In this episode of the podcast Clarke talks with Oliver Christiansen from CineFade about his invention and filmmaking more generally.
You can find Ollie and Cinefade here
Life is not a process of discovery. It’s a process of creation. So you’re not discovering kind of what what’s happening to you, you’re creating the life that you want, so you’re creating the career that you want.
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, being 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 clock 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.
So Mr. Christiansen, do you want to kick into this? Absolutely. But please feel free to call me Ali or Oliver. During the day,
I will definitely be calling you always not Mr. Christian Christian Christiansen. But first question I asked this to everyone is how did you get your start?
How did I get my start in the film industry? Well, I always thought I was thought that I would make my own start. So I was very much in the hole, work your way through the ranks start as a runner start as a camera assistant, I did that. I had a lot of fun. I learned a lot I I studied film at university, as well, I went to the Philippines for a year to work at a film production company I I learned kind of the craft of what what it means to be on set and all the rules, so to speak, and then came back to London to kind of work my way through the ranks, but very quickly realized that that’s what everybody else is doing. And also realized that it’s you know, it’s hard work. And it’s not well paid. And obviously it’s doable, but I just kind of took a step back and thought, Well, how can I? How can I circumvent this whole? Yeah, this whole this, this whole procedure that everybody seems to go through. And I had this idea which I which I wrote my dissertation about a university, which was you know, a variable depth of fields, which is the the kind of the basis for what synovate has become now. And I just thought that that’s probably something that can make me stand out much more than just, you know, just being another camera assistant, or just being another director of photography, which obviously, there’s nothing wrong with doing that. But I thought that was just kind of a quicker way to success. Whatever that means. So I guess my, my, you know, I don’t think I’ve, I’ve gotten a break, I think I’ve kind of made my own made my own luck or made my own success happened by starting
a company like that. Okay, so the so you’re a film school grad? I am Yes. Yeah. Okay. And, and, and your dissertation. So you did a thesis film, but you also did, like you wrote a dissertation and specifically about variable feel different field?
Is that correct? Yes, yes. So this was in 2014 that I graduated. Okay, so it was more of a technical course, which is exactly what I would love to do. I learned about cinematography, but kind of more the technical side of things. And obviously, I did make my own film, but it was all based on research about how can you make a variable depth of field work? And back then, you know, it was very rudimentary equipment that I was using and you know, just literally proof of concept type stuff just to see would it work? What does it take to make it work? And that was Yeah, that’s what my dissertation was based on.
Okay. And so you’re you clearly have a love of engineering that’s um, I’m hearing that and feeling that what made you go into into like if you’re into engineering what and and kind of the the mathematics the details of it, and there’s an aspect of cinematography that’s definitely you know, lighting ratios as an example. But often it’s also your coupling that with us, so, like, take us back to early Ollie. Where did it even before film school, like how did that all happen? You’re obviously Indian and part German, Danish, so what was it like your old man was in Indian film industry and mom was an engineer or what?
Well, actually not at all. No, I, I’m kind of the black sheep of the family I went against. My dad works in the finance industry. And actually, my uncle was a photographer. And he very early on, you know, he took me to a darkroom, he taught me how to develop film with that kind of stuff. I guess that’s kind of the first experience that I’ve had, on that side of the kind of technical side of the filmmaking and the creative side of photography and, and film, and also very early on, I just happened to be cast in a film by by university students who came to my school because as I said, I’m German, I went to German school in London, they were just looking for German kids. But that experience, I remember very vividly just being so amazed by the cameras, by the by the caravans, well, the people by everything that was going on, that was just kind of my first contact with the film industry. So I think I always had this idea that it was cool to be part of that whole project to be part of that whole team. And then going on, I actually, I wouldn’t say, I wouldn’t say don’t have a love of the engineering side. But I came more from the creative aspect. Actually, I’m not an engineer at all. What what my speciality kind of was was to, to find this very creative tool for cinematographers, which, for some reason, has almost never been used in film before. And I just to this day, I just can’t believe that nobody’s ever used this because it is so simple in terms of cinematography, and so effective in terms of storytelling and creativity. And then what I did is just I brought people together, and I brought different aspects together to make it work having the knowledge of a new venue where the camera assistant once or needs onset, I have a very general knowledge of business and marketing, and just kind of expanded upon that and just got the right people together to make something happen. Okay, and what was that? What was the genesis of the idea? I, so many people have asked me this. And I don’t know what inspired me to do this, I know exactly where I was, when I had the idea. I was sitting on a beach in the Philippines towards the end of my kind of year where I lived there, knowing that I had to go back to university and write a dissertation. And I was just, you know, had various ideas, I wrote them all down on my, on my iPod Touch. And I had no internet connection, I remember that very, very vividly. Because when I had this idea, it just seemed so cool and so simple that I wanted right there and then just start researching it. But it couldn’t, just because I was completely disconnected in the end of the, you know, in the middle of nowhere. And then, when I was back in civilization, I just kind of started researching about this one idea and never really never really stopped. So the Genesis can happen there. And it was born out of necessity also, because I knew I had to write a dissertation and I wanted to do something research based. I wanted to do something where I’m relying on myself, because the University where I was out, I didn’t I took a year out, most of my friends had already graduated, when I came back, I didn’t really want to rely on people that I don’t know, which you know, is probably not the best thing as a filmmaker, because it’s such a team exercise. But still, like at that point in time, I just wanted to do something where I was extremely motivated to do it. And I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get anybody as motivated as me to kind of pursue the same because this was my idea. This was my thing. So it was born out of necessity that, that I wanted to do something like research based like that. And once I started and kind of got the bug I just never stopped.
