It Took Me Three Years To Learn The Mechanics of Filmmaking. Now The Hard Part.

Josh Rose
8 min readApr 27


When I was a kid, stories came to me constantly. While other kids sat chewing their pencils, I was furiously scribbling out ideas — characters, names, dialogue, scenarios — I had a well that never ran dry. I don’t know where it came from.

There are similarities between the disciplines of photography and filmmaking. You deal with light, you hold a camera, you compose, you capture. And the post process has crossover, too. Color correcting RAW images has analogies to color-correcting video footage — contrast, curves, etc. Also, the relationship you have with subjects is vaguely similar, with you behind the camera and them in front of it. But as similar as those things are, it’s sort of like comparing driving on the freeway to driving in a NASCAR race. It starts off similar enough, then the further into it you go, the more you realize you don’t know.

Filmmaking, in the more sophisticated sense, had always seemed like something probably not doable to me. And, as a creative person, that held me back from certain kinds of storytelling. There was always this underlying fear that, should I write a script or have a more narrative-driven concept, embarking on actually getting it made was just something out of reach. So, I didn’t bother even getting started.

That childhood ability didn’t dry up, so much as I moved away from the well.

I had left the agency world in 2018 and started my own creative studio. For two straight years I built a business primarily on my photography skills, doing everything from brand work to portraits to dance photography. Then Covid hit and business slowed. I pivoted a bit and started doing more studio product shoots, which I could do in the privacy of my studio, but there was free time.

I can still remember that quiet commitment I made to myself. I didn’t really tell anyone much about it, aside from my partner. It felt almost experimental. Personal. I wanted to learn filmmaking, but give myself room to fail without judgment.

“Hats.” A mini-doc, by Josh S. Rose.

Act 1

Things began just as they did with photography, trying it out with family and friends. Like my buddy Christopher, the hat-maker above. Also as it was in…

Josh Rose

Filmmaker, photographer, artist and writer. Writing about creator life and observations on culture. Tips very very much appreciated: