i made a movie. it stunk.

All right, I’ve been doing these goofy little videos for like a calendar year now We’ve talked about web shows movies books TV cool mysteries obscure artists fast food and even lime-green Squirt gun emoji and a bunch of you have decided to drink the kool-aid. I’ve been serving up like over a hundred thousand of you and despite the fact that I’ve served up about 70 million minutes of Entertainment in the past year I feel bad because I feel like you don’t really know me And I don’t really know you so here’s something a little different something personal I’ve spent the past year being a critic of other people’s work, but today. I’m gonna talk about mine The year was 2000 op13 I was coming off of a series of short film festival wins and on to a quarter life Crisis and the itch to make a feature film was getting past the point of variability I just had a big article published by filmmaker magazine and it likely Deluded myself into thinking that I was becoming a big deal I remember at the time it felt like I was on the cusp of a big break I was young confident cocky and so so Skinny and all the while that nagging desire to make a big boy film was growing stronger and stronger And I told myself I had one year to make it happen where I’d give up the dream go back to work at the local ABC affiliate and settle for being a lifetime Journalist or the TV news producer or whatever one year to finally make the movie or that was it I was giving up the dream I did this for a lot of reasons but mainly it was because I knew a self-imposed deadline would finally force me to address whether I was gonna be serious about Filmmaking or not if I was gonna be a filmmaker I needed to shut up and make a bloody movie plenty of people in the Springfield Filmmaking scene had talked about movies that they were going to make one day But next and nobody was actually getting around to making one and I was sick of being the stereotypical wannabe filmmaker I wasn’t gonna stand around anymore with my head in the clouds and hands in my pockets I was gonna take the jump and actually make a movie But I had no money So as was the thing in 2013 I turned to crowdfunding after putting together what I felt was an OK script I set the budget at 3 grand crossed my fingers and posted to IndieGoGo hi I’m Austin McConnell I’m a local filmmaker from South Western Reserve I need your help to raise funds from my very first full-length feature film and sprouting organs I knew I’d end up making the movie whether I hit the goal or not, but the extra $3,000 would help me recoup most of the production costs and help me submit to a few film festivals 3,000 smackeroos Probably doesn’t seem like a lot of money to make a feature film on but it was my first one so I wanted to keep The goal realistic there were about 55 people on my friends list who were fellow filmmakers in the area Maybe 40 of whom I had actually worked with at some point in my life and besides that I had plenty of contacts from working in TV news and participating in an annual local Film Festival figured at the very least I could get about 40 of these people to pitch in and I Had to angel donors from a previous job that had already told me they’d make up the difference for whatever I didn’t raise so at the start of the IndieGoGo campaign it felt like everything was going to come up millhouse but in the end eight people donated eight Oh, and one of those angel investors decided to drop out – in the end the fundraising campaign managed to raise 1245 bucks that remaining angel investor decided to kick in a thousand bucks off the books and well close enough right So before I knew it I was sending out casting calls and hiring location scouts. It seemed pretty momentous at the time I was featured in a local newspaper I was on a few podcast and I had inked an agreement for the film’s premiere to be at a local art house cinema What’s more I had an award-winning cinematographer, and my best friend Lance little who had agreed to work behind the camera I would play the film second lead And I’d hire out for the first and third I’d also juggle most of the other Behind-the-scenes stuff myself if I wasn’t gonna be in a shot I would be shooting all the post-production stuff would be done by yours truly as well all because the budget called for it the less money you have to pay people the more work You’ll be handling yourself And that was fine after all I’d done most of the behind the camera stuff for my short films anyway This wouldn’t be any different so I drew up a production schedule the plan was to have two months of shooting July would be the easy scenes August would be the hard ones We’d try and fit in some reshoots if we needed them I’d spend the rest of the year editing and have it into Sundance and Slamdance by their end of the year deadlines, yeah Yeah, I know what you’re thinking hey all that’s great Austin, but what’s the movie about so the flick was called sprouting orchids? Here’s the logline a young man and woman recover from separate tragedies Unseen forces in the universe work to bring them together for a purpose far greater than themselves Pretty big right the synopses on the back of the DVD explains things a little better Lincoln and Rachel are two strangers who have never met yet both of their lives were forever changed in the same moment It has been three years since this incident took place and the puppet master behind it all is preparing to pull one final string Hanging in the balance as humanity itself Right so basically. There’s this creepy looking alien Dude
