It’s All You.
Here’s the thing, we live in the greatest age of storytelling. A decade or so ago if you wanted to make your own show, you’d have to be rich, know somebody or get discovered. Maybe you had a website. Maybe you had a DVD or tape of your stuff, but it didn’t all mesh. Now, all you need is a smart phone and an idea. The only thing stopping you in 2018+ is you. You can literally go online and get the gear, site and channel you want in a matter of hours. You control your content and your distribution with little to no roadblocks. It’s a fantastic time to be alive.
I’ve Always Loved Video and Travel. Always.
To say that I suffer from wanderlust is a gross understatement. The truth is it’s only been a few weeks since my last trip and I’m already going stir crazy. Traveling, more specifically the ocean, calls me. It’s in my blood.
I’m an Irish descendant of Atlantis. When it all hit the fan in my underwater origin, I guess my ancestors swam towards the Cliffs of Moher and never looked back. Couple this with a sincere love of video and storytelling and you have me. This all explains why I’d edit video on a ship, in a pool or bath tub if I could figure out the logistics.
The Three People Who Inspired Me to Make the Move.
For me it all started with Samantha Brown. She was my travel gateway drug. If I wasn’t traveling, I was watching Samantha Brown. Samantha’s shows gave birth to the travel film genre. Her informative and entertaining nature led to all of the travel shows that you see today. In my mind, the travel genre was born purely because of Samantha Brown’s work on the Travel Channel. Thank you for all of your amazing journeys, Samantha! It would be an honor to meet you one day, just to be able to say thank you.
Bert Kreischer, otherwise known as Bert the Conquerer, helped unlock the my thought process that I’m allowed to travel and tell my story. From the very first episode of Bert the Conquerer I was hooked. This guy had the secret. He revealed the recipe. He showed us that we were allowed to travel, to have fun and to document it all. He showed us it was ok to act crazy, to step out of our comfort zone and to see what travel was really all about: Growth and Exploration. Bert helped me realize that I could change my stars. That I can do anything I wanted to. I just have to make it happen.
I’ve followed Zane for so long it’s almost impossible to remember life without some kind of Zane show in it. For those of you who may not know Zane, he was the host of so many travel shows including Three Sheets, Have Fork Will Travel, Drinking Made Easy and the AMAZING crowd-funded (YES CROWD FUNDED) show Chug. Now, you’ll find Zane and his wife traveling more vlog style in their latest travel show, Zane’s World.
Zane is a master at making you feel like you’re his buddy and he’s brought you along for the ride. Zane’s shows are lessons in how to tell a story, how to keep people engaged and how to let your true self, your personality, shine through it all.
I’m forever a fan of Zane and his work. I’ve learned an incredible amount from Zane. The man keeps moving forward. He keeps pursuing his dreams of entrepreneurship, travel and having a show. He is an inspiration to us all. His comedic timing and storytelling abilities are second to none. Being a filmmaker and entrepreneur myself, it would be an honor hang out with and learn from Zane.
The Six Filmmakers Who Taught Me Everything I Know.
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Perry for so long that I can’t remember him not being part of my life. Working with Perry was a daily masterclass in all things filmmaking. Perry is one of those Directors that can do it all and does. He’s the Gordon Ramsay of Filmmaking. He’s unreal at lighting, camera moves & blocking and most importantly human emotion. He’s able to tell any story, any time and does so with such skill I’d pay to just hang out on set with him. Perry taught me what vision was all about. He taught me the importance of emotion and finding the right moments. He taught me to look for places to let the story breathe and other places to get busy chopping. We wouldn’t have the show that we have today if it wasn’t for Perry. It really is an honor to be able to call him a lifelong friend of mine. Below are just a few projects that Perry and I worked on together. He is an amazing friend and filmmaker. He’s taught me so much that it would be impossible to list it all.
If you don’t know Ryan, it could be your first day on the internet. Welcome! I’m honored that somehow this little blog post of mine is one of your first web experiences. I kid. But in all seriousness Ryan is a mega star and levels up every time he steps behind or in front of a camera. Ryan is living proof that you control your destiny. I admire him and his insanely talented family for never giving up, for always pushing forward. Seriously. When I’m feeling down or feel like I just can’t do this anymore I remind myself of the amazing Ryan and what he has accomplished. Over 1 million subs on youtube, a MASSIVE free training show & series, unbelievable short films, a super successful online store and a community that would do anything for him. This man is a living legend. Ryan is a walking lesson in ‘If you can dream it, you can do it.’ I’ve had the honor of working for Ryan on various projects and getting to know him personally. It’s an honor to be able to call him a friend. He’s taught me more than I could possibly describe. I owe quite a bit to Ryan. Here’s a thing I worked on with Ryan, I had the best time ever:
Here’s Ryan’s latest short film, BALLiSTIC. It’s unreal.
