Today I wanted to touch a bit upon something I’ve mentioned before; going slow and repeating.
I think this is super crucial to becoming great at something, in this case, videography or color grading but nonetheless, it goes for pretty much anything.
In today’s society, I see a trend to hustle and be faster and better but in reality, you won’t necessarily become better by going fast. In some cases it’s fine to be fast but if you really want to become good at something you need to repeat it over and over again.
An example is a pro tennis player, they’ve hit the ball the same way thousands of times to perfect their serves or a Formula 1 driver that has spent countless hours in a car going in circles on a track to shave off 10% of a second.
So if top athletes have to repeat the same thing to become the best or at least good at it, why wouldn’t that go for you?
For me, I knew that was the case but it was also a daunting thought from the beginning that I knew I had to suck and do the same thing A LOT of times to become good at it. I had just gone through the journey of becoming above average at taking photos (in my own opinion) when I realised my passion for storytelling fit even better with videography.
My videos SUCKED, like really sucked. The first paid project I did, I was sort of happy with when I handed it in but now, looking back, it was so bad. For me the missing keys were two things; exposure and color grading.
Those were the things I struggled the most with. While I had trouble figuring out how to expose my expensive Canon R6 with the best lenses to get the great result I knew it could perform, I also struggled to figure out if the lack of quality were due to my skills in exposing or my color grading skills.
In reality, it was a bit of both but after practising to expose my camera a lot, I still didn’t get great results when I was working with the footage in Premiere Pro.
That’s when I discovered DaVinci Resolve and decided to make the jump. I knew that it would be another thing to add, that I had to practice to become great at (using a new software), when I was used to Premiere Pro and how that worked.
I decided to do a reel every single day for a while, which was mostly to practice my color grading skills. This way I had to finish a project every day and while I didn’t shoot every day it also forced me to use the same footage over and over again.
That’s where popular belief sometimes clashes; “but Alex, didn’t your followers get tired of seeing the same clips again and again and then just unfollow you?”.
Nope. In fact, it was the opposite. First of all, everything I posted only got pushed to somewhere between 10-50% of my followers, so most of them didn’t see all my reels. Second of all, I did new grades on the same clips, which made them different and in different combinations. So, while the clips were the same, the reels were new.
After posting a reel every day for a month I fell into the color grading trend at the time and made it my own by playing around. Again, I just experimented and didn’t care too much about what people thought with only 1500 followers.
That leads me to “find the niche” of color grading and my way forward with my business. And after color grading every day for a year, I have a really fast workflow, I know the ins and outs of the tools in DaVinci Resolve and I have the ability to teach others.
So, by going slow and taking the time to repeat the same thing over and over again, combined with going “fast” and giving myself little time to finish each project, I produced a lot of content and practised my skills to get to where I am today.
I am continuously learning through YouTube and Courses to become better and learn new things, so the learning never stops but throughout the past year, I’ve shot an incredible amount of footage as well. Without thinking too much about it, using my camera in the field is now second nature to me, and the same goes for editing and color grading.
So, my recommendation is to repeat and stay consistent. That way you can build a solid foundation that’s way more valuable later on than any quick fix you might achieve by trying to go fast and skip all the basics.
I hope this story resonated somewhat with you! If you have a story of your own, I would love to hear it! Don’t hesitate to reply to this email and let me know.
I’ll catch you in the next post!