A Professional Start To Producing
Your goal is to film hunts or produce outdoor tv as a professional for a living? Then you need to be thinking about the education you need to get started, as well as your image. Are you the person that shares your every opinion about life with the world? Are you free with your language on social media? Do you post photos to social media that may offend your grandma?
Being a “professional” begins with your personality and how you carry yourself. Learning a skillset to become a “professional” by trade, will come with education, experience and time.
Lets assume you have done what it takes to get an opportunity to film for someone in a situation outside of family and friends. The individual you are filming with asks you a question about your camera that you don’t know the answer to. Do you make something up because you are afraid you may not look like you know what your talking about? Or do you make a light-hearted joke that sends the message of “I don’t know”? And more importantly, do you let the person know you are still learning and have a sense of humor. My advice, always assume that a person you don’t know may know more than you and is simply testing your every move.
A friend of mine once told me a story. Years ago, he was a sales associate at a local outdoor retail store. When a man walked up to him and asked him a question about a goose call, my buddy grabbed one confidently and began to “show off” his less than novice skills as the man watched and listened intently. After he was done with his ridiculous rant of what sounded like a rabbit in distress, the man went on to offer him some great advice. He first informed him that he was a competition, goose calling champion who also owned a call company (which the store also sold and was sitting on the shelf “next to” the one my buddy tried to sell him).
He said “son, you could have handled your sales pitch with less arrogance and more honesty and professionalism. I would have listened, given you some good pointers and put in a good word with your manager. Instead, I’m going to tell you to take a step back, and remember that you are young and still learning yourself. Being humble, honest and determined to always better yourself, will get you much further in life”. Lesson learned!
Lets assume once again that you get that same opportunity. You are on a non-paying gig somewhere filming with someone that is well off financially. He/she has hired you knowing your skillset level and is only asking you to do your best. You pull up to a gas station and they get out to get coffee or a snack. Do you “assume” they got you covered or do you reach inside that pocket of yours and grab every bit of cash or cards you have on you to offer to pay for yours? I think you know where I am going here.
Another situation I have seen often is beginner producers offering up there advice or opinions on the hunting. If you find yourself in the middle of a conversation/debate on the hunting conditions, amount of animals you are seeing, the outfitter you are hunting at, etc. Even if you have strong opinions of what may or may not be going on, keep them to yourself. Unless you are asked or drawn into the conversation directly, your opinion can often come across as arrogance or an assertiveness that is better left out at this time. Now, if you have been working for a company for some time and have input based on experience, than you are in a different situation.
A “Professional” Start
In the end, am I suggesting that you act like a mouse and walk around with your head down as if you aren’t even around? Absolutely not. I am simply suggesting that you recognize what you are trying to accomplish. You are trying to enter an industry that is saturated with people begging to do the same. You are trying to stand out as an individual and a producer. I am hear to tell you that there is a lot of pure talent in this industry and there will always be someone who is better than you are at the art. One of my favorite sayings and one I will always live by, and it came from a mentor of mine. “I am not the best at what I do, probably never will be, but I am one of the hardest working”.
If you let that sink in and always strive to be a good person, let your personality drive your business and never stop bettering yourself, You will be successful.
See more about the education program we offer at Film The Hunt
Thanks for your time,
“Success is not created by one person, but by a team that comes together as one”