Blog 006_ A Letter to Myself (STAND UP).

There's an artist problem.  There is an attitude problem, and there is a problem that you seem to have with standing up.

What the fuck?  I thought you were an artist?  Did you forget that film was art? Cause it seems like when you create anything it’s bland and boring and overall safe.

You seem to want to just make videos that are replications of everything else that all your favorites seem to do.

Maybe instead of looking up to them you should look at your heros like Gnarly Bay, Shane Hurlbut, Kevin Smith, David Fincher, and Zach Snyder and say "Fuck you AND Your Style". 

No you don’t want to do that?  Ok, then just keep making more poor excuses of replications of their work, the work you LOVE.  You did forget that film was art, or at least you stopped treating it like art.

You want to look up to an artist?  You want to beg, borrow, steal? They say stealing is how the best art is made, and you believe them?

You want to make some footage that is a happy medium between you and someone you respect?

You don’t respect them, because you don’t know them, you know the way they intemperate a script that you never read.

You respect the way they write, the way the light, the way they shoot and the way they edit.

That isn’t them, it’s what they do.  They didn’t forget that film was art, but you did. 

I am not what and how i light, the way i light is not a representation of me, it’s a representation of the way i intemperate the shit i write.

The resistance to your art can fuck off, and there's nothin good to say about it.  

That’s your Hitler, the thing that tells you, "you need to make the superior film by combining the shit thats already out there that you think is all the best".

Kill that mother fucker.  Cut off his head and drop it on your desk so you remember everything that is not you.

When it’s eyes look at you, tell it to fuck off, or don’t even give it the time of day.

It's a reminder of everything that distracted you from your art.  It’s everything that stopped you from starting.

Can't you just make one fucking thing that isn’t inspired by something else?

Can't you just make one damn film that doesn’t nod to another artist?

Stop pretending.  Stop thinking you can’t.  You’re sitting there thinking that what they do is the shit, and you’re just stagnant thinking that while they’re onto the next thing.

You can write, you can shoot, pull focus, balance an image, set a c-stand, you can grip, gaff, direct, tell an actor to get HERE NOW, you see when an actress' tears are real and when they’re bullshit, you can light a scene from home depot OR from a thrift store, you can interview the fuck out of anyone, you can edit, you can produce, you can secure a location, and build a following.

So get off your ass and get to work, or don’t.

But understand that if you don’t now, you might never.  You’ll remain a shitty student that never does, and you probably won’t ever even teach.

We’re too busy watching everything else that we don’t look inside to figure out what is real, and thats why so much shit out there is as fake as a West Burrow christian.

The only hate I endorse more than the hate of half ass art is the hate of a half assed life.

You don’t want to make a film because it’s not funded, but don’t you know that even Tarantino had to make his first film on his own?

What makes you so fucking special?  What you need to pay off your debt and student loans?  GOOD.

One day you will miss these times where you felt like you had something real to say.  

So get out and fucking say something that is different and real.  Fuck the same old heros journey, and don’t forget that your film is art.

-Matt William 

Posted on May 27, 2016 .

Blog005_Finding A Documentary, An Excerpt

The following is an excerpt from my PDF that will be released on May 1st.  These three pages discusses how to find a documentary and individual investors in a different way than our current system provides us with.

Thanks for reading this excerpt of my PDF.  If you subscribe to my email list, I can notify you of it's release.  In the document I go into full details of the step by step process of how to make your documentary from beginning to end from scratch.

Matt Williams

Posted on April 20, 2016 .

004_What Makes You a Cinematographer, and what does not.

I can’t stop seeing this problem almost everywhere I look.

I have been kind of hinting towards it in other posts but I would like to be very direct about it.

Watching everyone else’s films in the world, reading their scripts, and listening to their talks, and NOT creating your own films does not make you a better film maker.  It doesn’t make you a better film maker, because you are not making films.  You have to make films to be a film maker, get it?  I don’t give a damn if you are shooting on a samsung flip phone, and editing in windows movie maker and posting them to (don’t go... it’s a trap), cause that means you are a film maker.  If you go to “The New Beverly Theater” every weekend taking notes on every shot, source of light, and line spoken, but you never make your own films then you are not a film maker.  The title “Film Maker” is reserved for those who create films.  They don’t have to be good, but they require a point where you said or thought “I am going to make a film", and then you do it.  Watching movies does not make you a film maker, just like me watching the food network does not make me a fucking chef.  You have to take action, the sooner you get over your pathetic little fears that are ruling you and stopping you from creating your own brilliant art the sooner you will find the real purpose of your films. 

And truly, I hope you do. 

