive free training I’ve put together for filmmakers, just like you where I share the exact strategies I’ve used to grow my own video production agency. Just go to Clarke, Scott education.com. That’s Clarke with an E. Clarke Scott education.com. forward slash free training. That’s Clarke, Scott education.com. forward slash free training and start your journey to becoming a next level filmmaker today. Mr. Mr. Owens. You want to kick in? I just saw your dog in the background. Did you? okona the white one. There’s a couple back there. But yeah, there we go. Okay, you ready? Yeah. All right. So who are you? What do you do and how’d you get your staff?
My name is Jacob Owens. I have a hard time telling people what I do. Because I’m kind of, there’s a myriad of things I do. But I would classify myself as a director entrepreneur in the film space. And I just yeah, I kind of do everything from music videos, editing, location properties. I have a couple different filmmaking related post production assets, businesses for filming. I mean, it just kind of do it all. So yeah, that’s, that’s a little bit of what I do in a nutshell as quickly as possible. Yeah. Cool. So how did you get this up? Man, it’s a pretty easy one. I just always grown up. Growing up, I’d
mess with my parents little, you know, VHS camera, and just kind of advising how many of us and I think nearly every interview was the same thing. Yeah,
I think that’s where it always stems from I remember even watching m Night Shyamalan, like his science DVD. There’s like a special bonus thing on the DVD. And when I was a kid, I was watching the movie. And he talks about how he picked up his parents camera, and he made his first monster movie. And it was like, put a mask, a Halloween mask on a RC car and like drove it around. And that was like his monster and, and just kind of I remember seeing that as a young kid and relating and be like, Oh, I do the same thing like, and I think early on, that’s kind of what fueled it a little bit. And I just always made monster movies with my brother and friends. And we made our own ESPN talk show. We’d film ourselves playing with hot wheels and make our own like Fast and Furious. Like we just kind of filmed and did everything. And so I just always had my hand on the camera and then going into high school. I made a video just because the football team asked for it. They’re like, hey, make us a video for the pep rally. And that was kind of the turning point. Because I made that video just like yeah, like to make videos. Let’s do it made like an Under Armour esque commercial. And we put it out like that they played it at the pep rally. It was the first time they ever played a video at like, the high school pep rally. And just all day long at students teachers coming out to me that video is amazing. Like, you should make videos like and now it’s in there. YouTube really wasn’t even a thing at that time too. And it was still like still like the school didn’t even have like a film class or video class like all schools do pretty much now. But it was just like that was kind of my aha moment of like yeah, I’m gonna make videos for you know the rest of my life. And then I ended up just going to film school at Arizona State University very small film school wasn’t much to it. best camera they had was a five D Mark too.
But that’s kind of where I was working when the five D Mark to come out. And that fucking changed the world.
You couldn’t talk on camera. Yeah, it did. And you but it was funny because you could not touch that camera unless you were a senior like it was like, like the forbidden fruit. And I just remember but I had gotten my hands probably my sophomore junior year on a Canon TTY, that CGI just come out. And my friend who I went to high school with was just like, yo, you you’d like you’re doing, you know, video stuff, film stuff. You want to make a music video, because he had always kind of done music. But now out of high school was like deciding like, I’m gonna pursue music. And so we just were friends and we kind of came together. And I shot a music video on in milab Tempe, Arizona on my TTI and you know, we put it out there on my YouTube channel that I ended up creating. And just all of a sudden, I started getting hit hit up by another guy at ASU who did want music, wanted a music video and just kind of started I was like, Yeah, I did that. And then like all these local artists started all of a sudden like coming because no one was really doing it. You know what I mean? And so I just started doing these like, you know, canon TTI music videos for local artists, putting up on my YouTube channel my youtube channel started growing a big following other artists started reaching out from like California like, Oh, you did music videos, how would you charge like love your work, and my YouTube kind of popped off for like independent not only for cool independent music like people who weren’t signed but also like the film side of things, you know people who were like just got a T two I wanted to get a T two or five D and and it just kind of culminated came together and next thing you know, after I graduated ASU and moved to LA and just really pursued it like full full full bore. So
what was the What was this? So actually before before we go there, what was the Do you remember that the first camera that you like the the camera your parents had?