Okay. And so what happened next once you once you writing the the dissertation I was a complete the last year yeah, yeah. And the PhD dissertation in philosophy. So I know, I know how much hard work that is. And it was research based. So yeah, I’d love to, I’d love to hear that story.
It was, I mean, I loved working on this every single day. Because I had the motivation, it was really a time in my life where I did nothing else but kind of eat, go to the library and then go to the gym, come back in the evening and just kind of go to bed. And you know, that was my life for a few months. Because whilst I was at the library, I was just so interested in just finding out different things and finding just just just doing all the research and then also going into the practical side of things. So getting all the equipment together. Doing a test shoot, finding out that it worked, and then kind of improving upon that and taking it to the next level. Still very rudimentary, but still kind of seeing the progress. And every step that I took was in a way of success. And that kept me going. And then also kind of the people that I was talking to back then, you know, were were interested in what I was doing. And they were, they were they were motivating me in that way as well. So I knew I was kind of on the right track. And that kept me going.
So when you say talk to people, you mean, professors at the University on? Yeah,
at that point, it was only Yeah, at that point. It was mostly tutors and other students that were there some kind of connections that I made in the in the industry as well. But really, I mean, when I, when I really realized that I had something interesting, because after my dissertation was finished, I had a period of time where I just had no idea what I really wanted to do and finish this research project. But how do I take it to the next step? I mean, first of all, I had to decide that I wanted to take it to the next step. But actually, the first thing that I did was just to go traveling after, after graduating from university and was during a trip to Budapest, actually, that I met a random guy in the middle of the night, who turned out to be a multimillionaire who had an incredible life story, who basically told me since I know and it is, it is kind of creepy, because imagine me midnight in the middle of Budapest, unlike this lookout, nobody else but me just kind of wandering the city. And then this guy comes up and we start talking and he speaks German, he speaks English, we just kind of share life stories. He’s a super, super cool guy. And then he’s got this extremely interesting life story and what he says, when he was 21, he’s like, 60 years old now. But when he was 21, he had an idea. He worked his ass off for two years. And then he sold it to Microsoft. And at that point, in time, when he was 23 years old, he became a millionaire. And what he basically said to me is, you get one idea in life, and you get the opportunity when you’re young to make the most of that. Because when you’re young, or when I was, you know, I can remember how old I was, I was a little bit older than him, I think I was 23 or something, you kind of have the opportunity, you don’t have any commitments or not as many commitments. And I’m in a very privileged position as well, where I had supports that I could actually pursue this. And but this guy kind of inspired me to, to take the next step. And to be like, Hey, this is probably my one idea in life my one opportunity to to make something cool and, and I took it.
Okay, so what happened after that? What happened next?
I did a lot of thinking. Also, just a lot of learning about marketing basics. One on one business basics, one on one, I’m the kind of guy I like to know what I’m getting into, I like to be informed. I don’t like to just jump into something. Sorry, Mike,
do you have a product at this stage? Because I’ve just jumped from Budapest, I have nothing to to marketing. So there’s no, so you started looking at marketing, even before you had a final product.
I started looking at everything just to kind of get an basic understanding of stuff. And this is not not for a long time. You know, I read some books, did some research online kind of said, Okay, this is what this is what you know, how it works. And then I formed an idea of this is how I want to do it. This is what’s important to me, these are my principles, this is what’s important to me, this is I never wanted to take on any financing. I want to have a specific marketing kind of look and these kinds of things. But then actually, I started approaching a few companies with just a very basic pitch. And also a I did I did start applying for a patent protection as well just for because this is kind of advice that I got, you know, get IP sorted, so that we can then start talking to companies. Yeah, and I did. That’s actually one of the first things that that I did do. But before that, I remember you have to make the decision. Am I gonna? Am I going to go 100%? Or am I going to do nothing because there’s no in between? You know, with this kind of thing, you have to commit basically all of your time to it. And after this Budapest experience, I think that was when I said, Okay, fine, I’m going to go for 100% and commit myself to this idea.