So please for the love of God, stop stalling.

Do NOT start a new series of TV before you work on your own art.

“But Matt, I’m a film maker, I have to know what’s out there, and I need to see what else everyone is doing, and i need to know what they think about the latest cameras."

No, you don’t have to see what everyone else is doing.

No, you don’t have to know what everyone is thinking.

Keep your head down, do your work.

That moment when you sit down with friends and watch  your film in it’s finished state is the moment when your film accomplishes it’s purpose.

Please don’t stifle your films, with the distraction that lays waiting around every corner.

Now, I’m going back to editing my mini series.  I hope you do something you love in film today too.



Posted on March 21, 2016 .

003_Why Do We Create?

We create because we need to create. 

If we do not, we ignore the person inside of us who is trying desperately to be seen, to be related to. 

We ignore the person who wants to leave something behind more than bones.

When we create, we allow the person we actually want to be, to show up.

The person we are when we loosen up a bit a let go of our inhibitions.

Is there a particular reason we are not that person all the time?  I don’t want to hop on the fear train and say it’s all because of that.  But sometimes we stifle that person, sometimes we push that person down so we can get done what we need to at the moment.  Sometimes we are afraid, even if we don’t recognize it as fear.  This isn’t saying you need to be obnoxious and over the top.  Being more true to yourself may mean being more quiet and a bit more reserved.  That’s for you to figure out.

If this is a blog about anything, it’s about making art.  Yes, I write about cameras, lenses, editing and I will write more about gaffing, being a grip, and creating your own documentaries, and short films, But I always want to focus on how to make your creative life better.  So here’s a little experiment...

The next time you sit down, alone to work on your art, don’t let anything else come through except you, your views, your ideas.  Create the physical manifestation of your consciousness with the wisdom of your experiences, with the angst of your teenage self who won’t be swayed by overwhelming outside opinion.  Do this intentionally.

Don’t worry, whatever it is, it IS relatable.  There are seven billion people in the world just right now.  Not including those to come.  Do you think anyone will ever fall in love with the work of an artist that was before their time?  I know I have.  You see you are not just creating for you, you are creating for those who have stifled that person inside but can still relate with what you have created.  It’s a gift, and a brilliant one at that.

When you stop your fingers from typing because you feel you shared too much, or that others won’t understand.  You should ask a few questions to yourself. 

"Maybe I just need to re-word/re-edit it”

"Maybe I really shouldn’t write it because... (Insert actual reason here)”. 

Or maybe, just maybe, “I need to get over my own insecurities and worries of what the world will do when they find out who I really am". 


Posted on January 16, 2016 .

002_Buying Another Damn Camera.

I know you like checking out the GH4, the A7s2, Black magic’s latest greatest whatever, and whatever canon is doing these days.  I know you love to watch comparison footage, (Sidetone; can anyone tell me why the fuck everyone doing a camera test shoots tree bark? ) and sizing up sensors, and did you hear about kodak’s release of a new camera that shoots super8!?!?!?!?

That’s just great...

Ooh and lenses as well!  Have you seen Rokinon’s new legit cinema glass?  It’s not as good as the CP.2’s which totally suck against the Canon Cine-Primes, but what-evs...

Isn’t there something wrong with all of this?  I mean if you were a knight would you spend all of your time looking for a better sword (that you didn’t even have money for at the time) or would you spend your time working with the one you had?

Think about your last new camera.

How long after you get the brand new camera do you start looking at others?  

What if you were to reallocate the time you spent looking at what you could buy and just focus on training yourself to be the best you can be with your camera?  What if you take that Facebook/youtube/podcast/twitter/reddit/9gag(ew)/email time and you donate that time instead to your skill?

You could do it right now.

But will you?

Will you continue to gain more “In conversation” knowledge to talk shit about your thoughts on the cameras you don’t own, haven’t used, won’t use, and will eventually forget after the next new thing comes out?

Or will you move your skill set, and your creative soul further?

As always, it’s all you’re call.

I’m gonna go shoot now… hope to see you out there.

Peace, Matt

Posted on January 15, 2016 .

001_Your Editing Work Space

In regards to where you work...

"The high school classroom is the most efficient place to learn. Everyone is facing the same way towards a teacher, no phones are allowed to be in use there, and everyone has a copy of the exact same material that is being taught."

Now if you agree or disagree with that statement that doesn't matter, I personally don't agree with it, and think learning by doing is the absolute best, and the place where you can most clearly create should be your classroom.  But like I said, it doesn't matter what you think of that.  Chances are as you read or heard these words you thought, "no that's not the best place to learn, I had ADD and a classroom drove me crazy". Or, "absolutely right I agree, the classroom is the best place to learn.  Either way, you probably had an idea about how what surrounds you influences your work and understanding.  

