• Wondering which camera, gear, computer, or software to buy? Ask in our Gear Guide.

misc Does being a "jack of all trades" work?

Are there many filmmakers or writers out there who successfully create stories in vastly different genres/settings? I find myself wanting to dip my toes in so many different genres but I wonder how realistic that is.
 
Plenty.

As a writer or a director, versatility is very important. Especially if you’re just starting out, being able to diversify keeps you moving and keeps you working. It’s not until you get to a certain point in your career that you can be picky enough to stick with one genre. Look at Jordan Peele. He’s done a lot of different stuff. Even within the straight-up comedy of “Keye & Peele”, they were very successfully mixing and matching genres within their sketches. But he’s gotten to the point now that he can choose to pursue a narrowed focus. He’s focusing on horror with his feature films and the Twilight Zone reboot.

But it’s worth mentioning that being a “jack of all trades”on the technical level can be detrimental. Filmmakers who choose to do it all themselves (lighting, camera, sound, editing) end up spreading themselves too thin. At least one of those aspects, and often more than one, will suffer. It’s great to be a director who understands and appreciates all the different departments and even has experience in several of them, but that should be used to hire talent and to entrust those departments to the crew hired.
 
Last edited:

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
I find myself wanting to dip my toes in so many different genres but I wonder how realistic that is.
All genres have the same needs when it comes to storytelling:

A compelling story and characters a viewer (or reader) wants to spend time with.

As a writer, a director or a writer/director if you can do those two things it's
very realistic for you to move between different genres.
 

Alcove Audio

Business Member
indieBIZ
I don't consider myself a jack-of-all-trades, although I may be considered just that. When it comes to audio post I do everything - DX (dialog) editing, Foley performance & recording, sound effects creation & editing, music editing and rerecording/mixing. Although I do all of those things I feel that I excel at DX editing and music editing. Don't get me wrong, I do very solid Foley and sound effects work, but would not consider myself an expert, at least at the "Hollywood" level. Maybe It is partially due to the fact that I don't have the facilities/budget nor do I do as much work in those areas to become a pro at those. My mixing skills are also quite solid, but (maybe, again, because I don't have the tools) I don't personally feel that I have the intuitive, natural instincts that many of my peers possess.

Hey, my clients are always quite satisfied and my peers never have much to complain about, but that is how I view myself.
 
Every screenplay I’ve written so far has been of a different genre, and sadly I’m still working on getting financing to start making them. But I’d imagine with the Coronavirus changes going on, it could out the best thing to be able to create in different genres.

Right now I’m finishing off an animation screenplay and I never thought I’d be writing one, but also I’ve started another one which could be solely animation or animation with regular film - more expensive of course. I just write what comes to me and have fun.

Good luck with your creations!
 
If you have the stories, tell them! Forget the word genre, don't even worry about it until the marketing phase. Then ask yourself what genre the story is.

I love this comment. It really is that simple isn't it?

I'm glad to see that everyone seems to be on the same page when it comes to this topic. I guess I feel like I just don't see it all too often. After reading everyone's thoughts on it, it does make me feel better going forward with my ideas.

Curious to know if anyone else has experience dabbling in different genres though.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
The story is the naked body, the genre is the clothes she wears.

You can tell your same story in multiple genres. The story IS what is most important.
 

mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
I definitely write in many different genres, especially in my "work for hire" projects. I'm currently writing two dark comedies and a murder mystery. I've written three thrillers for other clients. My own work (not for hire) alternates between family drama with some comedy & family comedy with some drama :)
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
Yeah, but those movies don’t usually put much focus on the writing.
This is when you go BACK and rewrite rewrite rewrite to turn that horror in to a true horror, etc.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
Both techniques work.
If you said "Hey let's form a black metal band" or "Let's just get in a room together and see what happens" and it turned out to be black metal... either could be awesome.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
That porn joke went right over my head! :rofl:
 
Both techniques work.
If you said "Hey let's form a black metal band" or "Let's just get in a room together and see what happens" and it turned out to be black metal... either could be awesome.

That's one of my biggest problems, I'm a perfectionist and put way too much thought into how I want something to turn out and I never let myself lose control.
 
I feel like it's easy to fall victim to being a tyrannical director who boils over on every aspect of production. My film teachers have told me that's it's okay to try on different hats, but at the end of the day you have one head. It's more impressive to have someone who specializes in one area than someone who knows a little about a lot.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
What really sucks is micromanaging. If you assign a job to somebody let them do it! What this means is you need to hire the right people. The people you can let loose and do their thing. If you find yourself micromanaging either 1) You have hired the wrong people or 2) You are a control freak/asshole (the former is how you see yourself, the latter is how others see you).

Don't confuse this with not paying attention to every detail or not caring. Micromanaging is not letting someone do their job and you get in their way telling them how to do it instead of knowing how to work with them and voice your opinion.
 
Top