You get any pushback at all from fellow filmmakers? This is just a gimmick, what are you doing, it’s a waste of time.
You know, that’s, that’s the amazing thing. I never got that kind of thing. I was always 99% positive feedback, because most people I showed this idea to they had never even thought about it. They’d never even thought about playing with depth of field in that way. The other, the other kind of half of people. They had thought about it and they hated me for, for me coming up with it. And for me actually pursuing it because they had at some point maybe written it down but they’ve never actually taken the step to pursue it any further. So it’s kind of Both and, and and again, you know, that’s definitely one of the things that always kept me going, I always always got positive feedback, and always got like a pat on the back. And you know, that feels good, especially when you’re starting out with something. And most people do not experienced this kind of positive reality now.
I’m 2828 so you’re still young. I still remember being 20 A long time ago. I’m in my 40s now, so. Alright, so 2014 you started this idea? What are we into now in like, 2015 2016? You did the pen?
Yep, that’s right. Yeah, 2015 kind of started 2016 I filed it. And then started approaching some companies. And eventually cmotion were the perfect fit, you know, they were they were they were big enough to have all the kind of the engineering side of it, the engineering expertise, the marketing expertise, they had a product and my product would have fit, you know, fits perfectly into their category. But also, they were small enough to be innovative and to, you know, to be able to just say, you know, Oliver, come here, and we’ll we’ll do this together. Which, you know, I was also approaching area and other big companies, and it’s just a little bit more difficult to, to jump through the through the corporate hoops, with with a, with a big company. So cmotion was a perfect fit. And actually, very early on, I identified them as probably the best partners and just pursued them and just kept knocking at the door. How many times did you have to knock? I didn’t, I couldn’t I couldn’t put a number to it. But it took you know, took a few months, definitely just approach them to get them to, to get them to trust me in a way and then just start a conversation then to convince them as well. Because when you talk to a company, you kind of talk the numbers, you talk the business side of things, but I remember I think it was IBC 2016. Weather had invited me to their booth and said, Let’s, you know, let’s, let’s show your your prototype at this point, I had created a prototype. And I remember that there were people that were coming to their booth specifically to see me because they’d heard about it. So that had a huge impact. And that’s when we started kind of, Okay,
so there’s there’s your marketing 100%. Yep, middle of funnel social proof, then then the guys that write the check, go, yep, this is working.
Yeah. Because these are their customers. You know, once once customers say, Hey, I heard about this thing. Can I see it? And you know, once once you’ve got people coming, you know, in that way, that’s, that’s what, that’s what’s interesting.
Yeah. Okay. So do you remember who your first customer was? Who was the first person to buy it? And don’t say don’t say your mom or your partner or your cousin?
Well, no, no, it’s certainly not it’s not that kind of a product. But we’ve only been selling since the beginning of this year. 2019. I have been for the for the last few years, I’ve been renting only. Because we’ve only had three kind of prototype systems. And I know exactly, I mean, so the first person who actually used it on onset was a dp called Gavin Finney. He used it on a TV production here. But and that was great. But I remember very vividly getting a call from the line producer, who was doing who was shooting the computer with Liam Neeson. And I remember getting that call and that was the first kind of big Hollywood production that that contacted me and with a very well known to people camera. And I remember him him saying, Hey, we want to use your product and I and I said okay, sure. When he asked me how much it cost and just I just had to take kind of a figure out of the blue and say this is this is the price and immediately got accepted. And he said, you know, we wanted for five days. And that was financially great. And just in terms of being accepted by a Hollywood production that was the best feeling in the world. There was the best feeling in the world it was it was because you’ve you’ve worked so hard for everything and I had no idea how they found out about it, whether it was through my marketing or through word of mouth, I think it was word of mouth but it worked. Whatever I did worked and and yeah, I remember that feeling very, very well. What did you do when you got off the phone? Did you lie? I did not know I I just wrote actually I remember I wrote down and did an audio recording of, of just kind of that moment. saying, Hey, this is my first success. Actually, I, this is I want to remember this, because this is where you go through so many hard times, man, you go through so many low points. And it’s important to earn the good time. So I just kind of made the most of that moments. Yeah, good. And that started working. And then oh my god, I mean, I was freaking out, I had a prototype, which was not perfect at all. And I remember being on set actually, on the day that we shot the scene and the, the the system just kind of failed literally two minutes before the shot was about to happen. And I had to I had to just very quickly figure out what the problem was fix it without anybody realizing which I managed, but I was, I wasn’t a nervous wreck. But I was like, I was I was I was sweating. And I was just trying to get this thing to work. I’m very calm under pressure. I but I just remember inside having this turmoil saying please, please, please work right now. Because it was it was just you know, such a typical thing. Two minutes before the shorts. Something happens and you have to figure it out. But yeah, everything went fine. Nobody noticed. And, and the shorter the show really good. Yeah. And it’s a it’s a really good one.
