What It's Like Being a Director of Photography in Hollywood

with Will Myers

What It's Like Being a Director of Photography in Hollywood

What’s it like working in Hollywood? Will gives us an inside of look to his transition from corporate work in the Silicon Valley to pursuing his dream in the City of Angels.


Adrian Thompson: All right guys, I’m here with a long time friend who’s also a Director of Photography in Hollywood. Will, thanks for coming on the show.

Will Myers: Absolutely, thanks for having me.

Adrian: So we’ve known each other for about 10 years now, we just were talking about it before we were recording, which is pretty amazing. And you made the move to Hollywood about, when was that 2009?

Will: 2011, so six years ago. Man, 10 years really does go by quickly.

Adrian: And that’s gonna be a fun conversation to talk about that, but beforehand, for the listeners, let’s talk about just how you got started in video.

Will’s Background

Will: Yeah, well originally I was in the Bay Area and worked for a small production company called Fat Box Films, and that’s where it really all started. It was like my film school really, and they did it all from script to screen. I started out as their receptionist basically, their office PA, and worked my way up. Became their Lead Editor, and then became their full-time Director of Photography. And that kind of led to going freelance, from there I worked on the Bay for a bit following that, and then moved to LA.

Adrian: I think we should talk a little bit about your experience at Fat Box because like we were saying, that was kind of like a high point in terms of being in the corporate world, and just the cool situations and projects with casinos and stuff like that. So I think it’d be cool to touch base on just a little bit of what that was like in terms of on set interactions, and client interactions, things like that.

Will: Yeah, absolutely. It was a really unique place. I mean, as I’ve gone on in my career I even realized it more so. It was a really special time for me, especially because it was my first starting out point, and it was really just a rag tag bunch of creative people and it was a really fun environment to be in and really fortunate that I was able to get my start there, I don’t know that it really laid the groundwork for how things work in the real corporate world, because our boss at the time was very anti-corporate, but was running a business that was exclusively catering to corporate clients. So it was kind of a mismatch there, but he was able to make that work for a little while and attracted a lot of really talented people.

Will: There was also just a lot of really great opportunities there that they had set up through programs such as BayVAC, the Bay Area Video Coalition. They basically allowed me to take classes sponsored through the government essentially, paid back, reimbursed through the government, that allowed me to develop my skills even further and become Avid certified, and learn After Effects, and learn almost anything and any program at the time that I wanted to know, I could take a class on it. Lighting, and editing, and all this stuff. So again, a very unique situation where the business that I worked at, the job that I had, allowed me to take days off even during the weeks and go to these classes to educate myself so that I could move up within that company. And it was really just onsite learning, working and learning at the same time versus going to school for it, per se.

Adrian: How long were you there, do you remember?

Will: Yeah, I started in 2004 and then I left in 2008. So it was, I think it was just under four years.

Adrian: Okay, so four years total in this studio environment. And then there was this time, we were roommates at the time working there together, and then I was going off to get married and you were struggling with this decision for a long time to move to Hollywood, because that was always a passion of yours. You were always interested in film and TV.

Will: Totally.

Leaping into the Hollywood Scene

Adrian: Let’s talk about what struggling with that thought process was like and how you ultimately came to the decision to go for it.

Will: Yeah, I mean the idea for me was always to try and get to Hollywood, you know what I mean? That idea of Hollywood, and doing big stuff, and working on big films. And so I knew that I always wanted to do that, or at least progress … give myself the opportunity to progress to that point and be working on bigger stuff in a creative way. And the decision almost was really made for me at the time because certainly when I went freelance I kind of considered it at that point, but all of my connections and contacts had been made here in the Bay Area, so it made the most sense to continue that path. But it was actually the place that I was living at, my uncle had bought it, and he decided to refurbish it. So he basically gave me the ultimatum, the end date of I had to be out of this apartment basically by such and such a date.

Will: And I’ll never forget it, I was actually in Miami on a job thinking about it, and I just kind of hit me. I was like, this is the time, if I’m ever gonna do this I should go now and just jump, and do it, and try. Because if I don’t now, I don’t feel like I would have later. This was kind of the sign for me to go for it. So it kind of made my decision a little bit easier at that point, and so yeah. A friend of mine who I knew from the Bay Area was living down there and I contacted her. And I was like, hey I want to move down. She was looking for a place, and so we became roommates, and that’s how it all started.

