Q&A with Michael Sadler

Q&A with Michael Sadler
We recently had the pleasure of collaborating with an exceptional videographer here at Drinky Dinky, whose skill and creativity left a lasting impression on our team. In an industry where storytelling is key, he brings a unique blend of passion, experience, and an eye for detail that sets his work apart. In the following Q&A, he shares his journey in the world of videography, offering a glimpse into his motivations, challenges, and inspirations. His candid responses provide valuable insights into the life and mindset of a creative professional who is deeply committed to his craft.

Q: How did you get started in this industry and what was your initial motivation?

A: My mum had an old Sony Tape Camera that she used to film family members' weddings with and for our city project at school in year 9 me and my mates wanted to film a little documentary about the YMCA at Riverslide Skatepark which was all approved by the school but on the actual day one of the teachers refused to let us on the train with Skateboards, Scooters & Bikes so we ditched the city excursion and went and rode the local skatepark and filmed a video of our session.

Making a video of your mates then watching it back with them in a few weeks time and having a laugh about it or getting hyped over a certain trick made me just want to keep doing it. The video was fkn terrible but we loved it. Mum found the tape on the computer and realised what we had done so i got roasted for wagging the excursion which is pretty funny thinking back on it. I also used that same Tape Camera in the bmx content of our Drinky Project 13 years later.. Pretty wild.

Q: What were some of the pivotal moments or decisions in your career?

A: There are probably 2 moments that I guess are kind of pivotal when thinking back on it. One would be making an edit with Max Peters when we were like 15 and getting sponsored by Blunt Scooters (Now known as Envy Scooters) Until this moment I was filming purely because I loved creating edits with my mates and it was nothing serious but getting sponsored by a company and getting flown to Europe & New Zealand within like a year from that happening really opened my eyes to the opportunities that could come from looking through a viewfinder and hitting record. This was in like 2011.. Youtube was really only kicking off back then and social media barely existed so there was nowhere to look to see that these things were possible except through skate and bmx dvds.

The second was just after lockdown but I answered that in one of the next questions.

Q: What drives you every day in what you do?

A: A lot of my time does go into the side of my career that i’m not super passionate about. (corporate style content) this basically pays the bills and allows me to not work a 9-5 for some weirdo. So i guess what drives me everyday is having a project I can work on between these moments that fuels the motivation to continue to create video projects. I am also super competitive in a way so when i see someone drop a project that is insane it always sparks something within me to be better.

Q: Why do you believe it's important to pursue one's passion?

A: I think about this way more than i should hahaha… I don’t really understand why people don’t follow their passions. Once i watched that first edit I made back I just did whatever i had to, to remain doing it. No one could tell me not to follow that passion. I did go through a 5 year period where i was just creating work purely for money and stepped away from shooting what i loved.. Got lost in the rat race i guess which lead me into one of my most turbulent times mentally but after Covid happened I got time to reflect and realised what i loved doing so as soon as we could I went and filmed a Mountain Bike edit with one of my best mates Connor Griffin and that moment probably is another one of those pivotal moments you asked about because if that didn’t happen i probably wouldn't be shooting as a career currently.

So i guess to answer your question if i didn't rediscover my passion after lockdown I doubt i’d be filming at all. I also think when you are following your passions and navigate through life like that, you are truly yourself. I think it’s super important to be able to follow your passion somewhere in life, not just career.

Q: What are some of the short-term and long-term goals you've set for yourself?

A: Short Term - Create Cool Shit, go on more road trips and experience life a bit more Long Term - Everytime I pickup a camera its for a project i’m willing to put everything into. Bring in more opportunities to my mates and myself to continue doing what we love doing, and hopefully get some travel opportunities so we can explore around the world on bikes. Would be pretty sick.

Q: What have been some of the biggest challenges you've faced in your career, and how did you overcome them?

A: One of the biggest challenges is being influenced by everything around me. Rewind a few years it would have been an opinion of a client or a reference video they sent to me. These days its social media and other creatives in that space. I’m constantly second guessing myself and overthinking my work. I’d look at some finished projects and have no connection to them at all and for a while i just put it down to that was a paid job and not a passion project but recently i’ve kind of realised it’s because i'm creating something for someone else and not myself which just ends up being half assed. Throw budgets and the need to pay bills in that mix its easy to get caught up in that. Overcoming it didn’t come easy but it’s just about saying no a lot more. No to someone else’s idea. No to a new client. No to an existing client. Really protecting that passion. The challenge of social media is pretty intense too. The consistency, the trends, it’s unpredictable and seeing talentless people get loads of followers for existing or a bunch of average videos i’ve never watched come up on the reels page and seeing the “agorithm” work for these examples is very unmotivating haha. I clearly have not overcome this challenge yet so i guess that’s something I need to work on.

Q: Can you share a mistake you made and the lessons you learned from it?

A: This kind of carries on from the previous question but the mistake was getting lost in creating for others and not myself. Following trends on social media, going through with a clients idea even though you know it sucks, Adjusting my style to make it more appealing to a general audience. Remembering why I do it, is probably the key lesson from all of this as well as only taking on projects that i’m passionate about. It’s easier and more efficient to navigate through this these days with podcasts and other creators on social media sharing their story but before that became a thing over the past few years i was kind of just floating through life working it out as i went.

Q: Who or what has been your biggest source of inspiration?

A: My inspiration for life comes from anyone who is authentic and genuinely passionate about whatever they are doing. It could be literally anything but my inspiration for creating changes all the time. Sometimes it comes from Skate, BMX, MTB or Snow edits on Youtube.

Below are a couple i’ve been rinsing.

Dylan Siggers -Crankworx Done Different
Rich Forne - Freak
Hunter Paull - When Does This Trend End?
Louis Eder - Breadline or Overthinking

Other times it comes from random places like a Tyler the Creator interview or a Music Video. There is also a bunch of amazing artists on social media below are a couple.

Also recently i’ve been inspired by brands like Beyond Medals, Former & 50to01. All these brands have created a product to help fund their passion for the culture of their sports which is super sick. I hope to be able to do something like this one day with a team of good people.

Q: If you could go back in time and give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?

A: Stay grounded and remember why you do it. Stop paying attention to others. Use the money you make from the jobs that don’t inspire you to fund something that does. Some people don’t know what the fuck they are talking about, don’t listen to them.

This insightful ichat with Michael not only sheds light on his personal journey and professional growth but also echoes a universal message about following one's passion and staying true to oneself. His experiences, from humble beginnings to overcoming industry challenges, reflect a dedication and resilience that are truly inspiring. It's clear that his journey is far from over, and we at Drinky Dinky are excited to see where his creativity and passion take him next. His story is a powerful reminder of the impact of pursuing one's passion with determination and authenticity. Thank you, Michael!
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