The Storytelling Lab - Ep 10: It's the Man, Not the Machine
Updated: Jan 4, 2019
Cheers to the last episode of Season 1! To finish it off, let's bring things back to the heart of storytelling. I've talked through many important storytelling tips and tricks, but remember the most important tip for creating a compelling story is to follow your heart (as cheesy as it sounds).
Back in 2013, when I was making Raise Up, calisthenics fans and athletes would always come up to me asking what was the best camera to use and checking out the equipment I was using to make the film.
Because I had cheap equipment and didn’t consider myself a great camera operator, I felt threatened.
They looked up to me since I was a “professional” filmmaker and were coming to me for advice and guidance. But many times these “hobbyists” were on their way to being better cinematographers than I was, if they weren’t already past me!
Ultimately, I’d feel some of them slightly disappointed by the lack of flair my camera (or even I) had. They were looking for something exciting -- something that would help them make awesome highlight videos for Youtube.
Inevitably, I’d tell them the same thing.
“Remember: It’s the man, not the machine. I could take an iPhone and do more with it than all those guys over there because I’m telling a story.”
I’d see their eyes glisten as they finally got the little gold nugget of wisdom they’d been searching for.
But for me, it had just been a defense mechanism. I wanted to say something profound, but deep down I felt insecure about my equipment and my abilities. I knew that I wanted that statement to be true, but I wasn’t so sure it was.
Fast forward five more years and now I’ve taken that perceived flaw, flipped the script, and made it what I excel at -- taking a little and making a lot out of it.
I do that because I use my heart to tell stories first, instead of my head.
I work on sharpening my skill of storytelling so that no matter what resources I have available -- an iPhone or an Arri Alexa -- I can create something that impacts people. And every day, I remind myself that it’s the man, not the machine, that counts.
Peace and Love,
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