First of all, I love the opportunity for a group #humblebrag. It’s really easy to focus on the negative and what doesn’t work in the DIY world with limited resources so it’s nice to take a minute to think about what works instead of what doesn’t.
For me personally with my 2 projects (Real Adult Feelings, a full length series I did for 3 seasons, & Bros For Hire, a one off spec pilot), the biggest thing I am proud of is building a strong ensemble and getting the best out of some really amazing actors. We took a lot of care in the casting process to build an ensemble that had a good chemistry and could play off each other well and I think we accomplished that.
Real Adult Feelings: The Best Of Season 1 from Jason Ryan on Vimeo.
Since RAF came first we took a lot of the built in camaraderie to the next thing we did, Bros for Hire, which featured most of the same actors. Really building a small community of great actors and crew folk is what I look back on fondly with those series. And some of the jokes aren’t too bad, I guess. I worked my ass off on those scripts and while I regret not having more time to polish every script, generally I am proud of the writing.
In time I came to be proud of some of the filmmaking work we did on the show, especially in later seasons once we figured out how to actually compose shots and get good audio but for like 2.5 years that was the bane of our existence. And actually our beloved cinematographer came to us as a fan. My first honest to goodness fan letter from a stranger. He wrote to say he loved the show and was like “I’m in film school and would love to help” and we were like “um…can you DP because we can’t!” and we ended up finding a really talented DP who has gotten other paid work after our show. Super proud of that one.
TL;DR version: the people I met and the relationships I built. All of my actors are truly amazing people whom I will try to work with on every single project I make in some capacity. It was dumb luck building such a great group but sometimes you gotta own dumb luck and be proud of it.