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Episode 111 – Becoming “Professional”

After two years of podcasting, Alrik and Timothy finally get into details about how they became working professionals. We talk about how we got our start after graduating and the steps we took to get to where we are now. Plus we respond to the Filmmaking Sucks Podcast about what it means to be a professional.

Listen to this episode now or visit iTunes to download it to your device.


Hey, guess what? Alrik and Timothy just worked together for the second time this year. Alrik produced and Timothy directed a four day shoot. It was the biggest commercial for both of them. Keep a look out for this commercial campaign in August. We will be sending it out. We talk about the pros and cons of commercial work and whether or not we’d do it again.

Working Professional vs Hobbyist

Back in episode 104 we had listeners dial in, one of those was Lindsay Serrano, a filmmaker from New York who also has a podcast called “Filmmaking Sucks” with Manny Serrano. A few episodes ago, Lindsay and Manny talked about MMIH and we had to respond to a few things they said.

First of all, we may be professionals on paper but we don’t feel like it.  We share more in common with Lindsay and Manny than we do with anyone in Hollywood. But point taken, we do work professionally. How does that help us? How does that hurt us? We discuss how being a professional is holding us back and what it means to be a professional. We also point out how the way we work as professionals is no different than being a hobbyist.

Timothy points out that a big hurdle for us to think in microbudget terms is that the crew we have access to costs a certain rate and getting them to work for little to no money is near impossible. The math of microbudget filmmaking for us costs more because of our contacts.

But that’s not to say we can’t do it. Be sure to check out Alrik’s short “Cake” which he made with no money in a short amount of time as part of the Werner Herzog Master Class.


Becoming a Professional

We have two new listener reviews to share this week. One of them contains a question about how we got our start in filmmaking. We answer the question in detail. Thank you R.C. Gates for the question.

How Timothy got his start out of college

  • In 2000, Timothy graduated college and went directly to being a full time employee
  • When Timothy graduated he did not have a plan to get into filmmaking
  • After two and a half years of working for a sailboat company, Timothy found a job at Goodby Silverstein & Partners on Craiglist
  • And it wasn’t until 2005 until Timothy made his first short film out of college.
  • In 2006 he moved from facilities to the production department at Goodby Silverstein & Partners
  • For the first two years in the production department, Timothy was a one-man crew shooting, producing, editing and it wasn’t until 2009 that he got a chance to produce his first TV commercial
  • He stopped directing commercial projects between 2008-2015 and was only producing
  • In 2015 he started directing again with the Cisco spot we talked about on the podcast

This is the first commercial Timothy produced:

How Alrik got his start out of college

  • He was paying the bills with work as a bouncer and customer service at Lens Crafters
  • He gave him 3-months to get a job in filmmaking
  • Unlike Timothy, Alrik stepped directly into the world of freelancing
  • His first job was an an AD on a feature film shoot:
  • Alrik went on to PA on TV and movies, including a position on Francis Ford Coppolla’s crew
  • Alrik then worked for Studio B
  • Alrik tells us about how he met the people he still works with today and how all his early opportunities led to where he is now.

Contact Us

You can find us on Twitter @timothyplain@alrikb or @mmihpodcast! And on Facebook

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  • Come on now yall, no thoughts on this one either? Timothys first commercial that he produced was interesting, he already had a connection to VFX in his very early days…