No, gosh, I wish I did. I knows was a type of video. We see. It might have been a JVC something. Yeah, my parents had a JVC was a type of video. It was taped. It was kind of Yeah. Like edit our movies. You had to like rewind. Yeah. Type type to type. Yeah. Yeah,
I always did that. But then my freshman year at ASU, like teach you I wasn’t even out yet and stuff. And I was still like, mini DV tapes. So I’d like to hV 13 was doing mini d. b type stuff. And then I think Yeah, was my sophomore junior year, the TTI just came out. And I just picked it up. And yeah, just kind of the rest was history. Yeah, then upgraded Of course of the five D Mark too. And, and kind of did that. But I had an interesting film school experience. Like, I did not have a good film school experience. The teachers did not like me, because I was like, ditching class to go shoot videos. And, and one of the teachers you know, it’s like, I could fail you you’re not following my course curriculum. And I was like, at that point, I was like, starting to get paid from artists in LA to shoot music videos. And I was like, I’m like, Isn’t this what I came? Like, this is what I came to school to do. And now you’re saying you could fail me and like I’m making I’m actually make like, this is my job now Loki in and I don’t think he really saw it. And I no joke. He had this line. He called me into his office hours because he was serious about like I could I could fail you and called me into his office hours. It was just like, the famous line. He said to me, and I always talk about this as he goes, I could show your work to five. I don’t know why he said this. I could show your work to five directors I know. And they would all say it sucks. That’s like, exactly, exactly what he said to me. And I just remember just being like, a fucking pump was not the one at the time, I had, like hundreds of 1000s of views on my YouTube channel, because like, the video started doing well. And it was just like, well, these people obviously don’t think so you know what I mean? And, and it was kind of a weird time. And but as the final your final, you can either make a senior thesis like film, or the alternative, which was like kind of looked down on was like, make three music videos. And no one did that I was the only one in the class that did that. I was like, shoot, I’m just gonna turn in three music videos that I’m already being paid to shoot. And I don’t think that like sat well with him as well as my, like, cinematography teacher, I had like a weird experience in that class as well with a bunch of the, with her and the students. Because like for your final project, you had to put together a reel, you know what I mean? You have to have your reel and you pick a subject and do it and, and I was just using my music videos for my reel and other people were like picking like flowers or like nature, like random things and, and I just remember like everyone, you it was it was interesting, it was cool. You would like sit at the front of the class and your reel would play but you she made you watch everyone’s reactions and not watch your film. And then they would everyone would have to say like, like positive things first reinforcement and then like, oh, what you can work on after it was weird. I was on the was two days and I went almost blast on the second day. But throughout the whole time, I was very quiet always sat in the back. And people were just like, oh, that was amazing to like other people’s, you know, in their friends. I was amazing. This and that. And I’m just sitting there watching that like these from the back going like the What do you like, what do they see? Like, I don’t get it. Like, it was just it just felt like all these friends like telling each other like their work so good. I was like, it’s literally like two minutes of flowers and it’s like shaky and there’s a headshot I just and I remember I like out of nowhere. I didn’t raise my hand. But it started to frustrate me a little bit just because I felt like every no one was giving real criticism. It was just kind of like going boosting each other. And I remember without raising my hand I was just like, are you guys watching the same thing I’m watching and it did not sit well with the teacher and I definitely look back I’m like, Yeah, I probably shouldn’t have said that. But come my turn to go up there. You got raped. I but that’s what happened. But it was crazy because it was always positive first and negative. And my reel ended. And no one raised their hand to say anything. And then the teacher goes, we’ll all start. And she started with the negative. And so but it was it was so I had a weird film school experience but then right after that class I literally no one like said anything but the one guy who I was like always within the class he like said something. And then that was like it like one or two people said anything and done. I’m waiting out in the hall after class and three kids come up to me. And they’re like, dude, your reel was amazing. Like, do you? Do you get paid to shoot that stuff? And I was just like, Where were you guys like, 20 minutes ago? I just I just didn’t. I don’t know. I guess I didn’t fit into the mold of like, the traditional. I was a little bit of a rebel or, you know, I don’t know,
but I was gonna say it sounds like sounds like two things. The teachers don’t like you because you don’t follow the rules. Right? Right. And the students would probably there’s a little bit of kind of jealousy there. Oh, yeah. The I mean, I’ve seen it in the industry, with DPS or if you’re you relating to someone from that, from a cinematography perspective, conversations are easy to have people are very helpful. Directors. Not so much like we we can be a more of a directed than a shoot, but I shoot a lot. Right? Ah, my direct of friends. There’s more competition there. It’s weird. It’s, and I’ve heard, I’ve heard Paul Schneider say the same thing. I’ve heard a bunch of people say the same thing. With engine, direct and community. Yeah, yeah. Even within commercial filmmaking. So if you’re wrapped by a production company going to production come in this. There’s like 1010 directors, right competition between the directors, but Right, right, DPS or the editors or the producers that work for the same company. There are a lot more chummy, chummy. So it could simply be that, yeah. Was it a? Was it like more of a, an art kind of school? And you were like,
No, not at all. It was I mean, it was the film school was relatively new is maybe like four years old. It wasn’t. I mean, it’s ASU. It’s not very, like, artsy fartsy. It’s just, yeah, I think I just kind of was going against the grain of what, like people usually did or do and it just didn’t sit well. And again, I was not very interactive. And all those classes. I didn’t have like too many friends in there. I was outspoken. I wasn’t, you know, the like guy who’s always talking with the teacher raising his hand talking about you know, different topics or whatever. So, I just kind of set myself and you just too busy working man. That’s that was the problem. Yeah, I mean, I got lucky though, too, with you know, I think thank him all the time for it. I mean, I don’t know if I’d be where I’m at today. If it weren’t for him coming to me, like, yo, shoot music videos, because it’s not like that was like, what I was doing or planning on doing it just was like, yeah, go, Yeah, let’s do it. You know what I mean? And then it just, from there kind of took off. And that’s what got my foot in the door. You know, so Okay.
And you’re using YouTube? I mean, you got a massive following now. What do you what are your 800,000? Something like that? Yeah. Is it the same? Is it the same channel that you started back in the day?
