Since I started my journey as a filmmaker, the ultimate goal was to close the gap between paid and passion work. With every project, I strived to get closer to a healthy balance where I didn’t feel like the work I was doing was actually ‘work’. As I transitioned into married life however, it was somewhat like starting over in finding this balance because I was now working in a new market. This project marks the first passion project I have produced since moving to the Bay area. What makes it even sweeter is that this film marks the first collaboration with my wife, Kristina Frost.
In the film, The Renaissance Woman, Beverly Achterhof opens up about trying new things while focusing on the process of learning rather than the end game. Growth happens when you push yourself and allow yourself to be vulnerable.
To often I have lost sight of what is most important. Whether worrying about the future or regretting decisions from the past, the idea of living in the moment seemed foreign. For this film, my ultimate goal was to get my feet wet again with passion projects and focus on living in the moment. The goal was simply to produce a film that made me happy and that allowed me to flex my creative muscles and do so while enjoying every moment of the process. Conceptually, I didn’t need to push boundaries and I didn’t need to reach for acclaim. I simply needed to produce something that filled my desire to create and collaborate with others.
When I look at the final product, it isn’t anything flashy and may feel a bit long in today’s standards but is truly what I needed creatively in the moment.
If you are struggling to live in the moment, here are a few things to try to keep you present:
- Do one thing at a time. By focusing on the task at hand, you can enjoy the process.
- Act deliberately. Don’t rush from one task to another. Focus on working with intent.
- Do less. Don’t fill your day with menial tasks. Prioritize what is most important and ditch the menial tasks (or batch them together).
- Take time for yourself. Take five minutes sitting in silence. Focus on the stillness and the environment around you. Use this time to slow down and enjoy the journey.
- Stop worrying about the future. Worrying about future events that may never happen will just add anxiety.
- Get over the past. The past is the past. Worrying about the decisions from the past will simply bring you down. Take it as a lesson and move on.
- Pay attention to people when they are speaking. Focus on the connection in front of you and stop worrying about what to say next or what else you need to be doing. Enjoy the company and learn from them.
- Enjoy the small things. Whether a nice dinner or walk down the street, embrace your environment and heighten your senses to everything around you.
Below are a few behind the scene photos from the project.
This project was shot over two days at Lake Tahoe, California. Coming into the project, we had a loose idea of what we hoped to do conceptually but we allowed room for flex as the project evolved. On the first day of shooting, we captured the interview so we had a framework for where we needed to take the story. We knew we wanted it to be a story about a general desire to dabble in many things while also showing how it is about the process rather than end result.
Once we had an idea of the rough story, we let Bev take it from there. It was fascinating to see that many of the struggles she deals with are universal. As I listened, I personally connected as well. This unifying theme is one that will hopefully carry through in the future shorts we produce as part of this series.
Another aspect of this project that was important to both my wife and I was the desire to focus on everyday people doing extraordinary things. Whether trying something new or sharing an experience with someone else, living in the moment is where we wanted to live with this project. So often we find ourselves absent from the moment and worrying about some future event that may never even happen. Simply finding ways to cherish these moments are what drive us to create.
When it comes to gear used on the project, we were pretty light on that. For the action sequences, I rolled with the Easyrig as much as possible to keep the setup light. I also used the DJI OSMO and Phantom 4 for the tracking shots/aerials. For the interviews I used the Kessler Crane Cineslider and Second Shooter. I’ve since replaced my OSMO with the Pilotfly h2 45 which allows me to mount D810’s on it and get nicer shots than you can with the OSMO. I am also able to use tighter lenses for tracking shots as well which makes it so much more versatile. More on that piece of gear soon…