That being the case, if there is something really great you are working on, you can totally make it either worse or better by the way you construct your working environment, your studio.

I am going to tell you what I do, and what works best for me.  That does not mean it will be best for you, or that you will even like it, but I believe it's worth a shot.  I believe that when you will find the right workspace where you create the best in, you streamline your work, while at the same time allowing your mind to go where it needs to so you can create the best you can.  If this does not work better for you, at least you narrow down what works the best for you.

When I really decided to change my workroom/office into a proper art studio I had to start from scratch.  I knew this because I first asked the question, “What is stopping me from focusing on my art?”.  Looking around my office at that time, I had comics, an X-box360, two computers, a basic cheap and uncomfortable desk chair, a desk from Ikea’s return section, a file cabinet, a bunch of different antique cameras, and just strait up clutter, grip and gaff gear EVERYWHERE.  Every one of these things were all distractions and they played into my mind without me realizing it.  It wasn’t until I completed step one did I actually get this.

Step One- Empty the room.  

     Everything must go, get everything out.  All computers, your desk, posters, and art, any furniture, literally everything in the room, clear it all out.  Then clean it out, vacuum, sweep, mop, do whatever to make sure the space is fresh and new.  If you have bright colors in the room, it may impede on your monitor and you may want to think about repainting a dull gray.

Step Two- Claim the territory.

     Now that the room is empty and clean, close the door, and sit down in the middle of the room.  Meditate on the FACT that you will be creating your absolute best work in this room.  Since you are moving forward in your life and your art, you will hit your biggest challenges in this room, but you will then move past them and have your biggest breakthroughs here.  Know that in this space you will not be allowed to be lazy, in this space you can not be idle, or stagnate.  This is a new space you are making that is for one sole purpose; Creation of content that (insert the purpose of your work here) ________________.  I would tell you what mine is but that will only distract you from your own, so figure out what that is and state it to yourself in your empty room.  (Don't skip this step.  It may seem trivial but I assure you it is essential.)

Step Three - Start with your desk.

     Bring your desk back into the room, not in the place it was, just in the center.  Look around the room and access where it fits.  What do you want in front of you?  What do you want behind you.  Do you care if someone comes in and sees what you are working on?  Or maybe would you like to keep your work more private and facing away from the door.  Either way, figure it out, but as with everything you bring back into the room, be absolutely intentional about where it goes.

Also decide if you should switch over to a standing desk, because (spoiler alert) you should.  If you decide to switch to a standing desk, make sure you have something under your monitors so they are level with your eyes, and your keyboard is raised, otherwise your neck will be in a lot of pain.  Also if you are using a standing desk, make sure you walk away every forty five minutes, and sit and read or better yet, take a walk.  Also, you will probably want to get this pad.  If you decide to use a sitting desk, make sure, EVERY hour you get up and drink water, walk around the house for a bit or walk around the block quickly before getting back to work.  If you don’t do this, you get burned out, and start slipping and making mistakes that you would not ordinarily make after a few hours.  If you do this, you will find it very easy to continue working with a clear mind for an extremely long day.

Step Four - The Essentials

     Bring back the absolute essentials into the room, and only the essentials.  This should be your computer, monitors, speakers, and your chair if you have one.  As you bring each individual item back into the room clean each item from top to bottom.  If there is a piece of art or two that truly inspires you, bring that back in as well, and hang them thoughtfully, and intentionally.

Step Five - Scrub The Syrup.

     This is the part that everyone (including me a few years ago) will probably hate, but that’s ok.  Stay away from the energy drinks, the candy, the crap foods that just cloud your mind.  It’s not helping you.  The over-caffinated drinks will stimulate your heart and your mind uncontrollably.  That’s just a fact, and if you want to be more mindful, and intentional, you gotta get rid of the things that are speeding you up so fast that they are slowing you down.

Step Six - Play, Mindfully.

     This is it.  Everything you have in your new studio, is what you need to do your work.  No distractions.  When you step into the studio you are there to create.  It is pure, and it is completely open for your life to be about exactly what you want.  If you do not wish to devote a clear and pure portion of your house, apartment, or corner of your studio apartment to the art that you wish to pursue, then maybe you should find something you really do wish to be about.  This is not meant to be rude, mean or arrogant, it’s just honest.  If you want your life to be about something then commit to it fully, don’t just half-ass your way through your art.  You owe yourself that.  So go all in.


If you found this blog helpful, hit us up on twitter to let us know @MattTLA

Posted on January 2, 2016 .