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  • Writer's pictureBlake Calhoun

Wow. One Year Ago Today...

This post is a quasi-recap of our year in 2018. It was a great year for us and it all started exactly one year ago today...

That's when we uploaded our first DIY short film in our daily "Shortcuts" series. We challenged ourselves to create a short film a day for 20 days using only our iPhone.

If you follow our YouTube channel and/or our website you know we were successful in completing that challenge!

Here's one of our favorite movies in the series...

These shorts for the most part were experimental or documentary style, not narrative fiction (although a few were narrative). And because of this we've had some YouTube commenters say that they were "not films". We're guessing that these individuals have never made a film, let alone a short film from start to finish in less than 24 hours and for 20 days straight. Remember, each of these shorts was conceived, shot & edited in just a single day.

Don't get us wrong, everyone is entitled to their opinion, especially when it comes to art and movies - it's a very subjective topic. However, when someone says that a short is not a "film" because it wasn't shot on film (that's a whole other rant for another day) or because it's not traditional narrative fiction with actors or because it's shot on an iPhone - well, that's going to get called out by us for what it is - plain ignorance.

But hey, we're not here to be negative. As is often said... Haters gonna hate. :) We realize some people just won't embrace or accept change, even when it can make their lives better.

To that point... The main reason we did these shorts was as a creative exercise and to show you don't need to wait if you want to make a movie. Use whatever camera you have - and pretty much everyone these days has a remarkably high-quality 4K video camera in their pocket.

The other thing this did (and can also do for anyone who tries it) was kick start and motivate us to create more. Since last January we've produced at least one video a week for our YouTube channel and have had amazing growth largely due to this consistency.

We started 2018 with roughly 8000 YouTube subscribers and we're now starting 2019 with over 46,000.

Our goal wasn't to gain subscribers though - it was to consistently create quality content that we enjoy making and that hopefully adds value to (and helps) our audience and the community we're building. The subscriber increase is a result of this activity (which is great). And all of this was set in motion by our 20 films in 20 days challenge.

This also led to us making our narrative short film "Miranda", which ended up winning the 2018 FiLMiC Pro One World Film Contest in the Fiction category.

To be honest, this was a surprise for us. Not because we didn't believe in the movie, but because if you've ever entered any kind of film festival you realize how long the odds are at winning. There are LOTS of great movies being made today. LOTS of talent out there - and because of the availability of affordable cameras (like smartphones) - there are more opportunities for movies to be made and seen. And thus, the competition can be fierce. So we were really honored to have been selected as the winner (and btw, we really liked the other movies we were up against, too!).

Since winning the FiLMiC Pro contest we've gotten to know a few of the FiLMiC Pro in-house guys and that's been great chatting with them about the tech side of mobile filmmaking. And because of that just a few weeks ago they asked us if we wanted to beta test a new update to their app - and we of course said, YES - definitely!

This update was for their new LogV2 color profile that we believe is truly a game changer.

Computational imaging is something we're really just learning about - using software (in combination with hardware, but not the hardware itself) to create amazing results that a small camera sensor alone can not do (like 2+ additional stops of dynamic range with LogV2 or great low light abilities with photography - and probably soon we'll see shallow depth-of-field for video and more).

So this has been a great year not only for us but for mobile filmmaking in general. Exciting times to be sure.

And btw, regarding our growth and successes this year... Please don't mistake that as bragging. That's not our intent at all. We're just highlighting the cool stuff that happened because of uploading that first short film on January 1, 2018. That first step, which at the time seemed mildly insignificant, led to everything else.

So we want to encourage you to take that first step. Whether that's making short films or tech reviews on YouTube or a Vlog or whatever it is. Take that first step. There will likely be naysayers too, but don't worry about them. Just keep making your movies.

If you want to learn more about how we made the shorts then you might be interested in this (and please use the special Discount Code DIY20 to save 20%)...

(Note: If you're viewing this on a mobile device and can't see the video embed below please click here to view)

Don't wait to create! Good things can definitely happen. :)

Thank you to everyone who was part of our great 2018. And we hope that you have an awesome 2019... Happy New Year!

P.S. If you haven't seen the 20 shorts we made you can watch them all in this playlist.

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