It’s still one of my favorite ones. Is that the close up of Liam Nilsen that’s on your website? Is that that shot? It is? It’s the one who was getting fired? Yep. Yeah, that’s right. Yep. So I’ll actually I’ll link to to that in the show notes so that people will get can can have a look. All right. So that was what was that? That was 2017. Right. I think that sounds about right. Yeah. Okay, so what happened? What happened between and so the the companies on board, you’ve made the prototype, it’s being rented out? big Hollywood dp comes along, rented out? What, like, what next? What do you what do you take it from here?
La La was the next step. So the DP paul cameron introduced me to cash flow camera, in LA, I flew out there shooting the product, they were very excited and sent them on, basically made another prototype sent them one and, and established the market in LA, because that’s where the film industry is kind of still based. And I thought that that was a good place to be and definitely, definitely a good decision.
Okay. So you mean that like, financially, it’s a good decision.
Not necessarily, but in terms of, in terms of getting the exposure, because what Kessler does is they they have they, you know, they, they have all the DPS and they would invite them, and we will do this demo day, and we would show these to ACS to DPS, they would get excited about it, they would tell their friends, word of mouth is huge. And then we would do, I would go to cinna gear as well, kind of exhibited there, and just start the ball rolling of getting us base DPS to, to to use this. And a big part of it was as well was to get feedback, you know, to see what do I need to improve because at this stage, I’m still developing the actual product, which we’re selling. Now, the prototype is working, but it’s kind of hanging on by a thread. And my goal is just to as quickly as possible, get the final product out there. So we can start properly marketing it and properly getting people to use it.
Okay, so the the GPS, were basically beta testers and providing feedback that you then incorporated into the design. Are you so the the version you’re selling now is version one, it’s gone to obviously, it’s gone through beta testing. It’s gone through many years of iteration. This is this is version one for mass consumption.
That’s right. Yeah, it’s version one. Yeah. And the other thing that I forgot to mention, obviously, film productions take, you know, a year two years until the actual footage is released. So getting that getting the those people to use it, those DPC use it, and then two years later down the line to actually have the footage that I can then show that is the important part because it just takes a long time for this footage, and then to get the rights to use the footage. It just takes a long time to get that all done. So this work early on, was very important for the stage I am now or the stage I was in in January of this year when we released the product to actually show and to actually say, hey, these guys have used it. And this is the film that’s in the cinemas right now that they use it on. So that’s very important as well.
Yeah, it’s it’s definitely when I when I first came across it, even if I’m completely honest, that’s why I asked the question. How did you hear about it? How did you how did you find out about it? I don’t really know exactly, exactly. may well have been in 2016. So it was, I don’t know, whether it was cinna gear or it was definitely a conference. So I don’t recall, but I do recall having this feeling. So I’m being just completely honest, this is the reason why I asked where there was any pushback. Because the when I first saw it, I thought, what a gimmick. That’s, that was my, that was my initial feeling. Subsequent to that, of going back and had another look. And then it was like, Ah, okay, now, now I see. So, you know, it’s our industry comes up, there’s, there’s a lot of stuff that that the common God, let’s put it that way. So I was probably sending you that. That would that would have been to 2016. You were at syndigate. The first time? 2017? I think it was 2017. I’m fairly certain that was but anyway, so it was probably then I don’t I don’t recall. Exactly. Um, yeah. So. And then I brought you on to the to the podcast. Because I saw your I saw someone’s work that was using you mentioned you, so it was on the internet. So you know, marketing, basically, some piece of marketing, whether whether it was you or whether it was just coincidence, I can’t really tell you. It’s taken on a life of its own, you know? Yeah, well, as soon as you get momentum, that’s what will happen. So where were you in that? Now in terms of the product.
Now we’ve been we’ve been we’ve been selling for, since since January, we’re in when many markets, many different countries, Australia and New Zealand included, China and everywhere, really, and just trying to see how people are using it. So for me right now, I just want to see how people are using it, I want to make sure that I kind of stay in touch with the productions that are using it, make sure that everything works. Well, we’ve we’ve done a couple of updates, we’ve improved a few things. And I just want to want to want to see how people are using because this is the interesting part that this is not when it’s out in the world. And when people start experimenting with it. I mean, you know, this is still a novel kind of storytelling tool. And there is no right way. There’s no wrong way of using this. And it’ll just be interesting to see how people are using it and how people are going to come up with ideas that I haven’t thought about or nobody else nobody else has thought about. to incorporate it into storytelling and and Yeah, that’ll be that’ll be interesting to see. And the other thing as well is, which I which which is kind of a happy coincidence is that people are not using it, not necessarily for the creative center fade effect the depth of field effect, but just as a variable ND filter as a practical tool to use on set if you’re say if you’re on a Steadicam. And you’re doing an interior to exterior shots, with you know, big change and light levels, but you don’t want to write the IRS, you don’t want to change the depth of field, you you actually using the variable ND filter to change to adjust the exposure as you’re going from inside to outside or vice versa. So practical applications are now coming to the forefront using it as a rotating polarizer. If you’re on a Russian arm, and you’re shooting cars, for example, in the winter, we do want to control reflections. So all these practical uses are now coming up as well. And that’s something that I want to focus on. Because that really helps DPS as well as a C’s on set to to improve the workflow and just to get nicer images as well.
I was gonna say improve the work I remember doing inside outside years ago, and the way that we got around that was using auto ISO. I mean, absolutely horrible idea. It kind of kind of worked. But it was as ugly as fuck, but like I can feel I’m being honest, that was but that’s the only way we could shoot it. So if we have had your thing, then it would have just would have you know, it was a hospital shot inside outside. So walking from Ed reception, they’d like the emergency department outside and and like a walk and talk and just being able to kind of nd through the three as the doors are sliding. So that it was slick, seamless, but it didn’t work that way. It was the we let the camera do it. And it was it was ugly, but you know, branded content. So I didn’t it wasn’t like primetime television or anything. It’s just branded content. So it didn’t matter. Well, next time next time. You’ve got a shot like that, you know, to get in touch with. Yeah, totally, totally. So talk to us a little bit about the mechanism of the actual the the product itself. The mechanism in terms of the actual mechanical side of things, however side of things, however you want to describe it, so if someone wants to, if you’re trying to pitch it to a dp, or the DP is trying to pitch it to a director, how do you go about that pitch, what’s, what’s the pitch.
I mean, I would also I would always kind of start with the creative side of things. So it depends obviously, what you’re trying to achieve if you’re trying to get a shot like the Liam Neeson shot. If you have a very dramatic moment that you want to accentuate, and you want to accentuate that, not through sound not through overly acting, but through very subtle cinematography, you can use a depth of field shift. So there are many other ways of using it if you if you’re doing a product pack shot or something and you want to, you want to focus the viewers attention on the the product that’s that’s being advertised, you could use a depth of field, a depth of field shifts in the fate. And the way this works is very simple. In terms of cinematography, all you’re doing is you’re changing the iris diameter to very depth of field. And then we’re using a variable ND filter in front of the lens to keep the exposure constant. So the variable and D filter consists of two polar rises, which use cross polarization. To achieve the variable neutral density effect. The variable ND filter is directly linked to a motor on the iris. And the C motion c pro system controls both motors. And the software makes sure that the exposure always stays constant as a, as a user as a as a camera assistant, or as actual director of photography or whoever is actually operating the hand unit, all they’re doing is using the iris slider sliding it up and down. And the software does the rest. So it really is as simple Is it a dial switch. So it’s a normal face unit. So you’ve got you’ve got your knob that controls focus, which can obviously also control the depth of field, you’ve got an iris slider, you’ve got a zoom joystick, and you’ve got a fourth axis as well as you’ve got a thumb wheel and you can assign it to either one of these axes, and control the center fate effect the depth of field or you can also control the the very end separately without controlling the the iris and then if you if you take away one of the two polarizers if you take away the static polarizer, you’re left with only a rotating polarizer which you can then use to to change reflections and have other cool cool effects.
Okay, so, and all of this, all of this is wireless as well. So you’re gonna be Yeah, so.
And you know, as I said, I came from the background of being a camera assistant. So I know how camera assistants want to work in camera systems wants to work fast, they want everything to work. So for me, it was always so important to make it plug and play. So it is, once you have the two filters together, you put them into the map box, you connect the cable to the iris motor Iris motor to the power calibration happens automatically. Once you put the lens file loaded, you set your deep tea stop your deep depth of field tea stop. So let’s say you sit at a t 11. And then from that point onwards, you can open up the lens you can open up the iris by five stops without actually changing the exposure. And that all happens automatically.