Yeah, it’s the same channel, but it’s weird now. Like, I just YouTube’s so different. And I, I just my stuffs not being seen anymore. Like, I drop a video, it gets a couple 1000 plays, but back then I used to drop a video and get millions. You know what I mean? Like, if you look at the channel overall, like, there’s something like 270 million views on the channel, but like, it’s just, I don’t know, it’s just not showing up with people. So boxes, or people don’t care anymore, but it’s whatever I mean, but yeah, technically, I have like, seven 793,000 subscribers, something like that. I don’t even like my thing with YouTube. I still love making videos, I still like putting out informational content. It’s how I started, I don’t I feel like I don’t want to ever, like be like, Oh, just because I’m not getting the views I used to I’m gonna stop like, it’s just, you know, I feel like I kind of almost owe it to YouTube to to continue to share stuff and put stuff out. It’s how I got my start. And I owe a lot of my career to YouTube. That’s where artists and people were, and other you know, directors and stuff who were following my work found me was because of YouTube. So I still make videos all the time for YouTube and put them out there. In fact, for we’re talking I was sitting away editing a new YouTube video, so
yeah, cool. So when did they When did you start YouTube?
Seo that would have been well, I had like a Oji YouTube channel like in high school where I’d upload stupid silly videos with classmates, friends, brother and stuff. So that would have been like, you know, more like 2000 678 but I didn’t do the buff nerds YouTube channel until like my senior year in college, which is when I started dropping those those videos which would would have been 2012 2012 his senior year in college 2012 that’s when I started kind of that you are 2011 my bad my junior year I started it. And 2011 Yeah, yeah.
what’s the what’s the guy with the name? Dude? What is that? What’s the guy with the name? buff nerds? Bah. Bah.
Yeah. So I mean, just like I would always like people would be like, Oh, you do film because I was an athlete. You know, I’m ripped and like people don’t look typically athletes and like, be like, Oh, he’s film but Like most, most film, people are kind of techie or nerdy, for the most part, they’re not like, and my other friend who I made videos with was a DEA, one linebacker and like, so we were just like, we didn’t really fit the mold. And I would even get it in places that they’d be like, oh, what are you doing? I’m like, Oh, I make videos and like, I’m a filmmaker and go into it. And they’re like, you got like, yeah, you know, it’s just not the most typical thing. And so when we’re, you know, trying to come up with a name for the YouTube channel, it’s like, yo, we’re kind of like, buff nerds. And like, just kind of, I was like, Oh, yes, I just stuck and made it made it the name. So okay, I got lucky because I actually made that channel, because I got locked out of my old channel from high school. And I couldn’t, I couldn’t get it back. And so I had to create a new one. And then that’s right at the time, where all this was happening. And so it just kind of worked out perfectly, actually. So
yeah, cool. Cool. All right. Well, let’s move on to the next question. And that’s the what’s the one unique or even strange thing that you do or have done, that’s been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
So I don’t know if it’s strange. But most people, I think, especially today, like, you know, turned down so many opportunities, because it may not being, you know, paid or whatever. And, and I think early on, that’s what it’s still even to this day, I I say yes to almost anything like, because you just never know where it can lead to the people you might need the relationships you might build. And I’ve seen so many instances, drive me to successful places, just because you know, I’m saying yes to these oddball projects, or people and things and like, and I think the biggest thing is YouTube, like, all these early artists, for the most part that I worked really closely with that I would put on my YouTube channel, they didn’t pay me, I just literally I saw the potential for videos going on that channel growing an audience. And so I would just always, like reach out to artists and be like, Hey, I’ll shoot you a video for free. If I can put it on my YouTube channel. You know, if I can do this with it, I’ll shoot it. I’ll do this for free. I’ll do. And so I would use those up and it built it up. And I started getting paid a lot of money off YouTube, I started growing a really big audience, which led to me writing a book or manuals that people would then buy, because I had that audience. So I think for me, that next level of success came from not being stingy and being like, Oh, that’s, that’s, that’s below me, or that’s not paying enough. I was always kind of looking. I feel like towards a bigger and picture like goal. Yeah. So I don’t know if that’s like, weird, but that, you know, a lot of I feel like, sounds like there’s a lot of strategy in what you do. Yeah, yeah. So I think that’s kind of I still do that, to this day, I take a look at the potential opportunity there and be like, you know, this could turn into some cool could not, but you just never know. And so that’s like, I think one of the biggest reasons, I’ve seen success and, and growth and just doing stuff like that
on the side, I want to I want to get to that a little bit. So you mentioned before about looking out and and kind of it was almost like you’re looking into the future, and strategizing as to whether this thing is going to be good for our career bad for the gray Korea, you know, good for cash flow bad, but what are you doing any of that? Like? How are you? How are you creating? Cuz obviously, you’re not gonna say, You’re not gonna say yes to everything? clearly isn’t. There’s an attitude there of? Let’s do it, rather than, you know, no, no, let’s not do it. Um, but at the same time, I’m sure you’re being strategic, and, you know, making certain that what you’re doing is, you know, going to be beneficial.
