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Question: Are you the type of person who carefully checks the temperature of a swimming pool before slowly, over the course of an hour or so, working your way into the water? Or are you someone who dives into the deep end headfirst like a lunatic? If you’re the second type, then you might have a bright future in film.

If there’s one thing filmmaking is not, it’s not a solo act. Sure, every once in a while you can go off on your own and create something beautiful; but for anyone who’s wanting to make a career of their craft, collaborating is nonnegotiable. You’re going to end up working with a crew. You’re going to end up working with actors. We’ve talked with dozens of filmmakers over the past year of the Community, and one topic that almost always comes up is collaboration. As you’ll see, it cuts both ways. While collaboration can be frustrating at times, it’s also almost guaranteed to improve your creative game.

One question that always comes up when we’re talking to filmmakers is how they got started making films. We love hearing about the first time someone picked up a camera, the first time they attempted to tell a story, the first time they saw their ideas come to life. There’s something important about remembering those early days. As the years go on and your hobby becomes your career, it’s easy to lose sight of what drew you to this work in the first place.