So I’ve got a scenario for you. Because this is one shot in my tiny little feature film. And one of the shots that we had massive trouble with. And in the end, I said to the guys just put the fucking camera on the front of the car. Let’s just set it up hit record, and the two actors just can just go and we didn’t even follow them. And we will we were losing there was massive problems. And we just the the actors knew what they needed to do. I told them what how I wanted them to improvise these little sections throughout this kind of drive and drive and talk at once. And it’s around this kind of mountainous area in the state that I live in and the shop was beautiful. But I had massive problems with the combination of reflections and exposure. So it wasn’t one or the other. So could this overcome that so that I can I can both I can allow reflections of of the glass, which is what I wanted. I wanted I wanted there to be this feeling of it’s almost like the camera just sitting there but I didn’t want this problem that I was getting where sometimes there was overexposure and then there’s a couple of shots where they go under a lot of trees so it’s very, very dark, which I didn’t mind but it’s a combination of the polarizer and the end Am I able to play those two off each other?
So what Yes. So what you can do is you can use it as the variable ND filter to control your exposure if you’re going under or if your light conditions change. And what you can do is you can set the reflections where you want them. So what you would do in this instances, you would you would have the synovate filter in the matte box, and then you would rotate the whole matte box to control your reflections.
Okay, so then you would set that value, I can’t I can’t automatically control the two.
Well, then you then you get into the physics kind of light. And yet, you can’t you can’t Yeah, yeah, so you can’t really, you know, mess with physics. It’s going to be sort of so what happens is when you’re rotating the polarizer, which is closest to the lens, yep. And when you’re doing that, reflections don’t change. So when you’re rotating the polarizer, reflections don’t change reflections only change when you’re rotating kind of both. So that’s what I said, if you take the entire map box, and you rotate the map box, that’s where you can set your reflections where you want them, you won’t be able to change the reflections wirelessly. Obviously, you could you could change your math books if you wanted to. But you can’t change your reflections wirelessly, as well as changing
the very end, then the reflections do change because it’s a car. The reflections just through the the fact that logistically the car is moving through space. And around a mountain, and there’s a sun that’s moving as well. The reflections did change. That was that was the biggest problem was that because what we did was we we set reflections. Okay, this looks great. Here’s exposure. In hindsight, probably what I should have done.
I mean, there’s just, there’s really only one spot right at the end of the scene where it becomes overexposed, and I ended up just oh,
well, well, then, then I would say, you know, refractions are your priority, then just use it as a rotating polarizer. So use it, just as a polarized just have the rotating one in there, take away the static one. That way, you can control your reflections wirelessly throughout the whole shot. So if you’re going around a bend, yes, if you’re going around a bend, and you know, the angle of the sun that hits the reflective surface changes, you can use your polarizer to to counteract that and to keep the reflections constantly existent or non existent. And then you know, at the end of the shot, if your exposure changes, I guess you’ll have to write the IRS or find some other way of controlling your exposure. Okay, so control bucks. Yes. Yeah, I mean, so you can control reflections, with with the polarizer with our polarizer. But then you won’t be able to control the exposure with our polarizer, then you’d have to find another way of controlling the exposure. Well, there’s my feedback, I want to be able to do both. Yeah. Okay. Well, then talk to God and physics of light and see if you can get that done. But I don’t think I don’t think I mean, I didn’t, I didn’t see a way of doing that with our system. Right now, unless, you know, you want to you want to have somebody on the map box and rotating the entire map box to change reflections. But obviously, that’s not the best, the best solution,
but they will, if it’s possible to rotate a matte box and change reflections and it will be possible in some way. So it’s not it’s not a it’s not a matter of speaking to God, it’s a matter of working out, you know, is that actually a case study? Sorry, a use case that someone like me would need and I definitely needed it then. But as it turned out, you know, at the end of the day, what carries most things is the acting if the acting is good, then and the sound, acting and sound. And in this case, I said there were five, you know, I see the mistakes. Like I say our mistakes are man so we’re actually only a question two so we’ll fly through the rest. All right, hippie. What do you do to sustain your career?
What do I do to sustain my career? I mean, I focused on growth I am Yes, sulfate is taking on a life of its own and I’m very happy about that. I do still want to grow it and I do still have goals that I want to achieve. But I am also starting to get back into assisting again to start shooting documentaries as well. I’m a camera operator and doing doing doing different things. Because I’ve missed the creative side the side of being on set the side of chasing a story that that whole that whole love of film and documentary that I have. I’ve missed that so I’m I’m getting back into that as well. But never forgetting about about centrefeed Um, how do I sustain my career? I don’t know, I just, you know, you have to find your motivation, you have to find what drives you and then set yourself some goals and then just, you know, work work towards them. I think that’s, that’s how I that’s how I keep going.
