With hundreds of careers and opportunities, the filmmaking industry can be a unique experience for a filmmaker. Options include pitching an idea, or a commission through screenwriting, casting, shooting, editing, and screening your project. Filmtools decided to take a deeper look into the world of a Filmmaker. This week, we had the opportunity to speak to Filmmaker William Rouse about his work. This is what he said:
What inspires you?
William Rouse: I’m inspired by so many things I see on a daily basis. Whether it’s observing a painting, a photo, watching a particular film, or even having a conversation with someone, I tend to draw inspiration from it. I believe that the ultimate artist, God, created everything from nothing so whatever is on this earth is a form of his art to be inspired by. There’s a story in everything, you just have to pay attention to it. That’s what I try to do.
Why did you choose this field?
William Rouse: I painted and drew a lot as a kid but never really knew how to express my thoughts & ideas. I tried everything from architecture, to music, & photography but never really felt fulfilled. I realized it was bigger than me. Art is a tool that can be used to help, inspire, and educate others. Filmmaking was the art form that God gave me to to do so. A compelling story within a beautifully composed series of frames can have the power to change things. I think that’s pretty cool. That’s why I chose to be a filmmaker. Not to mention I love it!
How does Filmtools help you?
William Rouse: I was directing a pilot for a sketch comedy series last year and we were in desperate need of a multitude of equipment in a short amount of time. We took a quick drive down Burbank Blvd. to Filmtools and were able to get everything we needed in 1 stop. They even delivered what we weren’t able to haul the same day. Everyone there is extremely kind as well.
What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on before?
William Rouse: Man I’ve worked on so many cool projects it’s difficult to choose. I cam op’d a feature film entitled “Solace” not too long ago directed by Tchaiko Omawale. That was pretty cool. It featured some great talent: Lynn Whitfield, Glynn Turman, Hope Olaide Wilson, and Syd from the Internet. I was able to work alongside DP Bruce Francis Cole who I think is incredibly talented and learned a lot. It’s interesting when you’re working on certain projects, it can be difficult to appreciate them until it’s over. That was a long process, but I really appreciate every second I got to be on that set now. It made me a different filmmaker. Be on the lookout for it soon. I think it has the potential to do great things on the festival circuit.
Do you have any projects that we can help promote?
William Rouse: I’m working on a couple projects currently. A fellow creative and I created a show called “Eats in the Streets” that we plan on shooting a pilot for soon. I have a documentary I wrote with a friend nearing production as well, so I’ve kind of taken a hiatus from shooting. I’m “In the Lab,” as they would say. Been doing a lot of writing lately.
This quick video I did entitled “The Power in Innocence,” was a story I came up with on the spot with my trusted t2i while visiting the LA County Fair 4 years ago. I think there is so much beauty in the innocence of a child and it’s something we must protect. So I created a little piece on it to bring awareness. I’ve grown a lot since as filmmaker but this concept is still so relevant I thought I might share it.
Do you have a piece of essential gear that you don’t leave without?
William Rouse: I never leave the house without my trusted Canon 5D Mark iii. Though not my particular choice for video, it is an excellent stills camera. I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately and the convenience of having an excellent stills camera with me is priceless. It gives me the ability to work on my composition on a daily basis.
What is the first thing you do on set?
William Rouse: When I step on set, the first thing I like to do is make sure to establish a good rapport with everyone. I think great energy can change an entire set and make the final product that much better. As a director, you want to have your crews trust and you want them to know that you trust them as well. I think a great conversation in the morning can definitely help that.
What’s in your bag when you go to set?
William Rouse: I always keep my 5D, laptop, and iPad in my bag on set at all times. I use my 5D for production stills, laptop for DIT, and my iPad for my shot lists and mood boards. I prep a lot using my iPad and look at it often for reference.
How do people like you fine tune their skills in the field?
William Rouse: With social media running pretty much everything these days, I feel as if public perception is so important to a lot of people. But I think it can be a serious problem when it comes to the growth of a creative. I think the biggest way to fine tune your craft is to try new things and take risks. A lot of people like to take the comfortable route in fear of what others will think, but as a creative, I think once you find your own voice, you will constantly improve. Repetition is key. Look at the greats from other fields. For example, Steph Curry takes a certain number of jump shots every single day and is now known as the best shooter in the history of the NBA. Apply that same type of work ethic to your craft.
What advice would you give to people interested in this industry?
William Rouse: Be passionate about what you create and pay attention to detail. It’s fun but it’s a process. Trust it.
Where can people follow you on social?
William Rouse: I’m on Instagram regularly. Please stop by and say hello. I love networking with fellow creatives.
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