It’s learning by listening to filmmakers talk about the work they do. It’s a passion project. I like speaking to filmmakers because they’re creators with their own creative vision and I empathise with all the efforts they go to in order to realise their projects.
I did. My name is Sam Thom. I’m a multimedia producer based in Paisley, UK.
I spent nine years recording audio in the field, editing in studio and making features broadcast on BBC Radio. But I had always made audio recordings (I drove my family nuts with it sometimes!) and podcasting was a simple way for me to continue what I had been doing for so many years – recording interviews with people. My career says it all, really. I’m a journalist and I like telling stories.
I’m a content creator at heart, and this project gives me the opportunity to do all the stuff I enjoy doing: web publishing audio, video and copy, design, interviewing people and community building.
Initially, my plan was to create a site for the filmmakers in the North East of Scotland, where I was living until October 2012. Since I’ve moved to London, the site has gone UK-wide.
Back in 2008-11, the filmmakers I met had been complaining there was nothing for them in the North East of Scotland, and because I have been involved in online community building since 2009 I toyed with the idea of creating a community for filmmakers.
I put it off for a few years, but then in summer 2010, after investing in the Canon 5D II DSLR for my corporate videos, I discovered the passionate online community of cinematic DSLR filmmakers.
And then in late summer 2011 I spent a weekend shooting behind the scenes footage for a zombie series called The Dying Seconds. The motivation, commitment and creativity of the volunteer crew, actors and extras was a real eye-opener.
So, I hatched my plan for this community. It launched it in October 2011.
My original idea for I Am Do Filmmaker was to create an event for filmmakers in Scotland’s North East, but that idea didn’t seem to inspire filmmakers, who were slow to come to the sites I was creating.
So, I began a website and started writing stories about filmmakers. That drew more people in, so I thought I would record some podcast interviews with filmmakers for marketing and promotion.
Now the project consisted solely of podcasts, about half of which were recorded at a networking event for actors and filmmakers held once a month at the local Belmont cinema in Aberdeen, and the other half were interviews with professionals and practitioners from the film, broadcast, corporate and education sectors – most of whom came from beyond the North East region.
I also tried experimenting with video recorded at the Belmont networking event, but that requires more time and effort than I have and doesn’t really allow for longer interviews. My next goal is to create a show with guests from around the UK recorded from Skype calls. That’s a tried and tested podcasting technique. Stay tuned.
And now, of course, I have moved to London to work as a video journalist. So, as of November 2012, expect a change in accent – from ‘Hoots mon’ to ‘Awroit me old china’.
These have remained the same, except now the project covers the whole of the UK.
Connect: To link filmmakers and those interested in filmmaking
Improve: To increase knowledge about filmmaking practice and activities
Profile: To raise the profile of filmmakers and their projects
I’ve got a weird taste in names and titles. If you know the I Can Has Cheezburger story then you’ll get an inkling into where I got the idea for I Am Do Filmmaker.