Some time ago, my friend Toddske and I were having a conversation about music to listen to during long drives; having become accustomed to traveling for long periods of time myself, I recommended that he begin listening to podcasts. Kevin Smith’s in particular, a podcast a mutual friend had also forwarded onto me some time before.
The podcast itself started as mostly anecdotal stories of Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier’s experiences making movies, little did I know the flame it would ignite in Toddske’s imagination. He began asking me more about the short movies I was producing out of Edmonton and about movie making in general. This would eventually lead to the big question, “Why not make short movies in Fort McMurray as well as Edmonton?”
And so we built a robot.
The original idea was of a short music video about a robot that came to Fort McMurray to find work, which would evolve into three shorts featuring a robot, each providing a thematic commentary about Fort McMurray life.
At the same time, Toddske was coming up with “his own” idea for a creative venture. Having become a bigger Kevin Smith fan than I already was, Toddske wanted to take his fandom to the next level, emulation. He wanted to start a podcast.
While shooting shorts, we would begin to discuss at length what his podcast would be about. It was finally agreed that to truly be unique, much like the Robot shorts, the underlying theme should be about Fort McMurray.
As Toddske had helped me by standing in front of a camera, I begrudgingly agreed to be his first guest host. Not that I didn’t want to be part of the project; but as some may know, I have terrible stage fright despite being told that I handle myself fairly well on stage. That does not keep me from losing complete appetite after a night at a Metro Shorts Screening and just wanting to sleep.
After recording the first episode, Toddske invited me to be the permanent co-host for the YMMPodcast. Although hesitant at first, I agreed for the challenge of improving my speaking voice and stage presence on an intimate scale.
In less than a year …
• Six Fort McMurray Digital Shorts have been completed and screened well in Edmonton, one has also screened in the New England area for a Film Festival.
• YMMPodcast has organized the first interplay Film Festival in Fort McMurray.
• YMM Podcast has created the FILM FEAR Halloween event.
• YMM Podcast has helped provide a platform and promote other creative minds in Fort McMurray. Check out our links section to see all the talented people we have the privilege of knowing.
• I’ve become better at speaking on stage.
I am not trying to list off accomplishments because the truth is that although we have “pulled off” these events/projects, it has not been easy and there is still so much to learn and do. Toddske often harps on me for being too negative and overly cautious. I try to plan for eventualities and because of this, I often stay on the safe side of things; Toddske’s ambitions have allowed me, in a manner of speaking, to start swimming in deeper waters.
But now more than ever, I am reminded of this quote by Ira Glass:
“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story.
It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
I am very proud of what I have been able to be a part of and feel that there is much talent and potential in both the YMMPodcast and YMM Community creatively.
One other thing,
He will probably hate that I even mentioned him; but the YMM Podcast was possible, in no small part, due to the talent and work by Jesse Nash. He helped set up the website, our iTunes and pretty much fixed any technical issues we’ve had; he also set-up the website for The People That Touch Your Food, took the photo that would be the poster for Night Hawks and has helped the group I affectionately call the “film friends” on countless other projects. He is a much nicer guy then he will ever let on and I thank him for everything he has done to help all of us out.
Check out his podcast Robocop VS The Nazis
Happy Holidays, Everyone!