Who takes control of an? archaeologist and triggers an ancient alien beacon deep underground to alert his fellow alien dudes that the planet is ripe for Harvesting triggering this beacon sends a mental shockwave through the Earth causing a rocker girl named Rachel to suffer a severe stroke while driving down the highway Which leads to an automobile accident that kills her disabled brother at that same time on the other side of the globe a young art exhibitor named Lincoln suffers an identical stroke while on a business trip Which leaves him unable to retain his employment three years later Rachel is converted into a devout Christian and Lincoln’s doing his best to maintain sobriety and keep Job as a high school janitor they both eventually meet up fall in love share their secrets and before too long the Archaeologist tracks them down for the purpose of assimilation and to facilitate the arrival of the off-screen Alien army seems weird to me now But at the time I remember thinking that this was like the coolest story ever and I had high hopes Looking back now I can see plenty of flaws narrative Lee speaking that I should have fixed But you know behind sites 2020 so whatever so I cast the movie filled out the crew And we were ready to go principal photography for sprouting orchids took place between July 1st and August 20th 2013 I learned a lot during that time to say the least now every film production has its ups and downs And I don’t want to bore you with a bunch of empty Platitudes nor do I want to drone on and on about every step of the journey plus I mean I’m under a nondisclosure agreement So even if I wanted to I couldn’t I will however tell you about three noteworthy days from worst to best first grocery store day so Lincoln and Rachel first encounter the Archaeologists while they’re out shopping for groceries this sets in motion a short car chase Which is the first real big action scene of the movie? It’s the introduction of the story’s conflict? It’s a key scene it also ended up being the worst scene in the movie first Let’s talk about what went right, so there’s this company called high V They’re an employee-owned chain of more than 240 Supermarkets located throughout the Midwest and they gave us permission to use one of their locations to film in this was awesome It was the most noteworthy business that had ever been convinced to work with me before it was the one location I doubted that we’d ever get permission to use but we did Thanks to an amazing location manager, but what went wrong well How much time you got as? Amazing a location as hi V was They gave us all of two hours to use it that is a ridiculously short amount of time to film a key scene Additionally Lance was only able to shoot for about an hour that day And it’s really really hard to film when the only alternative Cinematographer is smack dab in front of the camera two hours to use the location and only one hour to use a cinematographer Meant shooting was rushed this led to a lot of problems later on there was a lack of coverage meaning I didn’t get many options to choose from when? The scene and the coverage we did have was shaky at best As we didn’t have time to check the quality of the shots between tanks I actually tried to mend this later on with reshoots in front of a green screen, but the results were less than stellar Oh, yeah, it was also incredibly Incredibly hot that day We were under direct sunlight Which just kind of adds to the stress you’re feeling when you’ve only got a few minutes to get something shot and due to other Factors we were late starting and late finishing Grocery store day taught me that when you don’t take the time to do it, right You’re not gonna be happy with the results and because of that one of the most important scenes of the movie looks Amateur very very amateur, but next let’s talk about art gallery day after Lincoln and Rachel escaped the clutches of the evil archaeologists they take Refuge in links old art gallery the to finally reveal their secrets they discover the cosmic bond they both share they each have a separate piece of an interstellar map stored in their minds that can guide the alien enemy to planet Earth in the script they were to Discover this bond while locked in a bathroom And they were to use the bathrooms mirror to write the map out and I know that if you’re watching this footage You’re probably thinking that doesn’t look like an art gallery nor does it look like a bathroom That’s because of what went wrong the person who was supposed to secure the art gallery location for us to film in well Let’s just say that he dropped the ball told me he had secured the spot everything was good to go and then Well long story short He just glide this all came to light right as we had arrived at the location to film Losing your location on the day nay the moment of will absolutely crippled a low-budget film for a variety of reasons First all the stage blocking and rehearsals that we done up to that point They had to go out the window because we had no way to film in the location the scene was written for this required me To completely rewrite the scene, and that’s tough to do when you’ve given yourself so many other Responsibilities besides writing we wasted two hours that we could have spent filming trying to figure out an alternative This also killed cast and crew morale You know when people don’t hold up their end of the agreement the whole production soon takes a supremely amateur vibe And folks tend to get lazy not the forth their best effort and everyone grows weary with the project and again due to all these Factors we were late starting and we were late finishing But in spite of all of that doom and gloom there was some good news to be had one of our Indiegogo backers found out that we were in a bind that evening and opened up their family hair salon for us to use instead We gratefully accepted this offer drove on over and lo and behold our new location was better I’ve rewrote the story a bit so that Lincoln had a side job Cleaning the business and as a result had keys so that the two could hide out there from the archaeologists But I mean that was a quick and easy narrative fix the real good news was that instead of a dirty dingy bathroom mirror the salon had a clear clean glass Storefront giving the scene a much more visually pleasing look we didn’t have to rush filming this either They let us have the salon the whole night So this allowed us to get plenty of coverage and to experiment with different things in short We took the time to get it right and as a result we were a lot happier