What I Learned About DSLR Video From Playing Candy Crush

[wp_ad_camp_1] I know I’m a little late to the Candy Crush addiction party, but I’ve just spent the past week massively engrossed in the game, from foregoing sleep to sneaking in a game or two during my day job in an attempt to beat just one more level. As I’m currently locked out of the game due to no lives left, I decided to write this post outlining the lessons I’ve learned about DSLR video from playing Candy Crush.

For those not familiar with Candy Crush, it’s a highly popular and addictive free puzzle app in which the player must align 3 or more identical candy pieces to complete a goal (a certain point total, getting certain pieces to the bottom, etc.). The greater the number of aligned identical pieces, the more points you get. Seems simple and boring, right? I thought so too at the beginning, but somehow I haven’t been able to stop.

So what have I learned from playing candy crush that can be applicable to DSLR video?

candycrush

1. Don’t follow the crowd.
I started playing Candy Crush because everyone was buzzing about it. So like a lemming I just had to check it out and now here I am wasting time on it. It’s a wonder that I’m not a smoker too. Then again, playing Candy Crush doesn’t give you lung cancer. The takeaway for DSLR video is to not follow exactly what everyone else is doing. Frank Zappa once said, “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” It’s okay to observe and see what others are doing, but try not to copy them exactly. Instead of monkey see, monkey do, I need to try to add my own flare into projects.

2. Mistakes happen but more opportunities come along.
Oftentimes in playing Candy Crush, I’ll have a strategic move planned out. But when it comes time to execute it, my fingers on a very small iPhone screen end up moving the wrong pieces and my entire plan goes awry. Or sometimes I move a piece only to realize that if I had moved that other piece first, I would have gotten so many more points. From this I learn that in doing business it’s inevitable that I’m going to make mistakes. And this has been a huge factor in holding me back from starting to market myself and my work. I realize that I’m going to fail but you know what? I’ll just pick myself up because new opportunities will arise. Just as in Candy Crush, new pieces will fall into place giving me a chance to learn from my mistakes and to seize the next opportunity that comes along.

3. One opportunity can start a chain reaction windfall.
In Candy Crush often if you move the pieces on the bottom, you end up creating a chain reaction in which pieces on the top become aligned and get you more and more points just from moving that one piece on the bottom. Similarly, I may think that one client’s work is trivial. But if I impress that one client, it can lead to referrals to more clients. With this mind set, I’ve been trying to take on any opportunity that presents itself, even if it’s pro bono work.

candyfacebook4. Have a genius marketing strategy.
All the successful entrepreneurs will tell you that to succeed in business you need to find a need and fulfill it. The makers of Candy Crush are geniuses because they didn’t FIND a need. Heck they CREATED the need and the solution. They create user need by limiting the amount of moves the player gets and impose mandatory time outs when you run out of lives. But for a small fee or if you share the game on Facebook, you can easily resolve the burning need to continue playing. This interesting strategy is one of the reasons why the game has become so popular. Now, if only I could find a way to create such a need within my DSLR video work. How can I draw the viewer in so that they’re so engaged that they NEED to keep watching?

5. It’s good to take a break.
People say that motivation doesn’t last. Well neither does bathing- that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

Though we may love filmmaking and initially be pumped up and excited to experiment and go to work, it doesn’t last. Eventually energy wanes and creativity dries up. By taking a break we refresh ourselves. After taking a break with my candy crush crusade, I started thinking about DSLRs and filmmaking again. And all of sudden, I’ve come up with new ideas which reinvigorated my excitement about the subject.

6. You don’t need to shell out more money to get the job done.
Throughout the game the player is offered various perks (more time on the clock, an extra life, additional prize candy pieces to complete the goal, etc.) for an additional charge. So far I have not paid a penny on the game. I’ve just been patient and waited the time limit to get another life. Sure, it’s painful to wait, but in the end, I get the same result of eventually passing the level. Similarly, I don’t need to buy the more expensive camera equipment. Sometimes, I’m tempted to think that if I only had that _____ my work would be so much better and I could get things done a lot faster. But you know what? I can get the same end result with the equipment that I have now. It might take a little bit more effort, creativity, and pain on my part, but in the end it’s the same result.

7. Perseverance and practice pay off.
The more I play the game, the better I am at recognizing how to move pieces to get optimal results. I learn how different pieces arranged in specific combinations can create different results. The same holds true with DSLR video. Right now, I’m discouraged with the amateur look that my films currently have. My video is blurry, the colors don’t pop, it doesn’t tell a good story, and so on. But I know that if I keep practicing and learning, the quality of my work can only get better. As I discover how different settings affect the look of the video, I can only get better at recognizing the optimal settings to use to achieve the desired look. So on that note, I should get back to working on DSLR video tasks. Oh, but there’s only 5 seconds until I get a new Candy Crush life and can continue playing. . .

While this post was a thinly veiled justification for my addiction to Candy Crush, I hope that you can still take away some ideas to apply into your own work.

Study Break: Candy Crush Time Cheat

You can skip the wait time between lives by manually advancing the time on your Candy Crush game device (iPhone etc). Advance the time until you have a full set of lives. Then set your clock back to normal time before you begin playing a level. Otherwise, you’ll have a mighty long wait time once you set your clock back to normal time.

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