13: 7 Skills Every Creative Should Learn

In this week’s episode, we discuss seven different skills that every creative should familiarize themselves with in order to master their craft. We discuss some of the lessons we learned starting out in the film industry and the types of skills we forced ourselves to learn that would eventually help us create what Riot Studios is today.

1. Today is special (00:38)

As of today, you have 48 hours to PRE-ORDER our book The Break In! We’ve spent the last year cramming every tip, trick, and secret into a book for filmmakers ready to get serious about their craft. Hurry over to Riot Studios now to order your copy.

What is wrong with me!? Take me there now!

2. Master of None (02:01)

Filmmaking is a combination of all types of art. You’ve got music, theater, art, dance, and singing. So why not familiarize yourself with these and refine your palette to create better work?

1. Graphic Design (03:45)

Making a logo, facebook image, business cards, and marketing materials are all things your business could use right now! And learning how to design them yourselves will save you lots of $$$.

We discuss Photoshop, Sketch, Illustrator, and the learning curve around learning them all. It’s tough to master all of these but worth every minute of your time trying. Will talks about getting his feet wet with Photoshop and what it was like to be a graphic designer at Baylor.

2. Drawing / Animation (07:57)

Communicating an idea well is one of the most important skillsets to getting a project off the ground quickly. You will speed up the process of selling your pitch if you can clearly show what your creative vision is and how you intend to execute it. Neither one of us are great artists, but we’ve found other ways to share our vision including video storyboards or simple stick figure drawings that illustrate story beats.

3. Web Development (12:03)

Scary. Intimidating. Necessary. Michael taught himself web development and stands by the claim that it is the most IMPACTFUL skillset to learn when it comes to reaching people.

We discuss starting with Squarespace or WordPress and the benefits of each.

You can also learn the basics of coding here: Code Academy

4. Public Speaking (17:26)

We sucked at public speaking for a long time. We started doing speaking engagements when we toured our second documentary “Beware of Christians.” That experience taught us how important effective communication was for our message and our business. We recommend recording yourself delivering a speech and watching back for areas of improvement. It’s all about repetition!

5. Copywriting (20:59)

We discuss the importance of grammar, spelling, and the importance of sharpening your writing skills. Will suggests Grammarly as a great resource for correcting your sentences. Mike suggests the importance of writing daily and even wrote a killer blog about it! Check it out.

6. Social Media (24:00)

Reaching your audience is as important, if not more important for your brand then the brand itself. If no one knows you exist how effective can you be? We discuss the difficulties with being seen and offer some helpful tips for getting your word out there.

Will mentions an interesting article about the marketing of Soma, a water filter that used social media to make significant waves in a dormant market. Check out how they crushed their release strategy here.

7. Learn Music (26:48)

Learning an instrument has helped the two of us when it comes to pacing, rhythm, and taste. Editing has a lot more to do with tempo than you know and drumming has been an instrumental part (pun intended) for Will’s career.

Learn more about Riot Studios’ new book The Break In and get even more tips and tricks to sharpen your skills as a creative. We appreciate y’all tuning in!