Heading home that night than when we first stepped on set art gallery day Taught me that if you’re willing to roll with the punches take your time finding solutions and keep your cool during difficult Circumstances your hard work will be rewarded This is the most beautiful sequence in the entire film Last but not least let’s talk about the best day on set the last one Seriously in the final act of the film Rache and Link are taken hostage by the Archeologist and his assistant and are forced to perform a ritual that would activate the alien beacon above ground and relay the intergalactic Map to the alien army our heroes are dragged to an open field and during the assembly of the relay device Lincoln and Rach fight back and there’s a climactic showdown so the last day had one big looming problem Kyle the actor who played the archaeologist and Alex the guy who played the Archaeologists assistant had to ramp that day they were both in from, Texas And they would not be available for reshoots in all likelihood at least not at the same time as our female lead so we knew We had to wrap the scenes for both characters Rachel scenes were almost completed – and if we were lucky We’d be able to knock hers out as well this day would constitute the greatest challenge our production would face So what went wrong for starters at this point? Everybody was burned-out most of us had only done short films on Weekends this production had been going on for two months And the stress was just getting to all of us shooting out in the field also came with its own unique challenges there were bugs lots of them we had not prepared for that at all and our poor actress was getting bitten by Mosquitoes every second everyone was scared to talk on set for fear of an insect making a suicide run down their windpipe It was also hot very very hot we should have packed bug spray We should have packed sunscreen we didn’t but luckily our location manager went out and got us some without her We wouldn’t have survived on many occasions believe me shooting on location outdoors. Also meant constant power supply issues We weren’t rolling in money so camera batteries were in short supply. I was shooting with a hacked Panasonic gh2 at the time It’s a camera that is famous for absolutely eating power, and we were essentially hopping between two sets of DSLRs Just hoping that we could make both sets of footage match in post-production shooting the film’s climax also meant several Complicated setups we had extensive use of props we had to figure out quick and efficient ways to get full coverage of several moment Including the big final fight scene. Oh yeah, and as things tend to go when filming low-budget fight scenes it wasn’t too long before we had to deal with an onset injury during a scene where the Archaeologist was taking his fists to my face one of Kyle’s fake punches made very real contact actually come to think of it I think I still have that footage. Give me a second. Yep. Still got it here it is I Know what you filmmakers are thinking my nose gets cracked? And we don’t even get a good shot of it to use in the film There were however two positives to getting punched number one if someone who’s going to get hurt. I’m glad it was me I mean what am I gonna do sue myself and number two at that point everybody was so fed up with me that the punch Actually gave everyone a weird energy boost and everybody seemed a lot less stressed again Probably deserved that so after all that what went right well somehow someway We were able to shoot 17 pages That was the most I had ever done during a production there was also more energy on set most of the film is just Characters standing around talking in a hypnotic cadence these were fun scenes there was running There was wrestling there was simulated gunplay felt like we were actually making something exciting it breathed new life into the project right when we needed it the most We also had a big group of people on set for the first time I mean big for a movie with a sub 2k budget most of the time there were three maybe four people on set but we Had quite a few more for that day. We took photos on set we got to take a good long break We goofed around we visited with each other it was such a positive environment and again that punch had probably helped to I guess and Of course above all else we were able to wrap everybody seems. There is nothing more satisfying Than calling it announcing that your film has completed production in front of the entire cast and crew is one of the most satisfying Experiences that there is after it was all said and done we went out and celebrated with ice cream at Brahms. We just Down and talked about the future plans for the movie things we wanted to do next Lessons we had learned the stress was finally gone. We could finally just take a breather and be happy that we had completed What seemed like an insurmountable task it was a good kind of tired? the last day taught me that there is nothing quite like the feeling of a group of people rallying together on the final lap when They see the end in sight, but of course for me It wasn’t really the end the rest of the journey would take place in my small one-room studio apartment in front of my computer Editing there’s really not much to say here at least nothing that would keep your attention Editing is often slow and monotonous work It is not glamorous And there’s really no way to tell a fun story about how I would spend 18 hours a day Staring at an Adobe Premiere timeline listening to the same 30 seconds over and over and over again Assembling the best angles and doing my best to make it all look good Sorry sprouting orchids first cut was completed on September 18th 2013 Just in time for the Sundance and Slamdance Film Festival deadlines the final theatrical cut was completed on October 1st of that year Now needless to say sprouting orchids was not accepted by the Sundance Film Festival It was not accepted by the Slamdance Film Festival It was not selected for studio distribution, and it never will be it did hit a few festivals however