“1 day i figured i would pick up a camera and shoot movies like Spike instead of shooting hoops like Mike…. one of the best decisions of my LIFE…”
a true story by Beezy, indie filmmaker
Basketball was my 1st love as a kid growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, MI. In the 1990s I wanted to dribble like Isiah Thomas and throw no-look passes on fast breaks like Earvin “Magic” Johnson, soon those hoop dreams faded away into dreams of capturing pictures and putting them in motion. In the late 1990s i came to the realization that i couldn’t slam dunk like Chris Webber or jump from the free throw line like Brent Barry in my 5’9 160 frame. In order to have a quality life in this world, one has to find a occupation they ‘love’ to keep the lights on.
I attended college in Rochester, MI at Oakland University receiving a degree in Political Science c/o 2003 with dreams of being a lawyer like Johnnie Cochran.
Unfortunately, defending criminals in a court of law didn’t appeal to me after a few civil rights & liberties classes and witnessing the corruption going on in the world at the time. Therefore i worked odd jobs from shoe sales, real estate, to substitute teaching in an urban decaying city named Pontiac located 20 miles north of Detroit in southeast Michigan. I never enjoyed working jobs at any point of my life unless I was being creative. Which is usually never at a job in Michigan (majority of people in Michigan work for auto industry 9-5 40-50 hours p/week). I feel its torture to do the same routine everyday, this limits creativity of the brain, and may lead to insanity. Working a salary or $11 p/hour job position places limits on the potential of your earnings in life.
“Find something you love to do and you will never work a day in your life”
Most people work a job in order to purchase material substances for instant gratification and acceptance in society today. i.e. car, jewelry, etc. In reality all we need to survive is food, clothes and shelter, everything else is considered a luxury. Once you believe in this principle I guarantee it will change your life.
Soon after i graduated college, a friend introduced me to a digital camera and i fell in love again like when my father first put a basketball in my hand. The digital camera was Amazing. You could snap a picture and view it instantly as well as transfer it to your desktop computer in the same day. At this point, i didn’t know that snapping random pictures of my life would turn into a passion of me shooting motion pictures.
A few years later circa 2006 i stumbled upon a new video sharing site; YOUTUBE.com and seen the revolution before my eyes. I immediately created an account: DigitalVision, which was my idea for an independent film making company inspired by movie director Ice Cube’s Cube Vision and my new found love for Digital technology. Yeah…that is how i created Digital Vision TV...lol
I never attended a film making school.
So how would I become a filmmaker without any training or experience?
I went to my same childhood neighborhood where i use to shoot hoops and captured pictures of street signs and shot low budget music videos for my buddies on a consumer Canon elura 100 (about $500 bucks)from Best Buy and taught myself how to edit on my new mac powerbook. I was convinced since day one i could shoot a movie like Spike Lee or Hype Williams with hard work, dedication and a little luck. A lot of people thought I was crazy when I told them I would be a filmmaker. I didn’t know any filmmakers at the time and no one really wanted to help me expand my film career. “All i gotta do is capture the visual and tell the story. Its really that simple.” I continued to shoot amateur videos in the metro Detroit area with no luck of growth in a stagnate depressing economy, therefore I took my talents to Las Vegas and Atlanta, worked on a few production movie sets as an extra, productions assistant, etc. … all the way down to my one man crew sets: directed by K.B.
I believe a self education of film making has led me into the forefront of the future filmmakers of America. The best way to learn film making is to go shoot the film. Don’t wait on anybody, get ya crew , make mistakes, and keep shooting.
I am the only one who can stop me from creating projects at this point. My plan, is to gather quality content that conveys a message to the audience and only “do Shit I Believe in! PERIOD” The Hollywood movie industry will continue to decline if more people have the courage to buy a camera and shoot the movie without the Hollywood backing. I did it. You can do it too! Growing up a black kid in America, there were only a handful of filmmakers of ethnicity for me to look up to such as John Singleton, Hughes Brothers, Fab 5 Freddy, and Spike Lee to name a few. I watched all the 1990s blaxploitation movies over and over, knowing the characters words line for line. Today there are a numerous amount of directors from various cultures for the youngsters to look up to. The art of film making is evolving everyday, in 2012 you can shoot a movie on your iPad, iPhone or flip camera and edit it in less than 24 hours. This makes the art better than ever because anyone can create a film now.
I have came a long way from shooting hoops in the backyard to shoot close ups in the desert, but still I have so far to go….
Hopefully my story inspires the next future film maker to pick up a camera and shoot.
Be Hungry. Be creative. Be humble.
Stay tuned 4 future projects | short films. documentaries. web series & anything else creative. email: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Peace. Jah Bless!
Excerpt from my upcoming book, “How to shoot a movie in 30 days: Guerilla Filmmaking Guide”
So you want to be a filmmaker or director but have you no idea of how to get started? I grew up as a cultural sponge, soaking up classic films such as Boyz in the Hood, Malcolm x, Coming to America, E.T., and Scarface just to name a few. My favorite movie to date is American Beauty starring Kevin Spacey. I always wanted to be mentioned or compared to the great African American filmmakers such as Spike Lee, John Singleton and Melvin Van Peebles. I knew back in the day at the young age of 10 that I wanted to be a filmmaker and direct my own movies. In 2010, I was able to make my dream a reality and direct/produce my first short film, Blood in my Mouth. In order to make a short or feature film there are 7 essential things I feel you will need to get started. Missing one of these components is like trying to win the lottery without any numbers. After you get these things in order it is pretty much, Lights, Camera, Action!
Checkout Beezy Tarantino’s list of 7 essential things required to shoot your 1st film:
2. Camera man
3. A script or screenplay
4. A good Editor
5. Cast/ characters
7. Location. Location. Location
#Beezy Tarantino (director, Blood in my Mouth 2010)
For more info log on to: www.digitalvisionlive.com
1. Good Smart Phone/ Android
I use my iPad, which is great for sending emails & checking social networks.
2. Good Laptop
I’m a Mac so i use an apple MacBook w/photoshop & final cut but you can utilize any good laptop wit a good battery and pro editing sofware such as avid, to start your film career.
3. Website/ email address
Get a site that has your contact info, about me/bio section, your reel/portfolio and your current projects.
4. Business Cards
Biz cards should be a mini-poster about yourself.
5. Build a social network
In this day and age a 5 year old can create a twitter or Facebook… Social networks along with popular video sites like YouTube & vimeo allow indie filmmakers to have access to the world. Take advantage.
6. A good camera
Flip cameras start at $199 and they record in HD. If u want a more cinematic look on a budget try one of the canon dslr’s: 7d, 5d, rebel t2i, rebel t3i or a nikon that shoots 1080i. If you want a big budget look, shoot your film on a Red Camera.
7. Insider Info
Get insider tips on relevant industry info from filmmaking blogs.
Your network iz your net worth.
9. Pitching/sales skills
Selling your script or idea is similar to being a car salesman, if you don’t believe in your script no one else will. As a director you also have to be able to pitch your idea to actors, so they believe in your project.
Practice, practice, practice. Practice makes perfect. The only way to learn how to shoot films is to go out their and do it. Simple as that. Reach out to potential mentors but never stop shooting & creating projects. Happy Filmmaking!
-Beezy Tarantino (director)