Unraveling Edward Crockett’s Cinematic Universe: Where Storytelling Meets Visual Mastery

From childhood dreams fueled by Star Wars to encounters with filmmaking icons, Edward Crockett shares his journey and sources of inspiration.

Edward Crockett Filmmaker

Whether you’re curious about the latest camera or aiming to understand how your favorite scene was filmed, you’ll find inspiration and enlightenment on Edward Crockett’s YouTube channel. Keep reading to learn more about what keeps him inspired, his favorite projects to date, and why he utilizes Musicbed to find the right music for his content.

Musicbed: What sparked your passion for filmmaking/storytelling?

Edward Crockett: Honestly, it’s hard to say what sparked my passion for filmmaking. As a kid, I was really into the Star Wars movies and I have lots of memories of using my dad’s handycam to make these stop-motion Lego movies and editing on Windows Movie Maker on an old Toshiba laptop. It wasn’t until college though that I started trying to take it more seriously. I remember watching Casey Neistat’s vlogs and wanting so badly to tell stories like he did, and then on a trip to NYC I ended up meeting Casey and that kind of pushed me to start making things instead of just obsessively learning about filmmaking but doing nothing with it.

What keeps you motivated and creatively inspired?

When it comes to motivation, it’s an interesting one for me. The reality that I get to provide for my family by making videos is crazy to me and makes me feel like the luckiest person on earth. It’s that reality that will often break me out of a creative slump. On top of that, I also see creativity as part of being a human and being created. I believe that we were created by God “in His image” and so as He is the creator, we also are made to create. So it’s a very concrete part of who I am, I’d say. Oh, and completing things motivates me. I know that may sound like a less thoughtful answer but when I first started making videos, actually finishing the video was the hardest part for me! There were so many projects that I did that got to editing and never left the computer so now it’s the opposite and even if I don’t absolutely love where the video is going, I’m probably still going to put it out because I never want to fall back into that place of not completing projects.

When I think of how I stay creatively inspired, it’s actually a convenient question because a lot of what inspires me is music. I often find myself envisioning a video I could make while I’m listening to a song I really like. It’s like that music feeds my creative thoughts. Music will even break me through a roadblock in an edit because once I hear a certain song, I can start to see the edit coming together again.

What makes a story visually appealing? What role does music play in storytelling?

Man, the question of a visually appealing story is very interesting to me because I think that so much of that is in the eye of the person creating it. So while I may see something that doesn’t strike me as visually appealing, the artist who created it obviously does and I don’t think I could ever give the definitive answer on that. For me though, I look for the visuals in a story to all kind of live in the same world, and connect intimately with the story. A recent example of this is the documentary, “American Symphony” where the visuals throughout the whole film feel so real and grounded but also have this very nice look to them that stylistically unifies them. When you then add music into a story like that, you get this full picture of what the artist is communicating. Almost like the music completes the art. Makes me wonder how we would perceive some of the greatest paintings if they were accompanied by the artist’s song or playlist of choice.

What elements do you think are essential for crafting a compelling story?

When I think about crafting a story, I’m looking for a few key things. First, I want to have a character or concept that I can really sink my teeth into. In terms of a YouTube video, it’s really hard for me to make a video that actually tells a story if the concept or piece of gear isn’t particularly interesting to me, and it’s the same when it comes to narrative work. If I have to make the character more interesting, I don’t think it is going to work too well. 

In addition to an interesting character, I think that then writing a script around that and creating a world for them to live in is huge. I recently shot a short film with an amazing crew in OKC and the script that we shot was so brilliantly written and directed that it made shooting it easy because the world was already there. We just had to live in it and I think the writer and director, Adam Ragsdale, did an amazing job of shaping that.

Outside of those elements, I think it’s incredibly important for the cinematography to support the story and not overshadow it. It can be pretty easy as a cinematographer to want to shoot something a certain way because it would really stand out and make a big statement visually but I think the better thing you can do is to shoot something that really supports and furthers the world that the characters are living in. But also who am to say this cause I am just now really cutting my teeth into narrative work, so I’m far from a professional.

How important is music in your work?

Music is essential in my work. I honestly feel that if I somehow wasn’t able to incorporate music into my videos, uhhhhh I’d probably not be nearly as into filmmaking. Music is a driving force in the story and can make a simple shot of a character lying in bed bring you to tears. Yeah, music is necessary.

