Roll for Experience!

How D & D has helped me become a better filmmaker

I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a bit of a nerd. In recent years, this nerdiness has manifested itself in me picking up a new hobby: Dungeons and Dragons. Upon starting to play, I’ve wondered how I went for so long without it. It is a game that offers escapism, world building, improv, teamwork, and chance in a way that I’d never experienced before.

Soon after my first roll of the dice I began to notice something else as well: the many, many shared skillsets between industry jobs and playing D&D. Depending on the play style of your group, Dungeons and Dragons has the potential to teach / reinforce many skill sets you may find yourself needing on your next project.

The list of similarities I’ve found is quite long, so to start let’s focus on one phase of filmmaking to compare: preproduction.

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Collaborating on Art

Art can be an extremely personal thing– the manifestation of an idea that originated inside of the deepest part of your psyche.

I’ve had the extreme pleasure of working on on film and video projects for the past 20 years, and I understand the importance of collaboration. As much as I want to write, shoot, direct, and edit (and I have on several projects)– it’s just not practical to think one person can be successful in all of these roles (Although we can all find an example to prove me wrong: Charlie Chaplin, etc). And at the end of the day, it’s just not necessary.

If you surround yourself with competent contributors who you trust to pull their own weight on a project, you have more energy to hone-in and focus on specific portions of the project. More importantly, when you lean on others to help produce a piece of art, the end result is an amalgamation of ideas and input from various perspectives.

Tom Cox, Nic White, Vicky Cox, Michael Welborn at 2018 Indy Cinema Sunday Event

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3rd Annual CinemaSlice Black Friday Shoot!

Being a part of the annual CinemaSlice Black Friday film shoot is becoming a tradition for me! I’ve only been involved in two of them so far, but plan to be a part of as many as I can be in the future. However Nic and Michael come up with these ideas is working for them: each year has its own style and factor of cheesiness that I love.

This year’s trailer is for a zombie baseball film.

I met up with my fellow slicers at a baseball field in Bay City’s south end. Stepping out of my car two things immediately became clear: there were a lot of new faces this year, and none of us had a great understanding of the rules of baseball. That didn’t stop us from having fun though.

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