So goal setting is a big part of how you sustain it. So it’s about looking forward. And I can see that in the way you’ve answered a lot of your questions, specifically, when you were talking about coming out of film, school and then going, but I was really surprised that you said this, because this is not what most filmmakers do is that you check out marketing, but marketing one on one stuff, so that that is all about future, almost like future proofing yourself in terms of knowledge by arming yourself with knowledge, knowledge is power, as we know, in order to be able to progress. So is that is that what you mean? Yeah,
yes, but also, I mean, I think most people, most filmmakers, or not most, but many filmmakers forget that they have to market themselves, they are a business as well, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s great to create nice content and to be a good filmmaker, and to be good on set and everything. But if nobody knows about it, you’re never going to get any work. So if if you as a filmmaker, don’t treat yourself as a business. And if you don’t know about business and marketing, then I, you know, it might take a long time for you to get noticed or here to get where you want to get. So I think it is absolutely integral to being a filmmaker to be able to market yourself as well. And that doesn’t just mean having a website that also just did that also means getting to know people keeping keeping up connections and making friends and, and helping other peoples out and everything that’s involved. You know, you just have to be a people person as well, I think. Obviously, there are exceptions. But that’s, that’s how I found out and that’s what works for me.
I don’t think there’s any exceptions, because no one wants to work with an asshole. So everyone, even the ones that look like they just do good work. And it’s their work that gave them more work, every filmmaker that I’ve spoken to, and some of them have said this, so it’s about the work, and I’ve pushed back against them, and we start to dig a little bit deeper. And once you do you realize that what you just said is a truth. It is a solid truth. That is that is a part of every successful filmmaker, even the ones that don’t realize. So I as an example. Beyond Charpentier, so I interviewed him, he basically what he does with his eyes, as you sit he sits down every year, and works out, well. This gig, this, this job is good. And I’d like to do more of these, this job was really bad. And I don’t want to do any more of those. And they work out I strategize what they’re going to be doing for the next 12 months. And he was to him, that’s just normal. But that’s that’s what you’re talking about is making certain that you understand that strategy has to be a big part of what of being a filmmaker. And whether you think about yourself as a business or not, is not so important that the strategies are, if there’s no strategy, there’s no career, of course, you have to be good. If you can’t, if you’re not, if you’re no good, you don’t get to play. But once you’re on the field, the only way you get, you know brought onto the field is is is if is that you have strategies in place that have allowed you to be in a relationship with someone’s going to pick you. So, but you got to be good. That’s just, that’s,
that’s a given. I mean, you’ve got to be good, that’s a given the work has to be good. You know, that’s, that’s a given. And also, I mean, in a way, you want to control where your career is going. I mean, everybody gets into film because they because they like a specific type of commercial, you know, there there are a lot of car, car DPS that love shooting cars, because that’s that’s what they’re good at. That’s what they like, there’s a lot of documentary filmmakers, because that’s what they like, if you know where you’re heading. Or if you know where you want to go, you can then control your career to actually go down that path. And before we started this interview you I think you use you said that one of the questions was going to be what’s the most inspirational thing you’ve heard recently, and this is not something I’ve heard recently, but there’s a there’s a saying which says that life is a process of, of discovery, not of creation. You know, he said, life is not a process of discovery. It’s a process of creation. So you know, discovering kind of what what’s happening to you, you’re creating the life that you want. So you’re creating the career that you want. If you want to shoot cars, you’ve got to let everybody know that that’s what you want to do. And you’ve got to set yourself up in a way that you’re going to get those jobs and that you know, you’re not going to accept the jobs where you know, you should a documentary, for example,
or if you do because you’re going to pay the bills. So all the shitty branded content industrial, commercial, sorry, corporate stuff. You hide that. You only show you show the work that you want to do.
you market yourself as Yeah, exactly as who you want people to perceive you as?
Yep. Yeah, totally cool. All right. So that kind of is a nice segue into the following question, which is, what are you doing today to help you tomorrow? So they kind of related? So what are you doing today, like, something you that you did today, in order to help you tomorrow, whether it’s with skinny fade or your dog or Korea.
And it can be it can be is it could be meditation, it could be a drink a glass of wine, it like it could be anything? What is it something you’re doing today to help your tomorrow?
I mean, I guess everything, you know, it’s hard to pin something down. I mean, yes, you know, you’ve got to, you’ve got to keep fit, you’ve got to, you’ve got to you’ve got to meet the right people, you’ve got to keep in touch with the with the people that you want to keep in touch with, you’ve got to accept the jobs that you want, you’ve got to pursue the jobs that that you want to that you want to get. Essentially, everything you’re doing now is going to help you tomorrow or should be what’s helping you tomorrow, I guess. Well, I don’t know if I can, I can’t find a specific example right now. But, you know, it’s it’s, it’s, I am definitely the kind of person who, who says, Where do I want to be tomorrow? Or in six months? And how am I going to get there?