Adrian: That’s cool, it makes a lot of sense because you were either gonna go move to a new place and establish roots again in the Bay, but you decided to take the journey down. So how would you describe that first year? It must have been really exciting. I remember being jealous because you were living with two close friends from our group and it seemed like you guys were having a lot of fun.

Will: Yeah, that wasn’t until later actually. When I had first moved to LA it was very exciting. It was with my friend Jamie, who was an actress at the time, or trying to be an actress. She was kind of going through that struggle that a lot of actors do, and doing the serving, and auditioning in the day, and all that kind of stuff. And so anyway, it seemed like a great fit, and it was. It was a lot of fun for that … we had signed a lease at a place in the middle of LA and it was a really awesome spot and we were having a bunch of fun. But then about six months into it she kind of was like, I don’t want to do this anymore. She had gotten a job with Virgin Airlines that brought her back up to the Bay Area, which is where she’s from. So it was kind of this weird thing of I was having a great time and things all seemed to be going well, and then the rug kind of got pulled out from underneath me.

Will: And so she actually helped me find a roommate, and it was fine, but it wasn’t like what it used to be. It was like living with some random person that I didn’t know very well, and we kind of kept to our own. I lost a good friend basically in LA, and kind of a support system. And so that was kind of my first year there, and my first endeavor. And by the end of that six months I was really like, did I make a mistake? Should I move back? And that’s when Mike, a mutual friend you were referring to earlier, kind of wanted to make the leap as well. And so he contacted me and it was just the right timing and it worked out. And he moved down, and we got a place, and I decided to stay for another couple years.

Adrian: What was that like, establishing yourself as a working professional down there? Because like you were saying, all your connection were from the Bay Area, so you didn’t really have the luxury of taking clients with you because being a Director of Photography is really location specific. And you actually were still being … I think you were still traveling to job sites and stuff, but how did that transition go for you professionally?

Will: You know it was interesting, I remember very specifically that I didn’t want to tell my San Francisco based clients that I was moving to LA, in fear that I would lose them and that they wouldn’t call me anymore because I wasn’t local. But as I found out, it’s actually just the opposite, which you kind of mentioned. Being a DP is not location specific, which is kind of nice. I mean it is to an extent. If you have a regular gig, or something to that effect, or if you’re working at a studio or whatever, yeah. But oftentimes people from LA … I should say almost all the time, there was a big problem for a while that there wasn’t enough work in town, that people were being sent to Atlanta or New Orleans or all these different places. And that has always still continued to be true for me as well. Like you said, I do a lot of traveling, but it wasn’t as imperative, which kind of leads back to even just being in LA. It’s making those contacts, and meeting those people, and growing out the business that way versus it being in some other location.

Finding Clients in Hollywood

Adrian: So how would you describe the process of getting your clients down there? How did that end up coming about?

Will: I mean, it really started I think for me when I walked on a short film, actually back in the Bay Area as it were, with an old friend of mine who was a fellow DP. And he was doing his first feature, and he asked me to come first to AC for him, because I had worked as an AC for him long ago in the past. And so I agreed to do it, and I actually ended up meeting a bunch of people that were out of LA. And so through that connection I was able to get onto more sets that way. For the first year I lived in LA really, I was still traveling a lot back to the Bay Area for all of that work, and my clients and stuff, because I hadn’t told them. I was still faking like I was in the Bay, as I kind of tried to branch out. And that was the idea, branching out that way, kind of keeping my support system going and then branching out in LA.

Will: But it really did come through meeting people on set, and connections. And that’s what I’ve really found more so than anything. It’s hard to quantify all that, but it really is about relationships. And I mean, there is a certain luck factor to it in terms of how you meet people or the connection that you make along the way. But basically, that led to me meeting more and more crew members and stuff like that, and it kind of evolved through an organic type of way. I really didn’t peddle myself, which is also kind of downfall honestly, it’s something that is very important in LA specifically, just because there’s so much competition. There’s so many people trying to do the same thing that you are.

