Hundred of people apply to the Radio-Film-TV program at University of Texas every year.
Many of them do this because they want to learn to direct.
Hopefully, whether they get in or not, they will learn the real truth about valuable skills: It doesn’t work that way.
Directing is not a skill. It is a combination of skills.
A novice can look at Face/Off and think, ‘Man, I could never direct like John Woo. He is SO much better than I’ll ever be.’
Directing is not just directing. It is audio recording, cinematography, writing, storytelling, location scouting, organizational leadership, scheduling, human resources, set design, shot choices, editing, special effects, lighting. I could go on.
If you were asked to direct, it could put you in panic mode.
However, if I asked you to read a book about writing, and you learned that most plots have a three-act structure, you’d be better at writing stories.
If you spent a day on an independent film set listening to a sound engineer, hearing her explain that you have to record a few takes of background noise on each shooting location, to mix into the movie later when all you have are the recorded voices and a soundtrack, you’d know more than before.
You’d be that much better at sound recording.
So, since you just got better at writing and sound recording, and those two skills make up the multi-disciplined craft of directing, you became a better director. It’s still scary, but you closed the gap – just a little bit.
Advertising and marketing is no different. There are multiple skills involved.
- Being a team player
- Coming up with ideas
- Determining which ideas have enough merit to pursue
- Developing those ideas
- Working with the client (especially if you own your own agency or are an account exec)
You may even need to know CRM, Graphic Design, Market Research, A/B testing… AAAH!!
If you get anything out of this post, it should be this: If you find yourself paralyzed with how much farther you have to go in order to achieve your true calling, break that calling down into chunks small enough to handle.
I am no expert blogger, but if you combine this blog with an earlier blog, and some freelance posts I’ve done helping other businesses, I’ve written over 100 posts! A few years ago, I didn’t think I’d get that far. And I know I’ve got a long way to go!
So you do. So break it down, and do what you can in a few days, or a week.
See you later.