Talking Goals with Film Connection graduate Sam Freed
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Sam Freed, who just finished his apprenticeship at Atomic Productions in San Francisco, California, has been hard at work making those opportunities happen. Recently, Sam checked in with RRF to talk film, goals and to update us on the projects he has in the works.
RRF: What made you want to work in film? Do you have a filmmaker or cinematographer whose work you emulate?
Sam: I was just about 13 years old when I realized I wanted to get behind the camera and make movies. When I turned 14, I started making skate videos for my brother and his friends. We spent every day over summer break skating Santa Rosa (in Northern California) and making videos. That’s when really I knew I wanted to get into cinematography. When I’m watching movies, I tend to notice the camera movements and angles, so that’s what convinced me to go for it as a career. As far at a filmmaker goes, I like Quentin Tarantino’s films mainly because of the camera movements.
RRF: Are there any learning experiences that stand out for you from when you were apprenticing with your mentor?
Sam: Danny Angotti is really fun to be around. When it comes to the camera, Danny really knows what he’s talking about. What really stood out for me during my experience with Atomic Productions is how involved I was with the team. They always had me doing something different on the shoots, whether I was monitoring the audio, working with the camera, doing the slate or setting up the lights. I was even painting and building props for the upcoming shoot. The only way to get better in the film industry is by actually going out and doing it. This is the kind of profession you can’t learn in a book, so the hands-on experience really went a long way by teaching me a lot and helping me improve my own skills.
RRF: So what projects are you working on now?
Sam: I’m currently working on three projects. The first one I’m doing is a mini-doc on my girlfriend’s father’s guitar string business. He makes all of these different guitar strings and sends them out all over the globe. The second project I’m doing with my good friend, Dave Pawlowski. We were hired to shoot some hip-hop cyphers in Petaluma, California. We’re currently editing those videos. The third film project that I’m working on is for my roommates and a few other friends. All of them DJ, so I got some leftover footage from their event and past shows and I’m throwing it all together for one last video.
RRF: What misconceptions do you think many people have about the way the film industry works?
Sam: Many people who just watch the movies and videos have no idea what it takes to produce a video or film. Sure, that video might be only 10 minutes long or that film only lasts an hour, but it took a crew of 5 or more people and days of production for that video, and for that film it took a crew of 30 people (probably more) and months and months of production. Lots of people think making movies is easy and fun. Of course it’s fun, but it can also be very stressful. Everything and every detail counts. There’s a lot that many people are unaware of
behind the curtains.
RRF: Are you more confident in your abilities to do the work and navigate the film industry now than before you enrolled in Film Connection?
Sam: With the new knowledge I obtained, I now have way more confidence in myself to complete projects. Now, I pay attention to the finer details during each stage of production, and I believe in myself, knowing I’ll produce a great project for my clients.
RRF: What is your ultimate goal in film?
Sam: Ultimately, my goal is to become a cinematographer for a feature film. I’m really into camera movements and getting those impressive shots so hopefully one day, I’ll be doing that on a major film.
RRF: Do you have anything else you’d like to share with us?
Sam: I’d like to thank the Film Connection for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity for helping me get my foot in the industry and pointing me in the right direction. Without their guidance and connections, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. I would also like to thank Danny Angotti and the Atomic Productions team for allowing me to join them for a few months and teaching me everything about making videos. I wouldn’t have the knowledge or experience I now have without them.
Thanks Sam! Keep on keeping us posted! We can wait to see some footage soon!