Don't Overthink It

I’ll be completely honest with you, this is the first week I’ve sat down to write this blog and been completely undecided about what to say.

In addition to my list of topic ideas, my normal strategy when writing is to reflect on the past week and think what moments and learnings I could share to hopefully benefit others.

And this past week has been a lot of thinking and debating ideas. If you haven’t seen my friend Ben Marlow and I finally launched our new project ‘Sixty Second Film School’…

You can check it out here if you’re interested…

It’s a free online resource for both aspiring and experienced digital filmmakers to get the information they need from news, reviews and tutorials concisely in 60 seconds and get straight back to work.

After having spent nearly a year planning and preparing for it, it was really exciting to finally share it and properly make a start.

In all honesty we weren’t 100% ready and there’s so much of it we’re still working out, but in some ways waiting to make it perfect or until we had everything figured out was paralysing us in indecision.

In the end we decided that it was better to get the content out there and start trying to offer some value to other aspiring creators than keep making minor alterations to our plan, when we knew the bigger picture and what we wanted to achieve.

And thusly why the mantra ‘don’t overthink it’ has been such a prominent one in our thought pattern of late.

One of the reasons I enjoy working so much with Ben*, is his incredible ability to make important decisions quickly. Especially when he’s producing content, I’m constantly in awe of how he assesses the situation, decides what the best course of action possible course of action is and just goes for it.

Whatever situation is in front of him, it doesn’t matter what equipment is available or what time he may (or may not) be given to produce a project, he gets on with it and makes it the absolute best he can.

*You can see more of Ben’s work here…

And of late my intuition says that not overthinking it, should be a key part of your content creation strategy.

In an area so subjective as filmmaking it’s all so easy to get caught up in the minutia of decisions that make the finished project (i.e. “What lens should we use?”, “Is that really the best angle?”, “Should we move that light a little closer”) whilst at the same time completely forgetting the overall goal of your film.

It’s most likely if you’re producing a piece of content it’s to achieve a specific outcome. For example if you’re filming a music event, your client wants the piece to show what a great experience it was to get more people to attend future ones they host. If you’re creating your own personal vlog, it’s so people can ‘window shop’ your lifestyle and spend their coffee break living vicariously through your experience (so make it an authentic and interesting one!).

If you are also a filmmaker, I’m sure that much like me when you are watching something on TV or YouTube, will automatically slip in to ‘analysing mode’ where you start to think about the shot choice, the lighting or generally how it was filmed rather than following the story or being absorbed in the content.

And I often find that a good litmus test of quality, if I’m fully engaged enough to forget about how it’s filmed I know it’s a great piece of content. And it’s surprising how oftenI find myself forgetting about shaky camerawork, average audio and inconsistent lighting when the story is fantastic.

My intuition says although there are times when work requires deep thought and consideration, for the majority of the time it’s better not to overthink. Focus on what you are trying to achieve and instead get your head down and try and make the best piece of work that achieves the intended outcome.

How you make the content falls in to insignificance if you are telling a phenomenal story that resonates with your intended audience.

Don’t be held back in your content creation in thinking whether something is the right choice and get paralysed by chasing perfectionism. Get out there and make something of value.

So remember, don’t overthink it.

And I wish you every success.


About Jack

I help people, brands and business communicate more effectively with their customers through visual, audio and written content.

I do this through Southpaw Sport, the sports content marketing company I’m currently building as well as on a freelance basis working for agencies and production companies.


You can follow Sixty Second me on YouTube where we share news, reviews and tutorials for digital filmmakers, all in sixty seconds…

YouTube —

And my social media for behind the scenes look at what I’m up to

Instagram — @jackwrtompkins

Twitter — @jackwrtompkins

Jack Tompkins