most notably sprouting orchids was an official selection in the 2014 no glass Film Festival and at a very brief theatrical run over in the UK Wasn’t able to go see it none of us did actually we just couldn’t afford a trip overseas Actually, I didn’t go to any of the seven film festivals of play dad four of which were in the United States Why I was broke it is Well, it’s tough Not being able to afford to go see or support your own movie by the way critical reviews were bad Nothing like reading the very first foreign magazine article about you and getting absolutely trashed Here’s an abridged rundown Sunday’s new full-length film sprouting orchids was an intriguingly Wonderful mess of a film and a monument to where ambition and budget to come apart sci-fi elements are slowly introduced But the era of mystery that was being Cultivated at the beginning his sadly dropped in favor of a why what where did that come from? Sudden shift in narrative pace and action at the midway point that signals the exact moment the film becomes messy confusing and at times confused Its story ideas are excellent, and there are some brilliant shots and moments peppered throughout But a few issues sadly spoil it not least the strange sound issue where half the dialogue is heralded by a cackling background buzz artifacts of improper mixing and a villain with all the threat and appearance of a middle management accountant doing his best Agent Smith impression It’s over ambition out stretches its budget But for all that sprouting orchids is an enjoyable sci fi inflected then dominated drama with a director with great promise Thank you mr.. Sam Co which my last name was Co. That’d be awesome Anyway, sprouting orchids us theatrical release was on January 31st 2014 We eventually had a screening at the art House theater that I dink that deal with in Springfield on May 11th of that year Mother’s Day. I invited a list of 250 local filmmakers and friends to the movies premiere and eight people showed up Not counting me and three of those were on the production team I didn’t actually watch it on the big screen when it was showing I stepped out before it started. It was just I don’t know Without a distribution deal in place I decided to just sell the film on demand for a little while on Vimeo and Amazon But eventually the one-year contracts with them both lapsed and there wasn’t much desire by either party to renew the total box-office and on-demand Earnings managed to barely earn the initial budget of the film back But additional production and distribution costs were not recouped Sprouting orchids resulted in an overall financial loss And if judged solely on monetary return would be considered a complete failure But if judged on experience gained and practical filmmaking lessons learned I consider it a success Some people pay exorbitant amounts of money to go to film school they spend two or three years there And they learn next to nothing of practical value, but this this was my film school from a certain point of view While Disney said we don’t make movies to make money we make money to make more movies now That’s pretty easy to say when you have literally all of the money, but I get it and it is true See it’s not just that I like to make movies. It’s that I need to make movies I need to tell stories And I need to be able to find self expression and self Fulfillment in my craft the goal isn’t to get rich the goal is to tell stories and hopefully Teach people something meaningful about life, and that’s why I don’t really like talking about sprouting orchids I don’t know what this movie was supposed to be teaching. I guess that’s its biggest flaw I didn’t create sprouting orchids to teach or entertain I created it So I would feel worthy enough to call myself a filmmaker I didn’t want to make a movie because there was a story I was burning to tell I wanted to make a movie to say That I had made a movie that’s vanity not art, and it’s one of sprouting orchids core shortcomings Don’t get me wrong the fact that the core idea behind the film was flawed didn’t make the production of it any easier I kept a production journal the whole time We made it and I wrote down some of the mishaps and some of the Sacrifices that were made while bringing the picture to life During production of sprouting work is I was actually in the process of moving to a different city? It was the toughest move of my life for private reasons Our cinematographer Lance he was also moving into a new house Separate situation by the way oh and our actress she was in the process of moving to a different city as well That’s one of the reasons we had a rappers scene so quickly that’s three key people all going through Individual life changes moving is not easy and it added to the stress of things Lance also got into a wreck one night and totaled his car That prevented him from being available for a little while during the filming two production members lost their jobs shortly before we started shooting The rest of the production team were juggling their full-time jobs with helping to get the movie completed my editing system broke Completely one night and it had to be rebuilt I was extremely lucky not to have lost any footage during that whole debacle if that had happened the movie would not have been finished During production we had four key locations drop out on us at the last minute And we had to find workarounds for every situation we had 30 planned shooting days And we ended up taking 34 that doesn’t seem like a whole lot more but on an ultra-low budget Film that kind of stuff can kill the goodwill that you’ve worked up with people who are helping out only five days of our 34 actually wrapped on time I grade each day in my production journal by poor good or great and only four were considered great days I guess the point I’m trying to make is that
none of this was easy Some people like to joke about going
grey getting a movie made But it was not a joke in my case our angel investor took a before and after photo with me and he remarked that I looked like I had aged five years and three months I was not a fun person