Here’s even a quick example, like I have with my buddy Tom, we have a filmmaking like editing assets post production thing. So for like, different assets and effects for editors to like, improve their videos, and some artists may come come to me who’s just like, I would never ever say yes to just because of their budget, or it’s just like, I just got too much going on, and they’re not a big enough name, or whatever. And I’ll look at the opportunity to be like, Alright, cool, you know, actually, I’m gonna take this job, and we have a new product that we just put out, I’m just gonna take this job because I can use that new product on this video and use it as a way to promote that new product. And if people ask, like, oh, what cool effect is that? Oh, it’s tropic color. You know what I mean? And so I’m just always seeing like, taking a look at that. And not just being like, Oh, no, sorry, man, like, I’m too busy. And just kind of looking ahead being like, oh, that could lead me doing that project could lead to a lot of potential promotion and sales. For my other company. You know what I mean? So yeah, I’m always doing things like that. And same thing with people that come to me with a job or relationship. Like, I’m shooting a video coming up here next week. The rate is probably half of what I would normally do before but again, we’re, we’re going to I’m going to have a BTS guy there, and I’m building kind of an online you know, online film school for cinematography with my buddy dp Tom. And so we’re doing the job because it’s like, we’ll get some really cool BTS content out of it that we can drive, make a couple online course like videos around for the course. And so it’s just always kind of like looking at like, the small things that maybe you normally would do and just figuring out like, how that would down the road be like you kill two birds with one stone kind of thing and how it could be beneficial down the road, you know what I mean? And, and shoot, I may make some great relationships on that video that lead to a much bigger video, you know, a month from now Who knows, you just never know because I’ve had the the big actually this is a good example of the biggest so that when I first moved to LA, within three months, I did my first like big budget video for me at least it was a $30,000 Jesse McCartney video he Hollywood was going to be there filming it and doing all this stuff. And I just remember I was just like, Oh my gosh, like this is crazy. And we I was the first time we ever did any sort of like beforehand, we had to audition girls and like, do all this stuff. And but it happened because a year prior, I had done this low level r&b video for this producer, who just needed someone who could kind of do it all shoot, direct edit, and that was like me and I did it for the low I flew out to Washington DC shot the video. But he was the one heading up this a year later heading up this Jesse McCartney product or project. And he was just like, I got a guy. And he literally brought me on, you know what I mean? So it’s just like, and that was like, right? When I moved to LA, it was the first time I’d ever worked with a budget over like, you know, 510 1000. And it was like, it was just such a cool opportunity. But that wouldn’t have come had I not been willing to go above and beyond that year before with that other guys. So I feel like I just kind of always look towards, I guess a little bit of the bigger picture. You know what I mean? And just seeing how I can make those opportunities work for me in other ways. You know what I mean? So yeah, that’s probably my, my key.
All right, cool. So what I hear is, and you you even introduce yourself this way, director, an entrepreneur, so what I’m hearing is that you’re you’re leveraging your skill as an as an artist, that’s, that’s, you know, expressing that creative aspect of your personality allows you to be the artist, but you see that without strategy, there’s no there’s, you can’t do that, right? Because if there’s no cash in the bank, you’re off doing some other job, right burgers, or, you know, whatever. So seeing opportunities, but without it being a kind of cheesy fucking salesy kind of thing, right. It’s, it’s you, if you’re doing putting good out in the world, and you get paid for it, then that’s, that’s great. So I think what I what I see with you is is like a sense of purpose and service as well. Is that something that you kind of bring into your entrepreneurial aspect of what you do? Yeah,
I mean, I share I’ve always been one like to share everything like the Akash 2000. Right. When I started growing my channel on YouTube, people were asking me so many questions like, how do you shoot your videos, what settings and most people keep their cars to the chest, they don’t want to tell their secrets, how they do things, because they’re scared of someone coming along, taking their clients or jobs. And I’ve just even at that age, I wrote a book it was or a manual, I should call it jlp, superduper, manual volume. And then I did a Volume Two, because people were asking me all these questions. And my mom brought it up, she’s like, you should put it in like a book guide for people. And so I made like a digital PDF of how I shot my videos, my favorite way to shoot the videos, like how to get the best settings out of your TTI. And so just from day one, I’ve, I’ve always liked doing that. And I, I you know, I have a couple different, like so many different tutorials for free on YouTube, I have some more longer in depth, like two hour ones on my, that you pay for on my store. And just, I’ve always been one to share kind of anything and everything. And that’s what me and Tom are working on with my course too. It’s just our course or cinematography courses is trying to like, bring that online, basically a film school to people online, because like, he paid a lot of money to go to a very specialty film school, you know what I mean? But he learned most of what he did from just going out there and doing it, you know? And same thing, same thing for me. So, people have that question when people go like, should I go to film school on it? To me, it just depends on your situation, if you have the money for it, like go ahead, but you don’t, you don’t need film school, especially in today’s era, you can learn you can get a film school online, you know what I mean? Like all these courses and classes and master classes that people put out and free free content on YouTube, you can learn anything you want to learn. So I would say it’s more for a traditional way of learning, but also like connections meeting people, you know, like, I know, Tom, the school he went to he still works with and is connected to a lot of those people that were in his class, and they all kind of bring each other on different jobs and things. So I think I think it’s good for that. But yeah, I’ve just always been wanting to share kind of what I do and even putting that into the properties that I’ve created. Like I make them as affordable as possible because I know just like like we’ve literally At this place, we’ve had five student films over the last two months. And I always hook them up super, because I know they they’re film students, they don’t have the budget. And so, whereas some places might not bend on their rate at all, like if there are films, you know, film students always like, yeah, I can work with you. Like, I just know, I know how it is. I know how it was. And I want to create those opportunities for young filmmakers to be able to shoot cool stuff and cool places. So I don’t know, just something I’ve always done. So