Mike… I could write a 20 page paper on why I think Mike is an amazing human being. I’ll put it this way, Mike unlocked everything for me. He showed me a path that I’m still on today. He taught me that FEAR is simply False Evidence Appearing Real. He taught me to look for the yeses. We drove down a busy road one day and he pointed out every business, every entrepreneur, every dream that someone had and fulfilled. Mike is absolutely the reason I stood up from my desk job and changed everything about my life. Mike is one of the coolest people that I’ve ever had the pleasure of spending time with. Mike is a fantastic Editor, an AMAZING entrepreneur and an UNBELIEVABLE Composer. If you’ve ridden Space Mountain at Walt Disney World, you’ve heard his music. If you’ve ridden the PeopleMover in Tomorrowland or the Living with the Land ride in Epcot, you’ve heard his amazing VO skills. Mike is a living lesson that anyone can do whatever they want to do, the only thing stopping you is you. Mike, you are an inspiration my friend!
Dave is the AMAZING mobile filmmaking entrepreneur behind the iOgrapher. Stef and I have known him for years and years through our company, Rampant Design. We first met Dave at a trade show where he was showing off the very first iteration of the iOgrapher, flash forward to now where his business is an empire and he has a MASSIVE community of his own. Dave’s story is inspiring to everyone. He was a media teacher. He saw a need for his students. He created the iOgrapher. Now his company is worldwide and has the attention of Apple and Steven Spielberg. I mean come on folks, the guy who brought you Jaws, Close Encounters, E.T., Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park is all about this device that Dave invented. Still think you can’t do it? Think again:
Yeah. That’s Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and the iOgrapher. Dave did it. You can too. Dave has always been kind to us. He’s always mentored us and helped us along the way. We love and adore Dave as a businessman and a fantastic human being. He’s taught us a lot, most importantly that chasing your dreams is all that matters. We’re allowed to dream. We’re allowed to step out into the unknown and we’re allowed to tell our story while we do it. I’m truly honored to be able to call Dave my friend.
I worked with Rusty in one of the most violent, hurtful and abusive places on the planet. It was a toxic environment that wore on your soul daily. Yet here’s Rusty with a huge grin and a funny joke to get the day started. Every single day. Nothing brings this guy down. His positive attitude really spoke to me, really helped change my outlook on life. He and his amazing wife Selena are major influences in our lives. They are the happiest, most positive people that we know. They are a happy, loving, fun couple who flipped their desks and started traveling for a living. They without a doubt inspired us to do the same.
I’ll never forget driving through the Ocala National Forest with Rusty laughing and thinking well we’re lost and we’re gonna die but it’s going to be hilarious.
On the editing side of things Rusty taught me how to create a story out of literally nothing. He taught me creative edit chops, a better way to think about how to tell the story in the editor and he introduced me to slick keyframing in Premiere. I was a staunch AE guy at the time and shuddered at the thought. He is a master editor / storyteller and I’m honored to have worked with him for so long. Rusty is the reason every single one of my promos look the way they do and his style absolutely influenced my own. I’m honored to be able to call Rusty my friend and I’m forever grateful that he took the time to teach me how to be a better / more well rounded Editor.
I had the pleasure of working with Brent at my dream job. There was a time in my life where I got paid to make content for Walt Disney World and I loved every second of it. Brent was the Editor and Post Production Supervisor and taught me everything about the Disney look and feel. How a Disney spot works, how to invoke the right emotion, how to pace the spot. Basically Brent was a crash course in how to Disney and I learned it all from him. He is a master at what he does and it’s an honor to be able to call him a friend and to be able to say that I worked along side him. Brent is a total rock star. On a personal level, Brent is a patience ninja. Working for such a demanding client comes with well, demanding clients. Nobody keeps a more even, more positive attitude under pressure than Brent. He’s taught me quite a bit and I’m forever grateful for it.
Giving Back by Paying it Forward.
Stef and I are all about community building and sharing knowledge. We wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for amazing humans showing us the way. Our online business offers free products and free training all designed to help people achieve their video goals. Our Travel show / cruise vlog channel is no different. Stef has been secretly working on a massive project for about six months now and it’s finally finished. Check out http://makebettervlogs.com for a super in-depth look at how to vlog or tell your own story using your iphone. Stef doesn’t glaze over topics, if you follow all 16 videos you’ll be a story telling super star. Best part? It’s 100% free. Yep! No emails, no checkouts, just pure love from us to you. Why? Because other people helped us reach our goals and it’s only right that we do the same. Our mission is about spreading positivity and helping people. This is our small way that we give back to the community that continues to give us so much.
You Got This.
Want your own show? Want to build a brand and a channel? Maybe you just want to make an awesome vacation video for your family? We all have a story to tell and now is the best time to do it. We believe in you, now is the time for you to tell your story and we’re always here to help if you need it.
Like I said above, we wanted a travel show so we made one and you can too. We believe in you.
Sean Mullen is a Travel Filmmaker, Vlogger, VFX Artist, Brand Ambassador and the CEO & Lead Designer of Rampant Design, Inc. He is a 3 Time Emmy Award Winner and former Walt Disney World Monorail Pilot. Sean is married to the AMAZING Stef IRL. See Sean’s Portfolio here: http://seanmullen.media