in the final weeks of post-production I can assure you I could tell the movie was going to have its flaws But it became imperative that I finish it and get it in on time before the festival deadlines Finishing that movie became my life by the very end I was sleeping about three or four hours a day I was way too caffeinated, and I had isolated myself from friends and family and For what I actually had the thought that if I didn’t finish that movie if I failed in completing it I would end everything I’m embarrassed now looking back to admit such immaturity But it feels absolutely necessary to mention because it gives you an idea of just how deep into the rabbit hole I had gone. My desire to finish the movie, the desire to finish it at all costs Even the cost of my life shows the dangerous and unhealthy mindset that I had allowed myself to develop This is not art. It is not fun, and it is in no way praiseworthy I am so much better at keeping things in perspective nowadays I guess you could say I grew up making this movie It feels so cheap to throw around the phrase ‘Post Traumatic Stress’
when it comes to something like film making But I most certainly dealt with a lot of that. A few of my short films were
touring the festival circuit in Arkansas and when asked about my
experience with Sprouting Orchids I often turned into the proverbial deer in the headlights. Sprouting Orchids scared me off Working with other people for a long while because I guess most of all there was this feeling that I had let down People who thought the film would be a huge success, and I didn’t want to do the same thing again. Also there was guilt: I had just enough budget to pay the other actors and our location manager but my best friend who filmed about 40% of the movie Took nothing. A close friend of mine who designed several props and was more than willing to be our grease man when needed took nothing. Our angel investor another friend of a friend who believed in me and wanted to see me get a big break received no return on investment besides I guess a DVD in a signed movie poster. Some friends and some family Lost respect for me. Either they thought the movie was poorly executed or they thought my attitude about the whole thing was overwhelmingly pretentious. I’m sure I took the whole foreign Film Festival
success a little too seriously And I was disappointed that many people in the Springfield filmmaking community who in the past had expressed a desire to collaborate with me were Completely indifferent when I offered them opportunities on this film to do so. My pretentious attitude Probably didn’t help matters. I should have kept things in perspective I should have said “thank you” a whole lot more than I did. I should have apologized a whole lot more than I did too, and I should have planned many, many things better. I should have paid my friends, and I shouldn’t have relied so much on the blind faith of strangers I’m trying to be a better person than I was back then. Sam Peckinpah – nice last name – said the end of a picture is always an end of a life, and I think that’s true. I am so different now than I was back then. I’ve matured a lot And I am forever grateful that I was allowed this wonderfully disastrous and disastrously wonderful learning experience John Huston said the directing of a picture involves coming out of your individual loneliness and taking a Controlling part in putting together a small world. A picture is made. You put a frame around it and move on. And one day you die. That’s all there is to it. The truth is I can’t watch Sprouting Orchids anymore. I mean I could barely watch it back then partly because I had to watch it about 500 times while putting it together But mainly because when I watch it now I see nothing but its flaws. When I look into the frame I don’t see what’s going on on the inside I see everything that’s happening just outside of it. I don’t see the story. I see the duct tape just off-screen. I don’t see Lincoln talking to his girlfriend during a business trip. I see me exhausted and stressed at the Anaheim Convention Center in Los Angeles. I see Lance in the camera movements Frustrated that he’s been dragged to the other end of the country to film pickup shots during VidCon for a movie written by a friend he is growing increasingly tired with. I don’t see Rachel doing her morning prayers as she sits in her bedroom or washing her hands in the sink after she tends to her garden. I see the place my mom had to move into that year because we were broke and had just lost her house I see the uncertainty of my early 20s. I don’t see two characters flirting in the rain and falling in love I see the cheap now-closed movie theater where I had my first kiss in sixth grade from a girl named Sarah I don’t see cute moments during the movies romance montage I see the annual fourth of July fireworks show I see Andy’s frozen custard I see Hammonds Field in downtown Springfield where I’d stand out in the pouring rain with my closest friends and watch the Cardinals play a home game And I wish those days didn’t have to be over I see Springfield I see home and I miss it And I miss it And I don’t see an award-winning actor or a sci-fi mystery that has a sudden shift in narrative pace at the midway point I see a scared obsessed an angry 23 year old who knows he’s not going to be the thing he told himself He’d be by 24. I don’t see the movie I see me and I don’t like looking at pictures of myself at 23 And most of all I see a shadow but not the very image a potential this might have been to the outside observer one giant failed leap for glory and maybe that’s true but I do know that I want to try this again. I know I can do better and I mean – I Have things that I want to say stories, I want to tell and when the words finally come and I’m finally able to speak I Hope you’ll listen So Hi. My name is Austin, and I don’t know how you ended up here or why you stuck around, but… I’m glad you’re here, and as long as we’re both here. I’ll try and keep the conversation lively. deal?

