Filmmaking Real talk


Hey friends.

I’d say “I’m back!” but most of you probably don’t know or remember me.

So, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Keegan and I am an NYC-based Director, VFX artist, and Motion designer. Like many of you, I got my start around the time of the DSLR revolution, learning filmmaking from the likes of Freddie Wong and Corridor Digital. Being able to make a living doing what I love is something I honestly thought I would never attain and I wanted to return to the forums to give back to the filmmaking community that helped me get my start!

“Real Talk” is going to be a series of videos on “making it” in the industry of film, TV, and digital video. For me, personally, it’s been a long and hard journey trying to break into one of the most exclusive industries on the planet. In these videos, I will break down some of the worst advice I received on my journey that I’m sure many of you have heard before:

  • “Gear doesn’t matter!”
  • “The only way to get good is by DOING!”
  • “It’s all been done before.”
  • “School is a waste of time and money.”

And many more.

Lastly, I just want to stress that these videos aren’t for self-promotion or as a way to push my “brand” or something weird like that. What I really want this to be is a way to give back to the community that helped me get to where I am. So, with that being said, feel free to drop me a line here, on YouTube, or on social media @KeeganLarwin and I’ll do my best to answer any questions you might have.

Thanks, everyone and enjoy the first episode of “Real Talk”: DON’T LISTEN TO PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET. (teehee)


Keegan! Welcome back dude!
I’ve been following you on youtube since seeing you here so I love that you’re back.

Not listening to people on the internet includes you though…
So I’m not gonna watch your video

…'til tomorow cause it’s late here and I actualy have filmschool tomorow :smiley:


Thanks for giving back to the community! Delightful video, impressed with how you did the audio with all the problems that you mentioned.

While I do see your point, and I don’t doubt that what you say is true to you, I do still think advice such as make movies to get better is, at its core, true. But as you say yourself every person is different and so all advice is with addendums.
Making movies isn’t enough to inspire true growth if a deeper reflection on all aspects of the process doesn’t happen.

TL;DR all advice should be considered as part of the puzzle and taken with a grain of salt.

That being said I do look forward to what more you have to say in future videos. I personally would be interested in what advice you have on what’s the best way to learn software and more complicated hardware.


Hey Jasper! Good to hear from you again!

I guess the big misconception is that making movies is a technical craft more than it is an artistic craft. To be a doctor, you need countless hours of study and practice. And that’s very much how we teach filmmaking.

But the art of filmmaking is really the art of telling stories. And that requires a great deal more than just practice. It requires perspective, introspection, empathy, and a whole host of things that are ignored when people are just starting out.

But yes. The general point is, everyone’s perspective is different and making movies isn’t something learned through repetition alone.

Hopefully I’ll have the next video out in the coming week! Thanks again for watching :slight_smile:


Ayy, welcome back!

Thanks so much for this advice! I’m deciding whether to apply to film school undergrad or grad (or at all) and this really helped!


I agree almost entirely, but here’s my point of view: I think film isn’t just artistry and it isn’t just technique; It’s right in between. Therefore you must practice the technical until it becomes natural–only then will you be able to put those technical thoughts aside and entirely focus on the feeling that the motion picture entrails.

Besides, I believe perspective, introspection, and empathy can be practiced. Just not conventionally. We practice them every day: when you screw up with someone, that pain you feel from the screw-up leads to an improved perspective, for example. Introspection is practiced with meditation and empathy is practiced with living-- genuinely living, and exiting the comfort zone.

So repetition is a way of learning. Repetition allows for practicing the technical, AND exploring thoughts and feelings to improve that introspection and perspective throughout the process. I believe, that with each film you grow.


I highly suggest you do. If not for the lessons, then for the contacts, the equipment and the fact it allows you to fully dedicate yourself to it with an external force that does not involve your self control, which in turn will also allow you to evade procrastination.


Ha! You should see the amount of procrastinating I still get up to now that I’m in filmschool!


:joy: I was going to say. 98% of the people I went to film school with squandered every second of every semester and ended up switching careers after college.

I’ll do a video on this, but for now I’ll say that Film school is only worth it if you’re going to give it 100% while you’re there. The degree as a piece of paper is worthless. The value comes from the experience, skills, and connections you build while you’re there.

Half of my gigs during my first year after graduation were through connections I made during school. Food for thought!


Hahahaha yeah, some people go into film thinking its the “easiest major” and then it kicks them square in the balls :joy:

which in turn will also allow you to evade procrastination.

:thinking: Well now that I think about it, yeah my point’s wrong because I’m saying your inspiration is the film school, an external source when the best source of motivation is intrinsic motivation. Interesting!

Totally! That’s pretty much the whole point I make about film school


I had a super busy week last week, but I found a sec to record the next video about how and why gear actually does matter a lot if you’re looking for a career in the film industry.

Next time: The downsides of criticism and how it can sometimes harm your work.