Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Cinematographers Plea to the Budding Film Auteur

This article on Shadow & Act (a blog you should be reading all the time if you're a filmmaker or interested in black film) was so so so good, that I'm just going to send you to the link- http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/a-cinematographers-plea-to-the-budding-film-auteur-move-your-camera

Monday, October 15, 2012

How to Succeed in the art of Succeeding

I recently came off the road with comedian Kevin Hart (I shot the European leg of his latest tour), and learned something that I guess I knew all along, but now it has definitively come to the forefront of my consciousness. We all know that the secret to success is hard work. But the secret under the secret is Never Complain. Our schedule on the road was insane. We'd shoot all day, Kevin would perform that night, go to the after party, get on the bus/ airport and travel to another country, get a few hours of sleep in and start all over again. And in two weeks, I didn't hear Kevin complain a single time. And I was listening for it. Not once. And here's why I think that's the REAL secret to success (I mean, aside from being immensely talented in his case), it's because complaining tells the universe - "Don't send me anymore, obviously I can't handle it." Most of the time we complain about things like work - except that the work is giving us a paycheck, or stupid things that pop up in our day like a flat tire - which means we have a car to drive, or God knows what else, and what the universe hears is "If she's complaining about this job she's never going to be ready for the amount of work the job she really loves is going to take" (and trust me it DOES always take more when you love it), or "he's not grateful for the opportunities he's being given now, so why send more?" I used to complain about things like not feeling well on set so people would know how hard I was working (this was many years ago when I was totally retarded), then I realized, people didn't think that I was working harder, they thought I couldn't handle the work I had. I also realized, no one gives a shit. And what the energy of complaining did to me was slow down the work that I wanted so badly from coming through the pipeline. Now I notice how my friends or people that I work with who are extremely successful all have that quality in common - they don't complain. I remember once doing a Ying Yang Twins video ("Salt Shaker" and yes, I'm proud), and someone complaining about something totally stupid (maybe being called to set before we were ready) and Lil Jon turning to them and in the trademark drawl saying, "Y'all want dat money right?" And that's all I'm saying. The real secret isn't doing the hard work. It's doing the hard work and acting like it's easy.