This a simple, but very powerful quote from Robert Rodriguez and his “10 Minute Film School”, changed my life and resonated with me for years. I heard it a couple of months before I started shooting my debut feature film “The Sixth Day” and it is still in my head.
Well, it is as simple as that. We all dream to become successful filmmakers, we try to learn as much as we can before starting out, we buy some fancy gear, we follow people who inspired us and have been successful in some way.
However, we are all different and unique. And, that’s the beauty of it. If you are still planning how you’ll start your first project, where to get money from, if you are wondering what new camera or gadget to buy just stop for a moment and think about your story. Think about the story that you want to share with all the people out there, the story that you are so passionate about. You are unique as a person and as a storyteller. Such is your story.
Nowadays, you don’t need $500 000 to start shooting your feature film, you don’t even need $5K. All you need is your creativity, your vision, your passion, and your faith in succeeding. This is how I started in first place. I had a 9 to 5 day job, my life was boring, and I desperately needed to do something creative to change that.
So, one day I shared my thoughts with a friend of mine, who also was eager to start some kind of a movie project. His name is Stoyan and later he became the producer of our debut feature film. We both started writing the script in January 2011. We were writing about 2 to 3 pages per day in the evening after work and in a couple of months we were ready with our first draft. Meanwhile, I bought my first DSLR which later became the most trusted camera for me, my work horse as I used to call it. This was my Canon 7D. Actually, I still own it. In the months before we started shooting I invested some more money in new gear.
I bought a couple of lenses (Canon EF 50mm f1.4 and Tokina EF-S 11-16, f2.8), a cheap shoulder mount rig from eBay, a tripod, some additional LP-E6 batteries, a field audio recorder (Zoom H4n), Rode Blimp and a Sennheiser MKH 416 shotgun mic.
That’s all the gear my crew and I had at our disposal to shoot the film. The gear was more than enough for us. 90% of the material was shot hand-held, we worked mainly on the weekends and we managed to get the raw material in the can for about an year and a half. I edited the rushes on my late 2007 Macbook Pro on Final Cut Pro 7.
“The Sixth Day” was released theatrically on 15fh of November 2013. Of course, we had our ups and downs, but this is normal and it’s part of the journey, right? The hardest thing was the start. It was as simple as that. We just had to start working on the movie and shooting it.
So let’s hear all the advice Robert Rodriguez shares with us in the next video in less than 10 minutes: