Jul 19 • 1HR 8M

Suffering won’t make your art better

Friends with BQE: Noam Kroll on why you can make a good movie with easy shoots

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Appears in this episode

L. Vago
Conversations with people who, whether they know it or not, are firing their inner boss. An audio companion to the Big Quit Energy newsletter.
Episode details
“I trust the Creator and my Ancestors to always make space for my gifts and talents without needing to work myself into exhaustion.” – Tricia Hersey 

I love this quote because it challenges me to have faith in that we can actualize the work we want to put into the world without having to grind ourselves to dust. 

Someone else who gives me hope in this regard is Noam Kroll, an LA-based filmmaker who also makes educational material to help other filmmakers (these are mainly on his website noamkroll.com, and his podcast, Show Don’t Tell).  I’m personally drawn to how he helps people open up to the possibility of a production process that fits their situation, without the long punishing days or huge budgets that we assume all movie productions must have. 

He produced his upcoming film, Disappearing Boy, with a no-budget-or-crew process that strikes me as a lot more laid back and enjoyable than what I picture in typical shoots. If you want a glimpse into a filmmaking practice that allows for more joy and less of your soul getting crushed, this is for you. 

If you don’t care about film but you enjoy discussing the nuances of where a normal, healthy urge to work crosses into work-humping, this is also for you (the last 25 minutes are, at least).  

Among other things, we cover:

  • Why he usually prefers smaller, DIY “outsider” productions over larger ones, even if the latter come with more prestige (including the different reasons why larger sets tend to have harsher conditions)

  • How he designed the story and production for Disappearing Boy to be sustainable for a new parent with no budget

  • How working without a crew and no budget, counterintuitively, gave him more freedom and less stress

  • Controlling your own enjoyment of the process, especially since you can’t control the outcome

  • How he’s able to sidestep the pressure to reduce himself to one skill or role in his professional client work

  • The time he felt the anti-hustle movement was going too far in vilifying hard work—this is where we discuss what separates joyful work ethic from toxic hustle culture

Enjoy, and please let me know who else (including yourself) you’d like me to chat with, along with any other feedback!