Adrian: Yeah. So that’s interesting, keeping your old connections ended up being really valuable even though they were from an entirely … seven hours north. So I think the lesson that people could take from that is, don’t think that you can just move to LA or New York and forsake all your old contacts from whatever town you’re from that you’ve been in for the last five years. Because there’s no magic in being at these places. You’re not gonna just go there, and then just have clients come out of the woodwork and start paying you as if you were there for ten years. It’s just not gonna happen.

Will: Absolutely. No, and that would be a thing I would tell people honestly, to try and at least lay the groundwork and try and establish those relationships before you go anywhere. Make the connections first, let the job bring you there versus you trying to bring the job there. And oddly enough, it was kind of funny, as it turned out all of my SF clients, once they found out I was in LA, they started to call me more when I was in LA, which I kind of did not see coming. Also, don’t be afraid of that either. Don’t be afraid of being like hey, I still want to be able to work with you.

Will: I’m also in a unique situation that I’m from the Bay Area, my parents live up here, so I have a place to stay. I can work locally that way when I do come back for my clients, because I feel like that would be limiting honestly, because they’re not gonna pay for your travel a lot of times or whatever. If there are jobs that are then that’s great, but it’s not gonna be … generally it’s not gonna be back in the Bay Area where I was, it’s gonna be off in some random part of America, in Texas or wherever. In which case you can, like I said before, that’s when it’s not location dependent because they’re just gonna send you wherever they need you. But clients and relationships are location dependent I feel like, and that was a big part of the reason I felt I needed to be in LA to meet those people and make those connections.

Working on Projects

Adrian: Cool. Well let’s talk about some of the work that you’ve been a part of, whether it’s just some personal projects you’re excited about or some of the more cooler client work that you’ve been able to work on down there.

Will: Sure. I would say one of the biggest things being down there is I’ve worked on … I’m pretty sure I’ve worked on a short film, one short film at least every year that I’ve been there. And they’ve been great. They’re a decent budget, decent size. When I say short film, generally those can be anything from a student film-esque type of thing, I think people tend to think of that. But they’ve become so much more sophisticated these days. The stuff, the tools and resources we have at our disposal, it’s just kind of insane. But those short films have been great, a great creative outlet for me and one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to be in LA in the first place.

Will: But those have all been a really great time, and those kind of then take you on a different road, and down a festival route and that kind of thing. Again, it’s all about the networking and the meeting of people. So I feel like the more you can have out there going for you in multiple different … in multiple ways, in different areas, and different types of situations, then one of them should hopefully take off eventually. So it’s I think been one of the biggest things for me, investing the time and energy into those projects to cultivate those relationships that will get you to the bigger stuff later on down the road.

Adrian: What was the short that you would say you’re most excited about?

Will: Honestly I’m most excited about one that we’re working on now called Future is Back with Mike Chance, our friend, and Jesse Boots who is directing, and Mike is producing. We shot actually half of it already in San Diego and it looks amazing. I mean, it’s my favorite thing that I’ve shot so far. I think it’s the best looking footage I’ve ever shot. It’s got a lot of potential there, and the nostalgia of Back to the Future, one of my favorite films certainly. And I think it’s got a lot of potential. I think there’s a lot of buzz around it, and I’m excited to see what comes of it. We’re actually doing a Kickstarter for it coming up this next month. I’m actually in the Bay Area now to shoot the interview videos as well for that with Mike and Jesse. So look for that coming out soon, and we’re gonna try and shoot the second half of that this summer. And then hopefully it’ll be coming out the end of this year.

Adrian: Awesome, yeah. We’ll put a link to that in the show notes, as well as some of your other shorts because I know you have a good portfolio film count.

Will: Yeah, absolutely. Our other one, The Faceless Man, that we just recently completed as well is now doing the festival circuit. We just actually got accepted into our first festival, Dancing With Films, that’ll be in June.

Adrian: Congrats.

Will: Thank you. And we’re waiting to hear back I think on another 20. So we’ve been finalists in a couple of other big ones, but we’re still waiting to hear back on Tribeca and some of the other ones that are also really great. So looking forward to that.

