Winning Every Risk You Take

Smartphone Slate 022016

A few weeks ago, one of the students for our mobile filmmaking workshop reached out the night before a shoot when their camera person had to cancel. They needed a video for their campaign to fund their next film. Their film will not be shot with a mobile phone. They had a script and location and were ready to roll. All they needed was a camera.

Before attending our mobile filmmaking workshop they were not aware that you can make films and videos like professionals using their smartphones.

So they reached out to me for some advice and then realized that they would need to get microphones to capture good sound and some other materials to really make it right. The night before their scheduled shoot they asked me if I could do it with their Android phone. I did not hesitate to accept the challenge.

Oh, did I mention that they wanted to pull it off during “magic hour” too? That is a challenge for any professional in the film and video industry, regardless of the camera. Magic hour is not an hour long, the sun begins to set and you only have a few minutes before it’s dark.

The following day I gathered all the gear I had and headed out on my mission to succeed at making a decent video for their campaign. Needless to say, it was a challenge. The usual challenges of any shoot like noises, and then the challenges of the video script itself and of course, the whole script dialogue taking place during dusk.

Suddenly, there I was holding a shotgun mic and a smartphone on a hand-held stabilizer and the dusk arrived. I said, “Okay you guys, it’s time. One take and one shot is all we have. We can do this!”

We did it! It was a success. I am very proud of them for taking the risk of using a smartphone for their campaign video. They rock!

But that success is not why I am sharing this story and experience with you. I am doing so because there are many people who don’t yet realize that business is all about taking risks. I don’t mean risks where you are risking legalities or danger, I mean the risk of failing by your own standards. Because your standards are always higher than other people’s standards when you are in business and have a reputation to uphold it can be risky.

I just want to share that times have changed in the world of business. If you are honest, if you have ethics and are willing to stand by them, if you are willing to jump into the water with the sharks with some confidence you can pull off things that may never have been possible without you. It doesn’t matter what you advertise because with social media everyone sees through it.

The innovation in business today is about that. It is about going for it when others tell you that it can’t be done. When your expectations are not to prove anything to anyone but to just do something that needs to be done regardless of the situation. “It doesn’t hurt to try” is a reality in the world of business. Because if we don’t try, who will? How would we ever know? How would we ever experience the unknown? You cannot fail if you try. You can only learn from making mistakes. Being a professional in any industry is about who you are and what you do. Building integrity is about how you handle situations whether they are a success or a failure.

I wrote this today because I come across a lot of people all around the world in my business who doubt themselves. They doubt that they can make films with their mobile phones. I have been encouraging people around me and across the oceans globally for years. Today, most of you have heard about films that have made it into the traditional film industry which were shot with smartphones. That only happened because people met the challenge by doing it and taking risks regardless of what their experience and fears of failing were. This is something to consider with any industry.

I wish everyone success in any industry. If you are passionate about something then you need to find a way to give it your best shot. Stay persistent and never give up. If you have a dream and you are passionate, you can change the world if you want to.

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