cool. All right. Yeah. And you mentioned the place that you’re sitting in now, which is is one of your studios, and you’ve had it for a while. Yeah. Tell us about you. You’ll your latest venture because I came across that on on Facebook. We’re friends on Facebook. So I came across that when you you posted the other day, and I was like, is like, Dude, this guy is fucking killing it. So tell us about that. That’s it’s amazing, man. Yeah, I
so I always wanted my own like film studio on location. And that’s kind of how this one happened. But I always talked about it with my buddy Tom again, like, yo, it’d be sick to have like, like desert land and have like an abandoned cabin, and like, just cool, like places to shoot in the desert. Because I just even know being in LA for the last six years, like how many desert music videos I’ve shot and like, and whatnot. And so not only to have like, a cool place for myself for my own films, projects, music, videos, whatever. But also to just create a cool spot for other people to come shoot as well. And so yeah, I found it so randomly, like it happened all within a week. I literally like the day I was like, you know, I’m gonna look for a spot. I went on Zillow and was just kind of searching in the area. There’s a couple places out here in LA, that are like kind of it’s out in El Mirage is the area and there’s two different film studios, one called for aces and one called club AED. And, but they’re like, five grand a day, need all these permits all this stuff. So I was like, I’m gonna do that same thing. But like, not like that, you know what I mean? And, and I just randomly was searching in that area. And I found this piece of land that was 40 acres. It already had some buildings on it, like a cabin, and kind of this weird geometric dome and like a shed that’s like, Oh, this is it, like 40 acres off. Yeah, no, I built that. That was all. Yeah. So cuz I’d always like Watch, watch last growing up. And so I was always like, yo, like a plane crash, I want to film a movie scene with a plane crash one day. So when I got this place, and there’s obviously like, 40 acres, I was, like, I’m gonna do a plane crash. So I found just, I literally bought all those individual pieces and had them shipped here and had them drop it where I wanted them to, you know, drop it and place it and, and then building out an abandoned gas station and got some other pieces and down the road. You know, I don’t know if I’ll need investors for this part or anything, but I would be really cool to one day have like, a Western town somewhere out there, you know what I mean? Or, you know, at least some sort of like, you know, Sheriff’s Office church jail. So I know, some just kind of sets but that’s like, big picture vision is like literally turn it into a full on. Just backlog, if you will, right. Now, there’s a bunch of pieces, like I said, the gas station, like a dungeon, a dome, a cabin, the airplane crash, lots of desert roads and mountains and stuff, but I would love to like rip, like, take it there. And do you know, even more, you know, so just have infrastructure for productions, like catering, office buildings, high speed internet doesn’t have all that stuff as well. It’s got this is so that’s the other thing we want to figure out. Like, what’s the best way to do that? Whether it’s like, you know, there’s an RV that sits on the property that has access to Wi Fi that productions can use and whatnot but yeah, right I mean, I just got the place I’m starting to I’m doing it all myself. You know, like I’m the one out there putting putting in all the work I don’t have like a team with me helping me do it or like investors are a lot of extra money behind me It’s literally just me like when I get time it’s like Alright, this this weekend I’m going to work on the the gas station portion, you know what I mean? And so but that would definitely be the goal. It’s just like I think long term would be turned it into a place where like a studio film could come through we actually have an inquiry right now for like an independent feature they want like a desolate they’re doing kind of like a horror drama. And they want like a isolated cabin in the mountains in the desert. And so they’re, they’ve scouted it like two or three times now and so it’s just in so yeah, it’s it’s cool to see that already. You know what I mean? And but I would love to shoot my own future there as well. That’s like when I saw the property on Zillow that was what my head went through. I was like right away I was like a feature could be shot here like whether it’s gonna be me or someone else like and so that was kind of you know, the yeah reason I bought the property was just for kind of all those reasons and it’s just a fills that other create, like I’ve always been like, when I was a kid, I made my own board games. I’m wrote my own magazine, I made my own little movies, I was just always doing some creative. So I think it feels that other like, creative side that is always wanting to be creatively busy and do things, you know what I mean? Like, I don’t want to just direct videos for the rest of my life, I want to do all these other creative outlets and things. And so
business can be creative, if you’re, if you’re good at it. And and there’s absolutely there’s an aspect of entrepreneurial ism, that does express that same kind of coming up with an idea, executing on my idea and then sharing it with others, you know, in a way that can be self sustaining. An artist doesn’t have that last component, but entrepreneurial ism, absolutely does. So, being a creative entrepreneur entrepreneur is, you know, it’s like the ducks guts as Australia translates well, not
just fun to see how other creatives in your field, use your space that you created to make their own stuff. Like it’s such a cool feeling like, I don’t, you know, I don’t know, it’s a win, like, I’d see the productions come in, and so excited on this space, or the eclectic and then how they choose to like, shoot it and live it and then seeing the final product. like Yo, that’s so cool. It’s fun. It’s fun to me, you know what I mean? Like I enjoy seeing all that stuff happen and creating a space for others to create.
