• Christian Sorensen

Collaboration is Key

You will likely hear any other filmmaker online refer to this medium as a collaborative one and this is very true. While it is very possible to do films entirely on your own (like I have done with Perspective and i'm brOKen), it is much more reasonable to collaborate with someone else. Even films I have done that appear to just be me actually still required help from another person.

For example, Count To Ten, my newest horror microfilm, it seems as though I shot the entire thing myself and played both characters on my own. That much is true but I was not able to get the vibe I wanted from that film with just music, sound, and color grades. I needed that extra voice to go on top of it that would make it that much creepier, but my voice was not a good fit for that. So what did I do? I hopped on Casting Call Club and put up a role for a voice actor. Within a few hours I had someone sign up with a perfect voice for the feeling I wanted. She joined the project and had an excellent performance that tied the film together and made it that much more intimidating.

Let's get another example to show you more of what I mean. In The New Playground, I once again shot the entirety of that film on my own and edited it together. Once I had the sound mixing and music finished as well as the color grade, it still seemed like it needed more. I watched through it again and noticed the phone shot seemed the least intriguing so I added some shake to it to enhance the scene a bit more and then realized that I should have the character on the phone after dialing 911 for help to make the situation a little more clear. I simply messaged one of my friends really quick to see if he was willing to give me a few quick lines and I sent them over to him. This is quick, simple collaboration that enhanced the film greatly.

So collaboration does not always need to be extremely obvious. Sometimes it is more subtle background help. I also cannot tell you how many times I will write a script or finish the first draft of a cut and send it to my friend David at VeedFilm Productions to have him go through it and give me input. We have created a mutually beneficial creative relationship by doing this back and forth. When he sends me his things to look over, I get new perspectives on how to tell a story or how to make certain cuts or build suspense or really just about anything. Seeing new perspectives from any other person is a great way to help open our creativeness and inspire us into new things.

General collaboration is also extremely useful. I have gotten by so far by doing most of the work myself on set, even when I had my actors with me. Every now and then I will have a sound operator but I have done the majority of the tech work as I do not have any others that I know of qualified to use my gear and I can have trust issues if I'm being honest. But having others on set to help setup and work with gear can make life 100x better. That is probably my biggest setback and peeve on set is working all of that on my own and then feeling bad since my actors have to wait on me. Time is another issue to consider. You most likely will not have all the time in the world to work so the more the work is spread out the faster things will go. Sometimes it might end up taking over an hour to shoot a minute long scene because I will end up having to setup lights, sound, camera, blocking tape, and various other things that someone else easily could have done if I just handed control of that bit to someone else.

I am not writing this post to tell you not to work alone or to do all of these different things at once, because I still do it every time and it is great practice for learning every possible role involved in filmmaking but it will save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run to work with others as well as to help open your creative mind that much further. I hope this has helped you guys in one way or another. May you have a great adventure on your filmmaking journey. Peace out!

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