What advice would you give other filmmakers/creators who are just starting their careers?

Gosh, I don’t even know how qualified I am to speak on this but I can certainly give 2 things that I’ve learned.

I’d say make as much work as you can. Those reps of creating work regardless of if it feels like a failure or a win are essential. I can’t begin to tell you how much time I wasted just watching YouTube videos about making stuff without actually making something. Like yes I make YouTube videos about making videos (lol that’s a funny sentence) but I’d rather someone watch one of my videos and then go out and make something then watch one of my videos and another and another. Actually doing the thing is so much more beneficial than just watching videos about that thing.

This is probably counter to what most people would say but, I’d encourage people to not make the creative thing you do, your full-time thing for as long as you can! I’ve gotten the privilege to work at a church making videos for them for the last 5 years while pursuing my own creative ventures on the side and while that gives me significantly less time to do the creative things I want to do, it also removes a ton of the pressure for those ventures to actually succeed and provide monetary value because it’s not my main thing. So like most of my YouTube channel right now is just trying things because I can and I love that because there’s no pressure and I just get to try stuff and see what type of videos I like making the most and go from there.

How do you balance pushing boundaries creatively and delivering what your client wants or audience wants to see?

This is something that I’m still trying to figure out but the best way that I’ve heard this balance described was simply, “one for you and one for them”. Sadly, I don’t remember who said that but it really struck me and I think it gave me the permission to create stuff just for me. Now, obviously, this doesn’t apply as much to a client’s project because as the person paying you, they often have the final say on decisions but I do think it is beneficial to create passion projects for yourself that fill your creative cup in the midst of all the client work. That’s actually something I’m trying to do better at this year by giving myself a “self-assignment” every month and creating that just for me.

What is the most challenging aspect of being a filmmaker/creative?

For me the most challenging aspect of filmmaking or being a creative is comparison. Honestly, I feel a huge amount of imposter syndrome even answering these questions for the blog because I see the other creatives on here and I don’t feel at all like I deserve to be here. But that’s comparison doing its work and it can be a constant in the world today. And I guess this is where I should give some solution to the problem of comparison and if you just do these 3 things, you’ll stop comparing yourself but honestly, it feels like more of a constant battle. Some days I feel like I will never compare myself again while other days, I am only comparing myself to others and it keeps me from actually doing the things I want to do. I think what I try to do to remedy this is to remember that I’m doing the best I can with the situation I’m in and the complexities of everyone’s situation are different. So I just focus on what I can control which is my own input and let the results fall where they may.

Edward Crockett filming with camera

What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?

Well, my hope is that my answer to this question at the end of this year is very different than the answer now but for now I have a few projects. In terms of content creation, I’m wrapping up a 100-day filmmaking tips series on IG and while none of the videos are gonna blow you away creatively, the fact that I will have completed the 100 days is what I am really stoked about! I also made this YouTube video about the Fuji XS-20 that I feel is how I want a lot of my videos to feel so that’s another one.

When it comes to the filmmaking side, some of my recent self-assignments have been fun, but really the 2 shorts that I shot in 2023 were probably the most creatively fulfilling projects I’ve gotten to be a part of. Sadly, they’re being submitted to festivals so I can’t really show them but just the act of creating them was amazing.

How do you search for music on Musicbed? What are some tips that you’d give other filmmakers to search on Musicbed?

Ya know, this is a really good question because honestly, I feel like the way I search on Musicbed changes by the day so let me try to explain this. If I know the feeling of the video I’m trying to create, then I might go to a creators playlist who I feel accomplishes this feeling well and look through their favorite songs, or I’ll go to an artist that I’ve found whose music has that feeling and I’ll browse through their stuff. Sometimes though, I will actually just listen to music on the Musicbed app and save songs that make me feel something and then actually create a story or idea out of that song so then the searching for music actually doesn’t exist because the music is my starting point. 

Why do you utilize Musicbed in your work?

Before I ever had a relationship with the company, I was browsing Musicbed and getting inspired by certain artists and songs and I really didn’t feel like there were other platforms out there that actually had the quality of music that Musicbed had. There’s no way I was going to listen to a generic playlist of copyright-free music or something but I could very easily listen through a playlist on Musicbed. So it’s the curation of music that Musicbed offers that originally drew me into the platform and is why I have stayed regardless of what else is out there.

Explore a curated playlist of Edward’s favorite music to use in his work—available to license only on Musicbed.