Adrian: One thing I think that is interesting for people that are not familiar with this Hollywood type … these short film projects, is that they, correct me if I’m wrong, they’re mostly being self-financed by people that are just passionate about producing these films. Which is not common for instance in animation, where people can more easily bootstrap, because if you have skills you could just sit down at your computer and do it. But these films require equipment and a lot of crew, and somebody’s paying for it.

Will: Yeah, I mean it’s absolutely true to an extent. I’ve done some pretty VFX heavy things as well, where you are reliant on other people at that point. I mean yeah, obviously if you have the skillset of a Maya Artist or whatever and you can create from beginning to end with lighting, and texturing, and all this stuff, sure. But I think at some point you still even have to bring someone in to color, or this, or that, some specificity if you want to be at that top, top level.

Will: But yeah, for the most part it’s been amazing. The thing that’s been great is these crowd funding things like Kickstarter and Indiegogo and GoFundMe. All these avenues have been opened up by crowd funding and being able to have that at your disposal has been invaluable. I’ve worked on I think three or four that have been funded that way, or at least additionally funded that way. And others, there have been people that self-finance. That’s kind of the catch 22 of it as well, where it’s like if you’re trying to make a go of it on your own and put your own creative content out there, it’s a weird thing where people want to see things that are very similar to what you’re trying to do already. So if you want to shoot car commercials, they want to see car commercials that you’ve shot. Well, it’s really difficult to shoot a Mercedes commercial that looks at the level you want to be at if you don’t have a camera, or resources, or a Mercedes even to rent the car.

Will: There’s a lot of … like you were saying, it’s not just sitting down in front of a computer. There’s a lot of physical things that you … there people, and all this additional effort and stuff, planning that has to go into it. And there’s fixed costs that you just can’t avoid. It’s also a lot of time, you’re talking about … like I said, I’m averaging one per year that I’ve been here. One of them I worked on took maybe almost four years to get out, and there’s another one I shot two years ago that still hasn’t come out. I think once you’re at the level, and I’ve seen it happen many times, and even with Mike and Project Arbiter and things like that, to make it great it takes a lot of effort, and it takes a lot of time and resources.

Will: And if you don’t have somebody paying you to do that, to create this entity, to create this IP, then it’s also very difficult to stay motivated and be in a mindset where, I’m gonna get this out no matter what and not let doubt creep in, which we all experience that. And I think as a creative you tend to even experience it even more because you’re so close to it that you get to a point even where sometimes you don’t know if it is what you wanted it to be, or if it is good anymore. So it can be a little stifling at times. It just takes a lot of your own belief and determination sometimes. And what I’ve found is it’s not necessarily like, oh it’s all about the quality necessarily, as it is as much about the story and how people relate to it.

Will: So if you don’t have all those things, it’s been nice because of the digital revolution and everybody has a DSLR now and all those things, that you can kind of just go out and shoot. And I would encourage people to do that, myself included, where you’re not thinking about, oh it’s gotta be this or that. It’s gotta be, make it something that you can do and learn from and grow from, because inevitably you will fail. And the faster you fail, the quicker that you’ll learn. And that’s really how to move forward, in my opinion.

Passion & Energy on a Film Shoot

Adrian: Yeah, all those complexities you’re referencing I remember coming to terms with that and realizing that’s why I was gonna prefer motion graphics. Because I just really loved having the control, and obviously it’s just a whole different career choice. But also being on set is very demanding, and that’s one thing I’ve always admired about you when I’ve been on set with you, is that you seem to kick into a new gear. You have a new energy that exceeds everybody else there. I’d love to talk about that passion and that excitement that gets you to that point when you get on a set. Just describe that for us.

Will: It’s interesting, I mean I’ve noticed as time’s gone on, I don’t sleep very well the night before generally, before a shoot, because I get very anxious about it and excited because I know it’s coming. And I don’t know what it is man, but it’s just something about being on set. I think a lot of it has to do with the energy that is on set already that I feed off of, and the excitement of that. I mean obviously I equate it to playing adult make believe basically, because you’re recreating reality, or at least you’re trying to at the highest level. You’re trying to create these moments that feel hyper-real, and you’re into and all this stuff. So it’s like, there’s just something about that freedom to create. And when you’ve got an amazing team behind you that supports you, and pushing you in that direction, you just kind of feel like anything’s possible.