Comments 100

  • Thank you to everyone who has sent me support and their own stories over email, private message, and comments here. I'm working on responding to them. If you want to support my next project, check out my Patreon page. http://www.patreon.com/austinmcconnell

  • As someone considering starting a short film, I clicked expecting an information do and don’t video, I was wrong. Instead I got an amazing and beautiful story. Thank you

  • All I learned from this video is that if you want to increase morale just punch the director

  • As someone who has worked in film for 30 plus years, went to film school (Columbia College and the American Film Institute) and has taught film at the college level, I will say that your moment of self-awareness is refreshing and unfortunately rare. There are a lot of filmmakers who go through what you did and learn nothing from it, instead – blaming the lack of success on all the ancillary problems.

  • “I’m Austin McConnell and this is my Master Class.”

  • I will listen

  • Thank you for sharing the wonderfull story we can all learn from, Ill stick around.

  • Hey Austin. The "What To Do If Your Parachute Fails" video was the first one I saw that got me introduced to your channel and the YouTube algorithm feeding it to me. Procrastination is how I ended up on this one. Wow this was a captivating story, and oddly motivational too. I watch way more YouTube than I do feature length movies of ANY kind, and I think that I enjoy it more too. Just my individual opinion for whatever it is worth: the success you find here on this platform is just as credible and impressive as any feature length movie, and I view you as a filmmaker, which is what YouTubers are.

  • No word. Just no word. That was… Just… Perfect men. Good luck, I'm with you.

  • Beautiful my brother. I think maybe you know now what the story is? You remind me of my children, and myself at your age. We all, if we're open to it, learn these same lessons because there is only one story…the story of us. Being a storyteller, for me, is almost an identical emotional experience as combat was (Retired Army, and actor) I went to LA when I was 18, ready to change the world, the world changed me….but for the better. Hi, my name is Eli, and I'm glad to be here…I'd work with you any time because you are a storyteller.

  • Movie making sounds a lot like App development in many ways. All I can say is that sometime our greatest accomplishments are also our greatest failures. We may not get another shot, but you can be sure if we do we will get it right this time.

  • Holy hell the plot makeup is horrible also seeing a little skinny dude fight and punch looks very weird not saying I could make it better but damn also not a fan of sci-fi

  • that was so beautiful, i know I'm not a movie maker or have any sort of experience but the way you spoke at the end was so touching and i think if you have that kind of feel in your next movie than it might go somewhere. 🙂

  • Where can I get this movie

  • Wow what a wonderful life you have,it's really a wonderful life you are enjoying,You are a lucky man indeed. You also have a great Jay Baruchel vibe going on,it's a really cool look. I must say this video is a searingly honest Confession of a film Maker. So many lessons here,l hope this video recoups any losses from your Movie. Finally l have to say you really have a beautiful Nose in profile shots plus l had no idea one could buy Frozen Custard? Sounds delicious. It is something we can only dream of in my Country,Well done on a fantastically informative Video.

  • Hey, I live in Springfield lol. You still live close? I used to go to the art house theater all the time. Anyway, good job man, I'm working to be a film maker as well. Best of luck to you.

  • Oh my fuck the ending got me good.

  • Ironically, the movie does tell a great story – just not the way you thought it would. Best of luck.

  • That story was dumb

  • Is there a place where I can watch/buy a copy of the movie?

  • Wow…I didn't know what to expect from watching this video, but I certainly wasn't expecting that ending.

    I enjoyed the words of wisdom on filming, but what really stuck with me is what filmmaking can do to a person. How it can change who you are and how it affects the relationships of people around you.

    Thank you for being brave enough to share this with the community. I really hope to see more projects from you in the future.

  • You made me cry… The last few minutes of this video are so real… Thank you is all I can say ♥ 💚

  • I keep coming back to this video every few months. I end up watching the whole thing every time, and I think that's a testament to just how compelling and powerful it is. I really, really hope you get the chance to make the feature film of your dreams soon, Austin. You deserve it.

  • cheer up, buddy

    you got this

  • Me heart is in shambles

  • Auto play really tryna get me depressed here

  • Very few YouTubers can say that they're willing to put this much of themselves out there. I respect you, for whatever that counts.

  • This actually made me cry.

  • That was.. emotional. You are a great storyteller and I anticipate your next step in moviemaking.

  • I made a game engine and 5 games that took me 10 years to stop developing. My failure. Think i'm lost now. Been thinking of deleting the project from the web. How that for failure.


  • Honest and inspiring

  • Why was i expecting him to announce Sprouting Orchids 2 at the end of the clip?

  • Thanks so much for sharing this,
    I have just ended a two year partnership with my buddy, trying to "make it" in filmmaking, I can certainly relate to how you feel.

    And at the end of the day, I still love film as a medium of expression, I will learn from my mistakes, and get back up again, lets grow together 🙂

  • Extraordinario 👏👏👏❤️ eres un héroe! 🙏

  • You'll try, you'll fail, you'll try again, and you'll fail again, you'll feel hopeless, you'll find inspiration, you'll make something amazinh out of the experiences you acquired from your past mistakes, you'll win.