Yeah, cool. Yeah, I love the idea, man. I think the ranch it looks cool. I can see it. Absolutely. You like killing it? It’ll be it’ll be really cool. Let’s move on to the third question. And that is what do you do to sustain your career? Man, that’s obviously all of these takes money, right? Like you can’t buy, you can’t buy a 4040 acre, right is the reiches acres 40 acres anywhere in the world, but let alone in California. And Australian property is apparently more expensive, so kinda not yet. I kind of know what ballpark what that would cost. I won’t ask you, you don’t have to, you don’t have to tell us. So I mean, none of that comes, none of that’s coming for free. So how are you sustaining and all of this.
So my biggest thing that I always try and tell people is get as many different like just revenue streams as possible, as many different lines into the water as you can, because you never know when one thing is going to dry up and stop. And then so you have this other thing going for you. But also it just it creates also a lot more opportunities for you to bring in money and one do what you want to do when you want to do it. And then allow yourself to do things like this, like go buy a movie ranch and turn in some because like, there will be days where, for example, we have a shoot here, a shoot at eclectic, and then I’m off working a job. That’s I’m making money three ways in one day. And that’s without my prism lens effects company, my tropic color company, which is all doing sales on the same day too. So now in the matter of one day, I’m making money five different ways. Oh, then we have YouTube, then we have you know what I mean? Like So? Are they all under one? LLC? Or? Under? Yeah, no, no, no, no, no, sorry. No. The Jacob owns like the film stuff the locations is but like tropic color and prizm lens effects. They’re their own their own thing. But, but that’s the thing is creating as many like revenue streams and opportunities and different avenues for yourself as possible. Because then you can also be like, I don’t want to do that job this week to pay the bills. Like, I’m going to work on this over here. Because you don’t have to do that because you have this stuff coming in. And so it’s just trying to don’t get stuck doing one thing only, especially because when that one thing only slows down or stops, then what do you do? So it’s just trying to think actively and creatively, whether it’s investments, or just like, what else you could kind of get into on the side, if you want to start doing YouTube on the side, or if you want to start creating online courses, like there’s so many different websites to like, share your knowledge and make money doing it. Like, there’s, there’s so many different ways to make money in today’s era. And it’s just all about thinking creatively. And like, what you know, I don’t know, it’s just, that’s the biggest thing I could say is, is creating as many avenues as possible for yourself and not being narrowed in on one thing, like, all I’m going to do is dp, that’s it. Nothing else, you know?
Yeah, so I used to teach you can the amount of time that you give each because obviously, there needs to be a balance between that because you’re using the prize as many as possible, and rise to be a diminishing return on on time investment, etc. So I agree with you being able to find residual income, whether it’s through commercial retainer clients, whether it’s however you do it, having residual income, Mike’s being an artist and a creative much, much simpler, but you still have to be able to focus, right? So how are you going about I’m absolutely can see how the location Off the studios is something that could just sit over here and you get inquiries, you put a little team around that. And the first thing,
the first thing with those is like, it’s just the work to get it there and decorate it. Then after that, it’s just kind of like, either you manage it when you have a shoot, or I have a couple people on roster where it’s like, hey, there’s a shoot here today, do you want to cite rabbit but like I can be working on, whether it’s my companies or edits all day long, while there’s a shoot going down here, you know what I mean? Or out there, vice versa. So those couple of things aren’t too hard. And then it’s just like, when you find time, like today, like we kind of had some time and we went to the flea market and started buying like a bunch of old Western props and stuff. And I’ll go throw that in the cabin and outside a little bit. And it’s just like, you know, I’m not because it’s not the only thing I’m doing, I can’t put 100% into it right now. But it’s just like, slowly but surely a little bit here a little bit there. And I just kind of, you know, work on a little bit of everything each day, like today, I kind of prepped for some music, video stuff, I have coming up short films, I worked on a promo video for chocolate color, I edited a YouTube video, I just kind of work. And it doesn’t have to be a lot every day, it could just be one one thing, you know what I mean? And so I, I do well with that. And I’m pretty I’m a pretty fit and energetic guy too. So it’s an eye once I’m fast. So once I get zeroed in on something, I’m focused, I’m not one of those people, like work for 20 minutes, go take a break, like, whatever, I’m pretty much zero in and go in. And I’m fast. I’m a fast editor. I’m a fast kind of everything. So I think it also allows me to get a lot done that maybe most people you know,
certainly you certainly don’t a lot now. So. Yeah. So I think what what I’m hearing from that is that, think about what it is that you’re doing try and diversify, create some kind of passive and nanorods passive, but certainly residual income. And at the same time, make certain that, that you’re, you’re still you’re still kind of getting your hands dirty. Right? You’re still expressing yourself as a director and editor allow you to mine your two main kind of freelance type roles. Yeah, yeah, my,
my two main freelance roles would definitely be directing. And directing, I don’t dp as much, just because it’s not like what I fully enjoyed doing, I do enjoy it. But not like directing and editing. Like I always edit my own projects I direct. No matter if it’s film, music, video, commercial, I love editing. And I think as a director when you know exactly how to quickly, like when I’m directing, I’m already kind of editing in my head, I know what needs to go where and it’s just, I don’t know, just makes it easy and seamless and fast. If you know how to edit, and you just kind of yet work out both those. Those are my two that love directing and editing. Those are my two best like, freelance things like that I that I enjoy doing?