Will: And I’ve been told that on many occasions, and I really appreciate hearing it because I put a lot into … I put a lot of my own energy, and time, and everything that I’ve got into these projects. So I want to see it succeed, I want to see the fruits of our labor basically take off. So there’s something bigger than me at stake here, and I know that, and I feel it. And so I won’t stop, and I’ll push for the best, and I don’t settle. And I mean, that’s just a part of who I am and I can’t let … it’s hard because you do get deterred by others, but that’s why I think the support system is very important, because then you have people around you that you know and trust in that moment to push you through those moments of doubt, or if you hit a roadblock or whatever. You gotta have other people that you can bounce ideas off of. But yeah, I just get really invigorated. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be than on a set, commercial sets or feature sets tend to be the best, they have the best crafty.

Adrian: How do you feel that your energy level compares to other people’s on set? I’m sure there’s a wide variety of different types of people, but do you notice the difference between the ones that are successful versus are the least successful people the ones that have low energy and just aren’t putting in everything they can and they rely too much on planning instead of improvising? What are some things you notice about being on set?

Will: I think it’s really about attitude, is what I’ve noticed more so than anything. Living in a state of gratitude. Oftentimes I looked around, and I’m very jovial on set as well too, I like to joke around at least when appropriate obviously. Keep it light basically, because again, we’re playing adult make believe here. We’re not saving people’s lives. And people take it to a degree of that intensity sometimes where it’s just like, you’re making it very difficult when it doesn’t need to be, when it can be … being creating is not an easy thing, it doesn’t always come to you. And especially when you have that pressure on you, you have to rise to the occasion.

Will: So again, the things that I’ve noticed are when people just, they complain a lot. Or they’re just like, why do we have to do this or that? It’s like, you chose to be here, you chose this job, you knew what was coming. Obviously there’s always an extenuating circumstance, but for the most part it’s like the repetition of kind of taking these jobs that just beat you down or whatever. Yeah, you’re gonna become jaded because of that. So I think that becomes a personal thing at that point to kind of go in a direction, that whatever fulfills you most. But that’s what I’ve noticed more so than anything. Because if people aren’t excited, or if you’re excited, it’s kind of infectious at that point too.

Will: And that’s where good directors or great directors really shine, because they’re the captain. They’re the leader of the team, and you gotta keep everybody below you amped up and wanting to participate, and that’s a very difficult thing to do as well. I think it’s just like anything else, any other business, it starts from the top down and the culture that you create. And if you really like what that person’s doing, or you believe in them, you’re gonna work harder for that belief, or that person, or that idea.

Common Mistakes in Hollywood

Adrian: This might be … you might have already answered this in that question. What would you think is a common mistake that people are making down there in the film industry?

Will: I mean, it’s hard to generalize it that way. I think for myself it’s … I didn’t realize that it was happening, and maybe a lot of people go through this too obviously, the glitz and glam idea of Hollywood, it does have that effect on people. I think it was just more so moving to a new place really than it was Hollywood for me necessarily. But don’t be jaded, it’s a business at the end of the day. It’s a product that people have to put out and they’re making money off of it, and that is the bottom line. Unfortunately that’s the sad truth, and creativity often does come second or third or whatever on the list, because time is money, and you’re paying a lot of people, and it’s a product at the end of the day and they want to create the greatest profit margin off of that product.

Will: So I mean, that’s I think where people get beaten down, where it’s like, oh it’s just gonna be all this free flowing creativity and all this stuff. To an extent it is sometimes, and when you’re in that zone it’s amazing. But for the most part, for my day-to-day, my burger flipping job if you will, it might not be that creative. It might just be a simplistic setup where then I’m like, am I even being utilized to my best abilities at that point. That’s I think where you’ve gotta find that outlet as well. That for me has been those short films. But it’s all just kind of a balance of those things and figuring out what kind of fulfills you that way.

