People Getting It Done: Guerilla Indie Film Maker Bobby Baham #payitforward

I Love It When I See Friends of Mine Getting Creative Things Done! Today’s Spotlight is on the MDD Himself (don’t ask): Bobby Baham!

After putting the focus on my friends Craig Kotfas and Rody Hillman, who have been given the gift of musical talent (amongst other talents), I thought it would be a nice change of pace to shine a light on a pal of mine who has been bitten by the film bug, Bobby Baham. Shooting films is a tough racket. It’s not just as simple as getting a couple friends together and have them say a few lines while you record it. There’s a lot of logistics involved. You need actual actors, quality lighting, sound equipment, make up, a good camera, a steady armed camera person, and a director with the vision to pull off the coordination of all of these different aspects while also coaching the actors and editing the footage into a watchable (hopefully entertaining) final product. It’s not easy, and it’s hard to do on the cheap. Bobby is like the rest of us, he holds down a steady job making decent pay, so that he can spend the rest of his free time trying to line up his next short film project or find new contacts to network with so that he can pitch his next idea. He is relentless in his pursuit of his dream, and that’s the kind of strength of conviction that I find inspiring. Bobby Baham, today I’m paying it forward for you!

The calm before the 48 hour film competition storm...
The calm before the 48 hour film competition storm…

Full Disclosure: I met Bobby when we both got assigned to work at the same Suncoast Video store together way back in 2001… and he hated me instantly. It’s kind of a funny story, and perhaps I’ll tell it another time, but the end result is that when we started to talk to each other about our various goals and our dreams, we realized that we shared a creative vision to invent stories and see them filmed. Once we broke down the barriers (which were frankly neither of our own faults, and superficial at best) that made us adversarial, we eventually became the best of friends. Thick as thieves for awhile, we were working on short scripts together, a 48 hour film challenge, and a variety of other projects that we were probably way too green to be pursuing, but we tried to do them anyway. Eventually, we stopped working on projects together as life zigged and zagged for us, and before we knew it we had jobs at odd hours from each other, as well as other adult/family responsibilities that made finding the time difficult. In all fairness, I shut everything creative down on my end at that point, and it wasn’t until I started this blog last year that I started any reasonable amount of writing or scheming on a regular basis. Bobby, however; persevered more gracefully than I did and has still kept pursuing his dream throughout it all and still somehow manages to find the time and talented folks to rally behind him and his indie filmmaking.

A birthday present to me, from Bobby...
A birthday present to me, from Bobby…

... complete with personalized inspirational message inscribed!
… complete with personalized inspirational message inscribed!

What I Can Tell You About Bobby: Bobby has an authentic underdog spirit that never quits. He shakes off the haters and uses their words as fuel for his next project. In many regards, Bobby is a lot like Rocky Balboa: he’s fighting for a dream that everyone tells him is never going to come true. Just like Rocky though, he takes the hits and keeps on fighting for what he wants to achieve. He went to college in Louisiana, where he took a lot of courses in filmmaking and media production. Bobby gained a lot of sage like wisdom along the way and is famous for telling me that movies could only be made 2 out of 3 possible ways: good, fast, cheap. You make a movie good and fast, but it ain’t gonna be cheap. You can make a movie fast and cheap, but it ain’t gonna be no good. You get the picture. You can make a movie good and cheap, but it ain’t gonna be fast. As I’ve watched Bobby’s film making evolve over the years, it shows that these are lessons that he has learned the hard way, but they were lessons well learned because they have made him a better film maker. Now he has brought in the new generation, as he has inspired his own son to pursue a similar path, and now the world has 2 Bahams behind the lens!

Like father, like son. These 2 Baham boys stick together
Like father, like son. These 2 Baham boys stick together

Filmmaking – Baham Style: Over the last decade, Bobby has competed in multiple rounds of the 48 hour film challenge, shot film for dedicated production partners, and pursued other indie projects along the way. All the while, he has amassed a small army of dedicated professionals who offer him much needed assistance in sound design, lighting, and acting. Over the course of the last 15 years, Bobby has filmed a growing collection of short films, and with each one he improves. Sound design, special effects, cinematography, quality of the acting, lighting, more or less all aspects of his filmmaking has improved significantly from the “let’s just shoot some film” days. Here’s a compilation video that Bobby edited together of some of his early work as well as footage from his most recent projects:

Bobby is the poster child for determination. He likes to say that he gets by on the triangle of success: skills, knowledge, and attitude, because he has the skills and the knowledge and he ain’t nothing but attitude. His story is inspiring, even if only because he has been hit with so many obstacles to success that would have stopped most (I should know, they stopped me for a long time!), but he just Hulks out like Bruce Banner and knocks those obstacles down and soldiers on! It’s hard not to admire the hard work and dedication that Bobby puts into his dream, even doubly so when you consider how much closer it has brought him and his son together. A triumph in both his pursuit of a larger career goal and also on a deeply personal family level. Do me a favor, go by his YouTube Channel: B-Side Studios, watch his short films and give that man some encouraging comments because he truly deserves them. Though we don’t hang out like we used to, I’ve still got your back brother, BAD BOYS FOR LIFE! If you ever need me, just give me a call and I’ll say what I always say, “let’s get into trouble, baby! …on spec”

Be advised! The next thing Bobby might film could be you! Are you ready for your close up?
Be advised! The next thing Bobby might film could be you! Are you ready for your close up?

For the purposes of promoting Bobby’s most recent short: here’s a completed video that Bobby directed for Castillo Productions. The title is “Rosa” and it is a simple tale of cars and romance, or is it? Could there be history with this vehicle that is supernatural in origin and possibly evil? You’ll have to watch and find out, but one thing’s for certain: the driver should have asked for a CarFax! Just sayin’

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