Window Cleaner to Netflix Cinematographer with Andrew Smith - Be Frank Podcast EP.1
Cinematography, Hard Work, and a Creative Career
In this episode of the Be Frank Podcast, cinematographer Andrew Smith discusses his upbringing and how he became the great cinematographer Oklahomans are proud of. He has worked on films such as Reagan, Minari, and Gosnell and has worked with Netflix. Listen to him discuss his vision of a creative approach and how he grew his creative career.
Key Takeaways about Cinematography and a Creative Career from Andrew Smith
Andrew spoke about the importance of planning and communication between your team as well as your clients. He said, “Good planning is what makes great work… Being able to communicate to your team precisely what you want… that’s everything.” Without communicating effectively with your creative team, you can’t improve your speed and efficiency with projects. Communication and planning streamline your team’s creative process.
Freelancing and the early pursuit of a creative career are difficult. Andrew said, “The [creative] game has changed a little bit, but the hustle is still the same… If you get off the worst day on set and you’re like, ‘I had a really rough day but it's still better than a 9 to 5,’ then you’re probably gonna be okay.” Pursuing a creative career isn’t easy work, but for the right people, it can be so fulfilling.
When speaking about valuing your time and effort, Yosuke said, “If you quote [the same price] 5 times and get the job 3 times, that’s the best price… If you get rejected 5 times out of 5, then you’re too expensive… If you get hired 5 times out of 5, you’re too cheap.” As an independent creative, you should be constantly re-assessing your prices and value to improve your profits and jobs over time. Checking in with yourself and your work is crucial to growing financially and creatively.
Andrew spoke about increasing your prices alongside things like inflation and cost of living increases, saying, “Those are conversations you have to have probably sooner rather than later.” Your pricing is an open negotiation, and you have to be willing to have these conversations for your sake as a career creative and for the sake of your business.
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