Sean Finley is a fun guy to see around the internet. In my growing distaste for Facebook (at this point it's like a fast food restaurant I know I should stop eating at but I go because it's really close), it's a nice breath of fresh air when you can routinely count on someone on your friends list to post cool stuff. I met with him and Daniel Thorpe of Boom Creative once and we talked about my recent graduation and the comics that we like. I also know him as another alumni of Spokane Falls Community College's prolific graphic design program, though we missed each other by a few years. However, I feel like I know Sean through the happenstance of running into his work around town. Seeing a music video of his at a screening at Terrain, or a commercial on TV I knew he probably had a hand in- I feel like it's not a bad way to learn what someone's all about. These days he's an Art Director for Desautel Hege and as always- a filmmaker. This is SNOWCOYOTE's first post about what it's like to be a creator in the movie-making realm! I'm looking forward to more conversations with creative people in industries that aren't so familiar to me.
In your own words, what is it that you do?
I'm a filmmaker.
How did you get into it?
I went to school for graphic design. My second job out of school was working for someone who knew how to do things like video editing and animation, and I was able to pick up a lot of skills while on the job. (Thanks Mike Bold! digital-itch.com)
Eventually, I started teaching myself to shoot video, and later how to write scripts, storyboard, and direct.
Who are your influences?
I'm inspired by many different filmmakers, but I also like to draw influence from things that aren't strictly filmmaking. I try to find and absorb stories wherever I can. Books, podcasts, articles, etc.
What resources do you always come back to?
Your local library is an absolute gold mine. I'm serious. Go there. Now.
What are your favorite tools and why?
Ideas hit you when you least expect it, so I try to carry a small notebook with me everywhere I go.
How do you promote your work/attract followers/customers?
I'm actually pretty bad at this, unfortunately. I just don't have very much patience with social media. I try to post things, but I'm always wary of over-sharing and wearing out my welcome. I'll typically post something on Twitter and Facebook right when I post it to Vimeo. I also try to enter projects in a few film festivals, because it's amazing to see your own work on the big screen.
What advice do you have for people trying to get started?
Honestly, just dive right in. You'll make a ton of mistakes, but that's how you learn. Especially with something like filmmaking, there's just so many different facets and angles to approach it from. Also, don't try to learn everything. Filmmaking is a team sport.
If you could teach people who are not into filmmaking one thing about it, what would it be?
It's not glamorous at all. No, seriously. If you don't enjoy the ridiculous amount of work that goes into even the simplest short film, this isn't right for you. However, if you enjoy working hard with others to make something amazing a reality, then this just might be for you.
What are your future goals for filmmaking?
Right now I'm working on a few short films and music videos. I'm also trying to brush-up on my screenwriting skills.
If you had to pick, what's your favorite film project you've worked on? What was the most challenging and why?
I did a music video for Water Monster which took up all my nights and weekends for about 4 months. It turned out better than I thought it would and I learned a lot in the process. The most challenging part was filming all of the separate water shots, just because they were time consuming and I'd never tried those type of shots before. My Director of Photography on that shoot was Shaun Cammack, who's an absolute genius with the camera.
Lastly, but most importantly: If your pet could talk (if you have a pet), what do you think it would say to you?
I have a cat, its name is Jojo, and typically I pretty sure it's saying, "Where have you been all day?!"
Anything else you'd like SNOWCOYOTE readers to know?
Where can we follow you online?
Do you know a creator you think more people should know about? Nominate them for a Creator Spotlight either in the comments, or by notifying us through the Contact page!