Yeah, me too. I think being able to edit. If you’re a director, you got to you got to be able to edit because just in terms of blocking, right, you don’t even have just look, we just needed reverse here. And you think from an editorial perspective,
right. Now I have people yeah, there’ll be like, like, they’ll shoot all this stuff, not knowing like how it’s going to be placed in the Edit. But maybe because they don’t they’re not good at editing or they’re not sure they’re on. You know, maybe they’re a little worried that they’re so they just shoot all this stuff, or, yeah, I’m very much an editor and direct and I edit my point like, Oh, yeah, we don’t we don’t need all that because I’m just gonna cut from here to here and then we’re good. You know what I mean? So yeah, yeah, cool. Well, man, what are you doing today for y’all tomorrow? Should everything like I’m always always doing something today for tomorrow. So
you don’t have to? You don’t have to answer that literally, it could be. Well, let me ask you this. So you’re a you’re a buff nerd. So you’re still playing sport.
Now, man, I not really anymore. It’s just like, I think it goes back to one just being super busy with all this stuff. And I’m at the point now where it’s like, I’d rather focus on all this and be off playing sports somewhere doing doing that. So this is my new sport.
Okay, cool. You do you? You said you were at the flea market. So you You must have gone out with your with your girl or Yeah. And so you’re doing stuff outside of business, entrepreneurial ism. Being a director editor that somehow sustains you know, that those two questions are kind of related. This one’s familiar. I do a lot of meditation. So that absolutely, if I meditate today, both today and tomorrow will be better as a result of doing that. Is there is there something that you do that that’s kind of like that, for me, I
guess working out, you know what I mean? Like it’s and I can attribute kind of my fitness lifestyle to one not only the brand which is like helps me and continues to help me but also my work as a filmmaker and a dp, like I’m able to get shots or do things that maybe other people wouldn’t be able to. And it also like, I think helps me, give me the energy that I have to work throughout each day and focus the way I need to focus because I how I was worked out growing up and in sports, and he was still now like the focus, you need to have an attention and drive to like, get better. I think it plays right into anyone’s career and job and performance. And so I would say yeah, that definitely helps and helps me for tomorrow. You know what I mean? So cool.
So staying fit healthy, both physically and mentally? Absolutely. Yes. Cool. Cool. Cool. Oh, man. Um, tell us something that you’ve you’ve read watched or heard that inspired you recently?
Oh, man, read watch or heard inspired me recently? Um, I think, for me, it’s just like any. Man, I don’t know, maybe just any honestly, the times I get inspired is like, when I go see a movie. Like if I go see a movie, I kind of get in that zone. Like, like, I don’t know, it’s just any movie is is inspiring to me to be like, dang. Like, all these people came together, they work that hard. They made that I’m sitting here watching it all these people are in here watching it with me. Like, that’s amazing. Like, I need to be working towards that more like are you know, I don’t know. Like, that’s, that’s the times I feel like I get most inspired. I’m trying to think what movie I just saw recently. But I don’t know if that’s like that really pertains to like, recently, but for me, anytime I go see like a movie. That’s, that’s something that like, pushes me or inspires me. Otherwise, I don’t. I don’t really stay like I’m not. It’s tough. Because I don’t I don’t really read. I don’t really get on social media. Like I’m on social media. But I don’t really like follow anyone or I don’t scroll like I keep it. Like I followed 28 people. It’s my brother, sister, Mom, good friend, you know what I mean? Like, I don’t really dive into it, because I’m already so busy it is. And I I found myself early on as a filmmaker, like, maybe seeing other people’s stuff. And I would almost copy or adapt it too much. And I felt like sometimes I wasn’t doing my own thing, but just like, seeing what other someone else is doing. Like, oh, yeah, I’m gonna do that too, like, and so I, over the last two years kind of made a conscious effort to like, not really be on social media and that sense outside of me promoting and posting my own stuff. And, but so the kind of time that I am on there might be just scrolling. Maybe I’m on Facebook, and I come across something because I’ll be on Facebook just to keep up with friends and family what everyone’s doing. But yeah, honestly, there’s not. I’m not like ever reading or seeing too much that like and I try not to even go watch music videos on YouTube. Like, just because that’s like, maybe if I’m stuck in a creative rut, I will or something. But like, I try not to because I just feel like, I mean, I see with my own stuff. I see people copying me or like, you know, doing what I’m doing and then being like, Oh, yeah, that’s, you inspired it. It’s like, No, you you copied it, you know, I mean, it’s just I think it’s just how, how it works. It’s just it’s it’s hard not to see someone else’s stuff. And, like, you know, copy it, you know, even if you try and make it your own, but essentially it’s still coming from that place of you know, them so yeah, it’s it’s a hard fine line to you know, to walk a hard line to walk as well as a creative. Okay,
so is a I know, on your your Facebook page. You you I think he shared it. Somehow I came across a bit via you was Tyler Perry’s studio. Yeah, I don’t even know that he did it. So yeah, I
