Filmmaking Real Talk: A Series

Hey everyone,

I'd say "I'm back!" but most of you probably don't know or remember me.

So, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Keegan and I am an NYC-based Director, VFX artist, and Motion designer. I got my start using FXhome's products including Hitfilm and now I am making a living in the industry --  something I thought I might never be able to do. 

Many of you here are hobbyists, making films in your free time with this amazing and accessible suite of software. But others, I know, want to make filmmaking their career. 

For those in the latter camp, this is for you. "Real Talk" is going to be a series of videos on "making it" in the industry of film, TV, and digital video. For me, personally, it's been a long and hard journey trying to break into one of the most exclusive industries on the planet.  In these videos, I will break down some of the worst advice I received on my journey that I'm sure many of you have heard before:

  • "Gear doesn't matter!"
  • "The only way to get good is by DOING!"
  • "It's all been done before."
  • "School is a waste of time and money."
  • And many more.

And, lastly, I just want to stress that these videos aren't for self-promotion or as a way to push my "brand" or something weird like that. What I really want this to be is a way to give back to the community that helped me get to where I am. So, with that being said, feel free to drop me a line here, on YouTube, or on social media @KeeganLarwin and I'll do my best to answer any questions you might have.

Thanks, everyone and enjoy the first episode of "Real Talk": DON'T LISTEN TO PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET. (teehee)




  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
    edited May 2018

    @Keegan ;  Good luck with the series!  Truth needs to be told.

    (But I do beg to differ.)  There is useful information on the inter tubes.  But you just have to know where to look and how to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    For beginning filmmakers this can be daunting.  But there is good information is out there. 

    I think I would point to Film Riot and Filmmaker IQ as viable sources.


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @Keegan welcome back! Yes, it's been awhile. 

    I'll check this out in a bit--when not working. 

  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator

    I'll just leave this right here:

  • Hey guys!

    @Triem23 : Thanks! It's good to be back!

    @Stargazer54 : I definitely don't want to come off as if I think there are no good resources for beginning filmmakers. But I think a lot of it is misleading. A perfect example is the video you posted above. He offers sound advice for a budding filmmaker who just wants to make movies. 

    But for the hopeful DP or AC looking to dive into the industry, this could actually be terrible advice. That's something I'll be talking about in the next video that I'm (hopefully) recording tomorrow.

  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
    edited May 2018

    @Keegan I think the point of Hess's video clip  (although it was a long way around the barn to get there) was that you aren't going to get any better at making "films" unless you get out there and shoot. 

    And in the end, it's not about the equipment - it's about the story.  He was just knocking on people worried about their camera and not thinking about the narrative.

    Maybe you're right. The two sources I cited may be entry level fare, but everybody has to start somewhere.

    With that out of the way, I think it is awesome that you're back.  Really looking forward to what you have to say!

  • Here is a recent video from Peter McKinnon, who's body of work speaks for it's self.

  • @BobDiMarzio Interesting video! I guess I don't want to pass this series off as being aimed at people who want to be YouTube or Insta famous. I'm really, narrowly focusing on people who want to be a part of "The Industry" itself, whether it be Hollywood, the NY ad space, Atlanta, Vancouver, etc. I can't speak to being a successful YouTuber because that is something I certainly am not! 

  • @Keegan Interesting series you've got started there. Just watched the intro, and your story about following Freddie Wong's advice had me interested...but then it just stopped.  You said that you eventually found out that it was the wrong thing to do, but you didn't elaborate on what was the right thing to do.  Or is that coming in a future episode?  It sounded to me like you were going to tell the full story, so I was surprised when the conclusion never came. Not even a comment like "I'll tell you more about that in a future video." You just moved on to "in this series we're going to cover..."

  • @jsbarrett I kind of skimmed over it a bit, which is my bad. In the video, I talk about how I should have meditated more on what I was doing and taken a step back to examine my creative process and pull apart its flaws. I was too quick to just finish a movie for the sake of finishing it instead of sitting on it for a while and figuring out how to make it the best movie I could make it. It wasn't until a friend told me my stories and writing were absolutely terrible that I took a moment to step back and start from scratch in the way I tell stories. I started forcing myself to be as basic as possible.  My earliest movies had these wild mystery-box, ambiguous storylines that were a symptom of my creative aimlessness. It was just noise.  I will touch on storytelling in a later episode that will go more in depth. Hope that helped, and I'm happy to speak more on that!


    Aaaaand, here's the next video on why gear DOES actually matter a lot (if you're looking to hop into the film industry).

    Next time: The downsides of criticism and how it can sometimes harm your work.

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