Advice for Starting Hollywood

Adrian: Well along the same lines, let’s say a listener has just got to Hollywood and they want to start a career as a DP, what would you recommend they do? What should they be trying to accomplish their first year?

Will: I mean again, try and set yourself up for success and trying to either travel there before and meet people, or set up meetings. Really it’s about pounding the pavement, just like anything else I’ve ever done and any other business I’ve ever done. It’s putting yourself out there, networking, going to parties, going to all these different events and social things, because you just never know where that contact is gonna come from. I’ve had such random interactions with people and occurrences that led to things that I never would have thought of.

Will: But ultimately, that being said, most importantly following your passion. For me, it was a big thing. There’s a lot of fake people in Hollywood as well, you don’t want to be one of those people. You want to let your work speak for itself and be humble about it. But don’t be timid either, it’s a buy-in balance obviously. But you can instantly tell when somebody’s fake, or they’re just after … or they’re just talking to you for whatever they think that you can do for them, or whatever. It has to come from a genuine place, so follow what you like, go after what you’ll want, and you’ll find those people.

Will: For instance, if you want to join a basketball league and those people will inevitably … like if you’re in LA people inevitably are editors, or they’re this, or they’re that. And you meet people that way. Where I live now in Hollywood, my neighbors are composers, and his fiance’s a producer, and all these things that way. Who would have known if I had moved into this spot or that spot, you just don’t know where those relationships will come from. So I would just say be active that way and be tenacious, because there’s a lot of people there and it’s fiercely competitive for sure.

Adrian: I think being giving is great advice, because I imagine in a place like Hollywood the default mindset is somebody who’s approaching me, they’re just trying to get something from me. They either want my connections or they want me to do something.

Will: Sure.

Adrian: Compared to the Bay Area the vibe I got, developers and stuff are willing to be more helpful. It doesn’t seem as cut-throat, whereas there there’s a lot of take, take, take. So when you actually are being friendly and giving, it goes a long way in establishing those relationships, which could take you a long way since it’s an industry so based on relationships and how you know.

Will: Absolutely, I mean if you were to approach it, and same is true in life, what can I do for this person versus what can this person do for me, you’ll be much better off. It will happen naturally. And if you have the talents and you have the right attitude, that’s a big part of it too, honestly. It’s sad to say, but a lot of people … I often feel without tooting my own horn, that I’m more talented than that person that’s in that job that I’m watching that do. But they have the relationship, or they have the right attitude or whatever, that keeps them going with that client because it’s a comfortable thing. And so it’s like, not trying to steal away from somebody else, but creating that for yourself.

Will: That’s the trial and error of it too. It’s getting to know somebody who graduated from USC for instance, they know a lot of people already. So trying to establish a relationship that way might not be as easy as meeting somebody randomly in a bar. It’s all kind of a toss up, it’s interesting.

Adrian: Yeah. Well speaking of meeting somebody at a bar, that transitions to the next question well. What’s the weirdest or coolest thing you’ve seen in Hollywood? Before we were recording you were listing off some random celebrity encounters, which I think would be interesting for the listeners to hear.

Will: Yeah, I mean you know that is the kind of cool part of living in Hollywood, is you do see people. You feel very connected and very part of that. I mean, randomly celebrity sightings at the local café, where Michael Pena walks in with his nephew or whatever and sits right down next to you, it’s kind of surreal. Or walking into a café and one time when I first moved to Studio City Jessica Biel and Amy Adams were sitting there having lunch at this café that we went to on a random Wednesday. It was kind of fun because it was like, oh yeah cool. It did feel like we were in Hollywood, and celebrity sightings and all that.

Will: But it’s a very different vibe also too when you’re on set with people that are famous or whatever. It’s a job, it’s a business, and you’re professional, and you’re not taking selfies, and you’re not going up to them and asking them for their autograph. Which is a bit surreal, because for instance I just recently worked with … he was Miles … I forget his name though, of course. He played Miles Dyson in Terminator 2 basically. And that’s what I remember him from because growing up he’s very iconic to me, and his death scene, and so on and so forth. And he’s standing right in front of me, and we’re doing this live telecast thing. And it’s just kind of this surreal moment where I wanted to be like, you’re that guy. You want to do that, but you have to kind of keep it inside of you. And it doesn’t happen to me all the time, but there are certain people that do get you excited and you kind of have to vent it out to maybe some other crew members or something so you don’t act weird around them.

