Avoid Embarrassment: Learn How to Master Your Craft


If you are just starting out your career in filmmaking, you will most likely experience what is known as “lack of mastery.” This is because it takes time to master the art of filmmaking. But there are some things that can help you on your journey to mastery.

For example, focus on one aspect of filmmaking at a time. That way you won’t be overwhelmed and still be able to master what you’re trying to learn. Make sure that you set aside some time for each project to really invest in the craft and not rush through it. And finally, use the Setwork app if you want help with learning new skills or improving your existing ones by gaining experience on set with pros. 

Learning a new skill is hard enough, but from personal experience, one of the hardest aspects of crafting a new skill is avoiding embarrassment. This is especially true for any new skill that you don’t have a lot of experience with. Whether you’ve just started working as a cinematographer or are a junior editor, simply not knowing how to do something can lead to embarrassment.

Here are a few things to remember if you find yourself facing this situation. 

  1. Categorize your experience as soon as possible and see where it might fit. For example, “I play guitar” or “I’ve never edited a movie before” might be more appropriate for the skills you want to learn. Establishing this fact and labelling your character might also help keep you accountable.


  1. Know if you want to learn a specific skill or the like, but avoid embarrassment and shame by avoiding comparison or judgment. Indefinitely avoid comparison or judgment. If someone is talking about or judging you on something you know nothing about, you know nothing about it. The key here is learning from this experience and not becoming defensive or judging. Germans call this “Kantown” and it can literally translate to “the most overrated living, period” but psychological studies call it “scarring.” Scarring might be the understated truth behind doing something incorrectly. By avoiding comparison and shaming, you can focus on your next course of action.

  1. Remember and follow your path. Categorizing your experience as learning an unaccredited skill or self-taught might help if you don’t have a lot of experience. Having a clear path of action is beneficial in identifying mistakes or making sure you only start out trying. Think of what talents you want to develop — film directing, notable speaking roles in theatre, video editing, coding, etc. — start by setting yourself up for success by identifying which step of the process you want to do.

  1. Learn more before attempting. Even if you start off with an under-resourced, free camera, learn how to use it, engage in some basic editing or follow a tip we gave above. You never know what kind of lessons can be learned behind the camera.. Improving your skills spreads before you need them. The best part: improvement results in growth because you have to throw off old habits and start doing new things. This can be both a joy and a burden at the same time, the same way persistence pays off in sports. On the other hand, it’s a constant struggle.


Moreover, most interpersonal skills are harder to learn when you don’t have experience with them in the first place (i.e. how to connect). So I wanted to share some things you can do to prevent embarrassment when it comes to new skills.


Whether you are an experienced filmmaker or just starting out, avoid embarrassment by putting in the time to learn your craft. Setwork is the #1 platform to connect you with filmmakers and clients alike to give you the experience you need to build confidence. 


Written by Dean Matthews

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