When I was working to produce my first feature, I had no idea what I was doing. I knew I wanted to see my name in the credits, but didn’t know how to do it.
Fortunately, I also had the phone number of someone who had traveled the same path years before. I contacted this person and asked for advice.
When venturing into new areas of understanding, it is essential to seek out advice from people who have real-world experience. Asking the wrong person for advice may create conversational fluff, but won’t get you what you need. For example, if you wanted to learn how to develop six-pack abs, would it make sense to ask an obese person for advice?
Remember, just because someone has a title or education doesn’t mean they are fully qualified to help you. Find the people living what they teach. Sure, it’s possible an obese person may have a fitness education; but based on experience, they aren’t living it. A person’s advice is limited by their experience.
Later, when I was looking for ways to self distribute an indie feature on the internet, I asked a former studio executive for advice. It was a mistake. After a long conversation, I found out the “expert” had never made an independent feature or any money self-distributing an independent feature. Yet, he was happy to provide advice.
So whenever you’re asking for filmmaking advice, be careful!