  • Gets punched

    Austin: ItsToTALlyWOrTHiT

  • Moving is extremely stressful. I saw a "top 5" once and I remember the worst being 1) divorce and 2) moving. I think #3 was a wedding.

  • This video is art

  • What I started to watch of this for the amusement of the process of trying to make a movie, capped of so well with how much emotion I can hear in your voice. This was not just some video, this was an experience.

  • Sprouting Orchids was a very deep and thought provoking movie with just the right mix of believable realism and suspensful science fiction. This movie will leave you wandering if we are really alone in this world or are their other forces influencing change and development within it. If this is any indication of what Austin McConnel is capable of, in a small budget independent film, I can only imagine what he will do in future films. McConnell's choices regarding the relatively unknown actors Serena Lee and Kyle A. Hammonds appeared to be perfect for the characters that they were tasked with portraying. I am confident that we will be seeing more of Kyle and Serena as this film illustrates their undeniable tallent and comfortable presence on the big screen..

    ==== ====

    But seriously, now that he has the "first movie bad movie" under his belt, he can make his "Reservoir Dogs"

  • Sweet 👏🙂

  • It takes so much courage to look at the past and be able to criticize the work that you grew up caring about so much. I can understand how in the process you end up falling in love with your ideas and thinking about the future with high hopes. It shows how tremendly mature you are to accept how things turned out, and despite the fact that your movie did not become a masterpiece, the fact that you were able to finish it, in a world were dream jobs are nothing more than a fantasy for kids, is the greatest success you could possibly imagine. Thanks for the video, it was really inspirational and I wish you the best

  • I rewatch this video constantly as I write my first feature. It helps keep me humble and keep everything in perspective. Thank you Austin for this wonderful piece of informative art.

  • wow – great video – if your next feature can have the rawness and honesty of this then it will do well.

  • My buddy told me to check this channel out, this is the first video I clicked on.

    Hands down this has to be one of the best videos I've watched this year, an unbelievably mature reflection on a film the commentator himself created.

    Beautifully edited, and definitely gives you a fantastic idea of what indie movie developers go through.

  • I really want to see this. The plot sounded very interesting.

  • You should be happy that kyle did not hit you with a Monster Energy drink Can

  • This was great. I really want to see the movie now.

  • it has a 8 on imdb wtf u mean

  • Starting my first year of film school with an air of anxiety, uncertainty and stress.
    I am a social flop, my current filmmaking abilities are hardly serviceable and I clearly have much to learn.
    I always put off watching this video, mostly because of its length, but after a super stressful day and some half-hearted note-taking, I decided to watch.
    Eerily good timing, this really put into words how the production process, when done on a shoestring budget, will often be like.
    I don't know if you read your comments much, but I wanna thank you for showing this valuable lesson in film. Spectacular video, my man

  • Hey, bro, you should make stop motion animations. I do, I make them with Lego. But if you are really good, they would come out pretty good.

  • "That's vanity.Not art "

  • I mean…It got 8/10 by IMDb

  • Thank You…For teaching things I didn't knew I was doing wrong

  • This is the most memorable videos I've ever watched on YouTube. I'm so glad I accidentally ran into it. I'm a film student, and disagree on its effectiveness, but I think we could both agree to disagree. I wish I was able to help on this film, because for me it would have just been another opportunity to help another passionate artist succeed. I cried watching your video, knowing what you meant in a lot of what you said. I cant imagine some of the bigger life and movie challenges, but I'm glad you made it through. Thanks for making this video. It's an insight to an independent filmmaker's life, that nobody ever sees, and nobody ever asks to see, but it needs to be shown. Thanks.

  • First to make a book it sucks then you make a movie I don't know I'm seeing a pattern here

  • I know that this video is nearly 2 years old, but I just saw it today. Gotta say, I believe in you, if you ever try again. I want you to try again because, through your videos, I see someone who understand what makes something good and bad, has stories and thoughts and feelings that he wants to share and has the talent and knowledge to do so.

    If… no when… you try again, you should make a movie with the same morals as this video, of triumph, failure, trying to be a better person… and learning. A coming of age story but not like all the rest, you aren't some kid who's learning basic life lessons, you're an adult learning what stress, depression, dangerously high aspirations, and the rest really means, not that it exists, but that its toxic nature, how its plagues you… and how its escapable. I want to see that. I dont expect you to read this, or even make a movie about this… but still, hope is what pushes us forward, not anger, not greed, not a pretentious attitude… and I love that you've shown that with this video. You quite possibly have changed my life more in 30 minutes than my parents did in the 6 years between becoming a teen and now… not for lack of trying, but because of my lack of listening. So thank you for that.