Okay, and then you kind of deconstruct that and then work backwards.
What do I need to do to get there? What What do I need to do day to day, week to week? To get there just so that I can see where I’m heading towards? Because if you’re just you know, working away, aimlessly, then I don’t think maybe it might it might work for some people, but I don’t think that’s my strategy.
Yeah. Okay, cool. So you’ll have to tell us one other thing that you’ve read, watched or heard that inspired you recently? This is the final question. Something that inspired me recently, or can be the the, the the old guy that met in Budapest? You know, it could be something like that. So something that you’ve heard or you’ve read, or you’ve watched that inspired you.
I mean, we can go, we can go completely off topic here. And recently, I hope this is this is okay, for your podcast, I did a Iosco trip. And I don’t know if you’ve heard about this kind of stuff. But it’s a very kind of spiritual, I’m not spiritual. I’m not religious, but it was the most spiritual experience that I’ve had. And it’s, it’s a medicine that that has been used in Peru and Brazil, and is extremely, it’s basically purely empty. So it’s considered a drug in the in the in the Western world. But it’s considered a medicine in Peru. And when I was there, I just had an extremely eye opening, mind blowing, literally mind blowing experience. And that’s, that’s been very influential, I guess.
So I know a little bit about this. I’ve heard people had bad trips. Because it’s there are some people saying it’s a it’s a, it’s you hallucinate that. Oh, yeah. That’s what some people say. Some people are saying that it’s opening their mind up to a different realm. So some people will label it as a spiritual experience. And some people are leaving labeling it as a hallucination. Obviously, you fall in the spiritual camp. So how is no
absolutely not? No, no, no. I mean, it is, you know, I still understand that as you know, stuff going on in my head, there’s, there’s there’s chemicals that are changing things and that are making me see these things. And yes, it is. I said, it’s the most spiritual experience that I’ve had. I’ve not been able to kind of achieve that without an outside influence. And yes, people have had bad trips, and I was there with a friend and she had a bad trip. So that means during the actual experience, you’re going through pain, physical, mental pain, you’re you’re crying, you’re wailing, you’re shouting, you want it to end but afterwards, every single person that goes through that said, it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me because it taught me something. And the only way to face fear to face to face the pain that you’re that you’re hiding from yourself right now is to face it. And that’s what this, this Iosco does, it makes you face the pain and It makes you deal with it because you can’t keep you know, pushing it down for the rest of your life. And I’ve not experienced this, I’ve experienced extreme beauty, happiness, connection to, to everything. And yeah, as I said, just like, the first time where literally my mind was blown, and I feel like my horizon, my universe was kind of expanded, and I can just, it’s not for everybody, I’m going to give you that. And it shouldn’t be because, you know, some people just aren’t open to that some people can achieve a similar state naturally. But I’m the kind of person who wants to experience everything in life. And that’s one of the things that I wanted to do. And I happened to be shooting a documentary in Brazil actually, and, and and just said, If I’m so close to Peru, I might as well go to Peru and and try it out now. So that’s my most recent inspirational experience, and how has that affected your day to day living? You know, it wasn’t a life changing experience for me. But it’s, it’s, it’s, I think it’s affected me in small ways, for sure, just to just appreciate daily things more just to just just to know that this kind of this kind of happiness, this kind of beauty exists, and it is possible. It’s just, it’s just something that’s an inspiring moment that that gives you a new new outlook on life and you hope, and it’s not, it’s not in a big way where I say, Okay, I’m going to quit my career, and I’m going to go down this path, it’s just the thing. It’s just kind of a reinforcement that that’s what it was, for me, I guess. For me, it was an experience, it was much more an experience than then then then then a healing experience or anything like that. It was more of a thing like, hey, there’s this cool thing I want to try it out. And and it’s, you know, it was, yeah, it was incredible. Alright.
So what I’m hearing is that the potential for the potential of mind and the potential for happiness and goodness and beauty is you because you experienced through this drug? You now know, it’s a possibility, like it’s in your mind. So there’s a way of being able to, in some ways, incorporate that potential that possibility into everyday living.
Something like that. Yes. Yeah. But let’s call it a medicine just for us to be on the safe side. Sure. Sure.
Cool. All right, man. Well, thank you for today. I’ve enjoyed I’ve enjoyed the lesson and loved hearing the story of Sydney vide as well. So thank you.
Yeah, thanks for having me. And please do let me know if you if you ever want to. You want to try it out.
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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