With hundreds of careers and opportunities, the filmmaking industry can be a unique experience for a filmmaker. Filmtools decided to take a deeper look into the world of a filmmaker. This week, we had the opportunity to speak to filmmaker Joseph Adams about his work. This is what he said:
What is your name and where are you from?
Joseph Adams: Joseph Adams, Los Angeles.
Primary role on set?
Joseph Adams: Behind the scenes photographer and videographer, but I was once called Cinematographer of the Behind the Scenes. I like that title a little more.
Person in the industry that is on the top of his or her game in your role.
Joseph Adams: This is a hard question. I feel like a lot of BTS is being that fly on the wall. You don’t hear much about many individual people who work in this field. People like Nicole Wilder, Helen Sloan or Justin M. Lubin, you have seen so many of their pictures but might not know who they are.
If you had to impress someone with your work, what would be the most “well-known” content that you’ve worked on?
Joseph Adams: I’ve worked on a few unbelievable projects this last year. We just wrapped one of my favorite projects so far MGM’s “Stargate Orgins” This is a prequel to the 1994 movie “Stargate” I was hired to do BTS stills and video by an amazing production company, Vanishing Angle. We shot for 24 days and just wrapped last month.
Best craft services food?
Joseph Adams: I am a sucker for dried mangos. I try and eat healthy but they make it so difficult to do so.
What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on before?
Joseph Adams: I have worked on some super cool projects. Every time I think it can’t get any better then the last, the next film set always raises the bar. But if I had to choose it has to be a tie between a Sia music video with Maddie Zigler or a music video with violinist Lindsey Stirling. Lindsey Stirling was the sweetest and most fun person I’ve ever met. We traveled up to Vasquez Rocks, had little robots, dancing, and all the cast and crew were a blast to work with.
The set for Sia was unreal. We had a giant projection, the floor was all water, we even had water raining down and watching Maddie Zigler dance with all these elements was breathtaking.
When you arrive at set, What’s the first thing you do?
Joseph Adams: When I first arrive on set, I like to walk around to explore the space and introduce myself while getting to know anyone that I have not worked with before. This gives me a better idea of what and who I am working with. This also helps to make few new friends.
Whats the first thing you do on set?
Joseph Adams: Pretty similar to what I said above. I also like to find breakfast. I’m a grumpy person if I don’t eat.
How did you break into this industry?
Joseph Adams: I’ve always known I would work in this industry. I moved to Los Angeles three years ago after I graduated from college in Ohio . I only knew a few people out here including my roommates, funny enough ALL five of us went to high school together. I have always been one to jump in the deep end so when I got out here I bought a 5D Mark III in hopes to create my own content and see where that goes. I knew a couple people who were working on productions at UCLA that asked if I wanted to help out with their film thesis. I was eager to help out and thought, why not bring my camera to document everything? From there everything just came together, I was gaining more experience, creating more connections and figuring out where I wanted my path to take me.
What challenges have you faced?
Joseph Adams: This could be a huge list, but I’ll try and keep it simple. Every day is a challenge. I come from absolutely nothing but the passion of wanting to work in this industry and trust me working in this industry isn’t glamours as people normally think. There are so many ups and down, long hours, and time is always against you. The biggest issue is finding work and the grind can wear you down, but take all those challenges and learn from them no matter how good or bad things get. Finding the balance between what you can do and should do.
Do you have a piece of essential gear that you don’t leave without?
Joseph Adams: Besides the necessary equipment I need to do my job I wouldn’t leave home without a good camera bag. I actually got my cinebag from Filmtools. Staying organized is key on set. Time is against you and even wasting a moment looking for something can mean not getting that shot you wanted. A great Cinebag makes all the difference.
Current TV obsession?
Joseph Adams: I have recently found Mr. Robot and can’t get enough of this show. I love the cinematography and the overall script is amazing.
Do you binge-watch new shows or pace them out?
Joseph Adams: I try and pace them out just so I can really digest and appreciate what happens.
What piece of gear do you have your eye on?
Joseph Adams: I have been looking into a set of anamorphic lens by Atlas. I am hoping to develop my own look and start new career path into the director of photography world.
Camera – Should you own or rent?
Always rent an expensive camera. Technology quickly changes so by the next year rolls around its already outdated. It always depends on your situation but from my experience you should rent.
Lenses – Should you own or rent?
Joseph Adams: If you are going to invest in anything I would put your money in lenses. Lenses will normally hold their value. The biggest example is, even in the huge budget world, they still use lenses that are 30 or more years old.
What is your preferred camera system? Lenses?
Joseph Adams: For my personal use I have always been a fan of Canon. For bigger budget I love the look and feel of Arri and a great set of anamorphic lenses.
What are you currently working on?
Joseph Adams: I’ve always have personal projects going on. My roommate and high school friend opened an escape room last year, Evil Genius Escape rooms. This escape room is very story driven, each room is connected like a chapter to a book. It has been very successful and we plan to create a prequel feature film involving the story. I am also working behind the scenes for Aputure starting in the new year.
What advice would you give to people interested in this industry
Joseph Adams: The biggest advice is to never give up. Learn from your mistakes and keep pushing yourself to break boundaries. Nothing happens overnight, it takes a lot of work and if you dont see yourself doing anything different then go for it, let nothing hold you back. (Another small tip is never let anyone take advantage of you. Know your worth and stand up for yourself if that time ever comes.)
Where can people follow you on social?
Joseph Adams: You can always see my work on my Instagram @adamsjoe330 I also change my website constantly as my skills sharpen. www.josephtadams.com
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