There is a big difference between the work you do for yourself and the work you do for hire.
As creative people, it is tremendously important to continue making work you do for yourself because you love it, as well as the work you do for your job. Both kinds of projects support one another. Both make us better at what we do and define who we are.
The summer months are always our busiest as it’s wedding season and we have a lot of wedding clients. During the winter months though we have this rare opportunity to take on a few projects that we want to do just because we think it will be fun, interesting, or a new challenge for us. There are many reasons why we believe passion projects are so important to what we do. The best thing about a passion project video is that we have complete creative control over the final product. We get to film what we want, how we want. Most importantly though, they demonstrate to our future clients what we are all about, the kinds of projects we love, and help us find future work with our ideal clients.
One film company we really admire is called Gnarly Bay. They are all about passion projects. Even when you visit their website, first and foremost, before any of their client work, are the videos they make for fun. Passion projects encourage filmmakers to go and film what they want to film. They keep our creative selves healthy, breathing, and experimenting.
When we first moved into the studio space, we were feeling really eager to create something. We had a little time on our hands and we were staring at a giant white wall. Looking online we came across this guy named Chemis who does incredible graffiti art. We ended up emailing him asking him to come in and do art for us in exchange for a video. It took him a week. He took over the entire space. For us it was really neat because he wasn’t only doing something for our studio, but he was also getting to do something for himself. For us, there was a lot of story there. Before we knew it, the entire place was covered in plastic and he was spray painting on the walls and within a week we had some amazing artwork. To add to that we had a video that was exactly the kind of video we wanted to make.
Working with Chemis was one of our first big passion project videos with CTM. We’ve always loved working with other creative people and artists in particular because we share a lot of the same values. We want to create something beautiful, something completely unique, something that could never happen. When we get to work with creative people we all learn and share in that experience. Working with Chemis was a really amazing experience because we were able to trade art for art. We went out looking for a graffiti artist who could liven up our office, and in return we got to make a promotional video for the artist.
When we first met with Chemis, he presented us with a picture from the classic Hemingway novel “The Old Man and the Sea“. We weren’t really sure what it had to do with filmmaking, but we trusted this guy and trusted what he was passionate about. For us, we really appreciate when people trust us and trust what we want to do. A huge part about working with clients is trust. Simply put, we loved his portfolio and was amazed at what he could do. As long as he was passionate about it, we knew it would be great. Looking back on it The Old Man in the Sea made perfect sense. As filmmakers we are all about telling stories. The Old Man in the Sea is a powerful story about going after what you want more than anything and never giving up.
These are exactly the kind of people we want to work with. We love projects where we have the freedom to be creative with our projects and work with clients that are willing to give us their trust. With that, we have the power to make great videos.