  • That ending got depressing real quick

  • Came here looking around short movie editing advice to edit my own, what a wonderfuly sad yet inspiring surprise.

  • As an aspiring filmmaker, I truly enjoyed this video. Thank you for posting it :))

  • I loved that. That was an emotional perfect video. Thank you for sharing your story. Keep filmmaking Austin.

  • Man. This was a tough watch. I'm not into amateur filmmaking, but that was haunting. I teared up, honestly.

  • This moved me a lot. I even cried towards the end. Thank you for sharing this story.

  • when's the next movie coming out?

  • I don't why I think that's so funny: "messy, confusing, and at times, confused".

  • this video … can not be on the same website as … 5 FORTNITE YOUTUBER WHO'VE SWORN!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I think your biggest problem was forcing yourself to make a feature length film in a year. From writing the script to post production, that's too much. If you had given yourself, like, 2 or even 3 years it probably would've been better.

  • w h a t is this movie

  • Agreed with the comment that said bad movie turned to the best video on youtube

  • This video should be a movie

  • wait i think 0:45 sound is from do i wanna know and it came out in 2013 reminds me of 2013 so, a very smart detail right there

  • I look at alot of filming videos
    .probably how this got into my recommended..just want to say Austin..i appreciate the video bro…judging by the title and the beginning..i thought this may discourage me…but it actually encouraged me ..IM in the process of making my 1st film…and this was an informative video..where i actuallly was able to take some notes…and hopefully ill be able to copy some things you did well and avoid some things that went wrong…so much appreciation and love for sharing…hope your blessed in whatever you pursue next

  • Never got to make my feature, but I remember all these emotions during short films. I thought it was just me, I'm actually tearing up.

  • This is one of the best YouTube videos I have ever seen. It’s so full of truth. And pain. And honesty. And, as a dude who made a couple of disastrous short films (with exponentially larger budgets!) I relate deeply. It was cathartic and made me feel better about my own failures.

  • yep, film school is shit

  • this was very insightful.. i will try not to lose my passion! very inspiring, thank you so so much for sharing your experience

  • Casually crying as I will say to you, sir.


  • Where can we watch the entire movie

  • You again forgot to thanks your actors. Which was my mistake too. It's not only about us film makers, Its about the actors who beleive enough in our dream to be a part of them. Remember they also had dashed expectations too.

  • This video hit me right in the feels, man. I can recognise a lot of the same feelings I had when first starting out as a musician, and now when I listen to those records I just hear me and my friends starting out as passionate teenagers and spiralling into depression and drug abuse. It's painful to hear the lyrics I wrote then and how warped my mindset was, I'm just glad to have crawled out of the hole I dug for myself

  • This is by far one of the best youtube videos I have ever seen

  • At 2:19 the subtitles make it sound more horrifying that it is

  • Damn, this got seriously real. Watching this in 2019 and when you choked up towards the end I could feel everything you were describing.

    I'm 21 and am a completely different person than I was even a year ago. Too much has happened and evolved in my life for me to remain the same. I shudder to think of how I'll look at myself now when I'm 23, let alone how I'll think of myself at 23 whenever I'm your age.

    Imagine I'm toasting you. Here's to growth. Hope you're doing well.

  • This whole YouTube project is a learning process for me. Thank you for your contribution to the experience. 🎥👍🏼💕

  • What’s the song at 0:35??

  • Lmao this video was a whole ass short film itself. I loved the vid bro! I hope you haven't given up on your dream either.

  • This is an awesome video, and DAMN IT YOU MADE ME CRY XD Which, of course, is a great thing. It was a really inspiring and moving video, you should do something with it!

  • 8:50 – Well, you did the plot of Star Wars 7 before they did! So that's good 🙂 And hey, you made 'something'… people talk, talk, talk… but you got it done.

  • Woah man, relax you are a little too worked up over the film. People just GAVE you $2400 to make a movie, that's a pretty cool accomplishment.

  • how to make movie better:
    keep the mushy lovey lovey "meant to be together" stuff
    drop the alien stuff

  • Utmost respect for how real and personal you got with this behind the scenes story. It really gives a sense of perspective on what it’s like creating and being involved in a short film and chasing personal dreams.

  • This is what people don't realise about films they easily deem to be "shitty". The passion, dedication and love for the craft that goes into these projects. It's easy to write a bad review. Not so easy making a film tho.

  • this video made me like you more than virtually any other content creator on YT. i'd like to think we could be friends if we ever met.

  • You have a 8/10 on IMDB so you did good

  • the actress was smokin hot

  • Wait…you won an OSCAR???

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