did it. So I just found out literally, um, well, it’s funny. I didn’t, I would I had already done this place. I’d always wanted to do my own studio even jacket. I’m not saying you copied man. I’m saying like, you like I always wanted to do that. And then I did this place. And then I did eclectic. And I found out probably like two weeks ago about a studio when they have some video on Will Smith like YouTube, I saw someone post it about like, you know, when they’re like, I don’t know, throwing the like, grand opening or crowning, I don’t know what they call it. And then I came across, I was like staying close, just to see what he was up to. And I saw that open door video. And like, it’s absolutely like, what I would look like, like if that was like an end goal and I’ll be I’ll go like that’s it like and that that was inspiring to me and being like okay, I’m kind of on that path right now in a way with this. But like, yeah, that was definitely very inspiring for me. And I don’t share too much like of other people’s stuff or things on Facebook. And that was something I just was like, yo, like as, as just a creative an entrepreneur, a filmmaker, whatever, like, this is, this is amazing, this is tight. And I kind of like what he talks about, just like wanting to kind of the same thing. I said, build a space, a creative space for just all these people, um, you know, and filmmakers, and really the African American community as well and just build a place for them. And all those cool, very inspiring, so yeah, I guess that could be the thing that
definitely I got a gavia answer because you haven’t trouble. And you’re kind of, you’re kind of clutching at straws trying to come up with some, but I can see, I mean, that that to me, when I when I read the way that you shared it. A little comment, you’re clearly clearly inspired by him. Absolutely. Was it his vision that inspired you? Or was it when it’s probably a little bit of the vision and also just the the potential that it can that it can bring? both from a financial perspective, but also from a creative perspective? What, specifically what was it that inspired you directly?
I think, because I heard and I don’t know if it’s totally factual that he owns that 100% himself. So if that’s the case, like that, to me, that was one of the most inspiring things he didn’t get all these like, people to like, help him do it and is dependent like this is only happened because he’s got all these investors and backers and people behind him, like he just went out on a limb and is like, Yo, I’m gonna I don’t really vibe with Hollywood, they kind of shut me out. Like, I’m a few Hollywood I’m gonna build my own place. Like I’m gonna build my own Hollywood and so that I think that’s what it was just like, in the scale of it. And just like also some of the meaning behind it with what he was saying. Like all the sound stages are dedicated to people who inspired him commit like, it’s just just as a whole thing as super cool and inspiring
spark in a building because in the little bit of the video that he was never mentioned, it was like, he was there.
I know. He was at the opening or whatever I saw on like, Will Smith’s little vlog because I went and watched that. And I saw he was there, but I don’t know if he got a building. I don’t know.
No, I think he did. I think he did. He didn’t get to do at all. Because he’s an inspiration to me. I remember. Tyler Perry. Yeah, I’m positive. Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Cool. Cool. Um, Spike to me was is an inspiration. And I’m not you know, clearly I’m not wack and, and, but as a filmmaker just as a creative. I remember I first saw his I think the first movie I saw was when I was in art school was mobile blues. And then I went back and watched everything he did. And I was like, this this guy is incredible. And in terms of a story storyteller, the the walking dolly shot when he does the walking dog. That was the first time I saw that was like, Whoa, okay. That is cool. Like, first time I’d seen that was on a Inside Man with Denzel Washington. I don’t know if that movie. Yeah. Yeah, I know what you’re talking about. What that movie? Did he good? And what the first one I saw it in? I think it was. She’s got to have it. I think it was that one. That was the first time I saw it. But it’s, I mean, it’s almost in every movie does. It was probably it was probably in fact, if I saw my bed blues, it was. It’s I’m fairly certain it’s in that. Um, gotcha. That’s cool. Cuz he’s got he’s, oh, no, I’m getting mixed up now. Which ones which, but anyway, they’re all good. The Yeah, I was in high school when I saw my bed blues. And that, like, literally blew me away. The story was sad and beautiful, and just really human. And I loved jazz music. Back in the day, I applied jazz music. And so I was watching a world that I kind of knew something about, and at the same time, showing me that will but in a very, very different way. And I fell in love with filmmaking way before then. But at that point, it was like, this is this is there’s something quite special about this art form that that no other art can bring. Right? You know, the music. Sound philosophy, visual, like it’s all there. It’s it’s kind of, yeah, it’s the best puppets right? Yeah. Cool, man. Um, any final words? Um,
I would just say anyone listening is just, you know, always trying to work on something every day. You know, take take that one step. And, you know, I always say constant creation keeps me sane. I mean, that’s, that’s what works for me and is I think one makes me happy but also has led to, you know, all of the, you know, things that I’m doing, it’s just kind of, you know, not sitting and waiting for something to come to me but just going out, you know, create instead of wait. So I guess that would be my final my final words create instead of wait. Beautiful. Thanks, man. Cheers. All right, thank you, brother.
Have you enjoyed today’s episode and here’s what I want you to do next, I want you to take one thing that you got from today’s show, and to put it into practice in your career in business, because it’s only through having the right systems in place, that you’ll be able to take your career and business from where you are today to where you want to be. So again, I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. So until next time, I’m Clarke Scott from next level filmmaker. Have a great day.
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