Will’s Practical Advice

Adrian: That’s cool. Well one question I like to ask every guest is, what’s something that our listeners should focus on to improve this week?

Will: One of the things that sticks with me, and it escapes me where I read it, probably on Facebook or something to that effect, it was just like, if you’re a director go and direct, if you’re a DP go and shoot. And along that line, it’s following whatever your passion is. So if you’re into audio, go record a bunch of audio sounds, or be doing something that’s related to what you want to be doing to better yourself. And even if it’s a simple … I remember one time we even created … we bought some Nerf guns and created a random video, but we shot it all on our iPhones and it turned out great. And it was this fun, creative project that we did in a day utilizing both of our talents, and it was just a fun collaborative thing. And I still even show people that, because I just enjoy it and people enjoy it.

Will: And I think for me anyway, that’s why I really love this and do what I do, is because it entertains people and I like to do that. I like when other people are happy, when I can make them happy that gives me joy to see that. And see them react in a way that I wanted them to react. And so again, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have the nicest camera, if you don’t have all the equipment, there’s so many stories of people forgoing all of that and still being creative and finding some new outlet that hasn’t even been discovered yet. So it’s all very accessible, which is great these days. There is no real limit aside from your creativity. So I think even sometimes that forces you to be more creative when you’re limited honestly, and being put in a box, and figuring out what is my view or angle of how I’m gonna accomplish this. So again I would just, whatever it is that you’re passionate or interested in, if you like to tell stories learn editing. Do something that will get you one step closer to your end goal.

Adrian: Yeah, that’s great advice because I feel like it’s so easy to get caught up thinking it’s not worth doing if it’s not gonna be, or have potential to be, your best work.

Will: Happens to me all the time.

Adrian: You just decided not to do anything. But those moments where we created the stupidest little short videos were so fun, because we’re just practicing fundamental things, camera angles, and it forces you to focus on the basics, which is usually why you fall in love with your craft in the first place, is just the fundamentals of it are so enjoyable. And we get caught up thinking we need the newest plugin, the newest camera, the newest microphone to even start doing that, which is a lie ultimately.

Will: Absolutely, I mean I used to get down on myself a lot trying to do these things, exactly what you said, where it was like I want it to look like something that would be on TV. Well, I mean I’m trying to recreate something that they had millions of dollars to do, and time, and people, and professionals. It’s great to aspire, don’t ever stop pushing for the best. But I think it ends up being more limiting in the end because you’re not creating. And you can’t predict the future and you just don’t know what you’re gonna learn, who you’ll meet. That’s another thing too, you have all these … I have a lot of instances where, and now I’m starting to see it even more, where people I used to work with as First ACs or whatever, that were underneath me, are now moving on up. That’s another thing too, is always be open to learning and experiencing that stuff in the moment because again, you don’t know what’s gonna come of it.

Wrap Up

Adrian: Awesome. Well before I let you go, if people listen to this and they want to learn more about you or see what you’re up to, what would you recommend? What would you want them to do, just go watch the short films? Are you active on any social media that we could plug?

Will: That’s actually probably one of the things I’m worst at honestly. I wish I had more than … I had more for myself. But it’s really more I think yeah, the short films. I believe it’s FutureIsBack.com, but I could be wrong about that. I will find out.

Adrian: That’s okay, yeah we’ll put those links in the show notes so they can get to them.

Will: But yeah, check those out. I mean, I have my Vimeo accounts and all that stuff, I can give you some links to other things if you want, check out some of my work, my reel and whatnot. But there’s a new website that I have been working on for quite sometime and it will be coming up this year, I do promise. And once that’s available I’ll send you that as well.

Adrian: Very good. Will, that was a very fun conversation man, I appreciate you coming on the show and hopefully we can do it again sometime.

Will: Absolutely, any time.


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