MZed is more than an educational resource - we're also a community of thousands of filmmakers from around the globe, connected through our shared love of filmmaking and learning.
Let's learn about each other, who we are, our passions and philosophies, where our creative drives come from. We want to share your story! Please get in touch if you're an MZed Pro member and would like to be featured on our blog and social media channels.
This week's feature is Tom Alner, a fimmaker based in Scotland, UK.
Introduce yourself - who are you, where are you located, and what kind of creative work do you do?
Hi, I'm Tom, a filmmaker based in Scotland, UK. My creative work is a mixture of shooting whatever I can get my hands on. Anything from short films to music videos, from corporate promos to weddings. Like most of us, I just like to get out there and make interesting things with a camera.
What do you love best about your type of work?
Many things. I love the variety I think, every day you can be thinking of new ideas or learning something new. Every film you work on, regardless of the subject matter or style, is a new challenge and a chance to get a bit better at the craft.
Tell us about a project you're especially proud of.
Difficult to answer as every project was the focus on my creative energies at that time it was made. I think the project I'm most proud of would be 'Team Hamish', a short film about a family-run charity based here in Scotland, which is a heartbreaking and moving story. Perhaps it's not as visually striking or narratively impressive a film as some of my more recent work, but I feel proud to have been involved in a real, and ongoing story.
How do you like to learn - to improve your craft and grow your passion for your work?
I prefer hands-on instruction and learning. I like to get out there and shoot, and review as I go. But as with any job, there are periods of downtime, and a need to slow down and take the time to reflect on your skillset and improve in the areas you need to. Heading into textbooks is something I tend to avoid, so a learning resource like MZED Pro has been a godsend, where it's real filmmakers teaching me practical skills.
What are your future goals for your creative work?
I'd like to make a feature film, having directed my first short last year. That's something I'm now in the early stages of writing and planning for. Aside from that, just keep shooting, keep improving and try to learn something new every day.
What are the challenges - or misconceptions - about the type of creative work you do?
There's lots. It's hard work, stressful, competitive, time-consuming, money is often an issue, and people have all kinds of misconceptions about filmmaking likely based on their lack of personal experience with the process.
Yet despite the many obstacles, I still get the goosebumps in the edit room when I put some nice shots together with music, and I hope that stays with me forever. It's pretty much the reason I do it.
What do you like about being an MZed Pro?
MZED Pro has been a really invaluable tool in my kitbag. The content is varied, well-made and you cannot help but learn valuable skills from any of the courses you choose to watch. It's also aimed at professionals, or those aspiring to be at that level which for me can only be a positive thing.
Anything else you want to add?
This has been said countless times by far more articulate people than I but I'm saying it anyway. For anyone out there who, perhaps like me, often doubts their own creative journey, and wonders if it's all worth it, I have this to say: just stay in the race. Forget what others are doing, focus each day on learning new skills and just enjoy making interesting things for people to watch.
Connect with Tom Alner