Putting youself out there – doing what you love – can you do it?

by planetMitch17 Comments

Since the announcement on Thursday of the cinema5D forums moving to planet5D, I've gotten some negative comments about the tone and style of the video. And I wanted to take a few moments to share some of the things I've learned and my thoughts, and to ask you to think about what you're doing.

On the forums, I have written a bit about my passion and drive and my philosophy about my on screen personality and I thought it would also be great to post over here.

Many of you don't know why I'm doing things the way I do, and maybe by putting this out there, you'll understand me a little better.

I'm certainly open to constructive comments if you'd like – but please be constructive. Hateful mean things will be deleted. This is not youtube!

my on screen personality

I get that some of you didn't like my ‘welcome cinema5D readers' video – some did, some didn't. That is going to be true for anything I do. I can live with that. Some even said I should take it down – but to me, that would be running and hiding and telling them that they can beat me down and make me run and hide. I won't hide from my mistakes (if it was one), I learn from them. Yes it was cheesy. Some think I should be stodgy and boring… but that's clearly not me.

In that video, I wanted to express my passion and my total excitement with getting totally involved with the cinema5D forums and having all of you become a part of planet5D. Did I learn anything from making it? Yes! I learn something from everything I do.

In the past, I have posted videos and gotten feedback “cut the comedy, just do the review like a professional” and I've also gotten “love the humor! Keep it up” – some people love Jared's video style (remember he used to be the face of cinema5D?) others hated it.

You can't please everyone!

On youtube, the people who get the most subscribers and views are the ones who show their personality – viewers want to be entertained. Most of the people in this dslr/filmmaking space have a bit of a quirky personality and like to share things with humor. I'm trying to be entertaining as well as sharing what I learn. I don't want to just do things in a “professional business like manner” – that just isn't me. If you don't like it, I get it. Not everyone will. And, I'm ok with that!

It is about passion – I love what I'm doing. I'm amazed at all the wonderful people I've been able to meet thru simply creating a successful website. You may not agree with me or my style, but I've built planet5D into something that is loved by many and is successful enough for me not to have to do another job to make a living. I call that success!

I have a unique motif around the word “planet” and it gives me an opportunity to explore a different theme of entertainment. You'll hear me say “i am my own planet” because I use planetMitch as my name… some people laugh and enjoy playing along (some run away screaming). My views and subscriber base are increasing so it gives me the feeling that overall, people like what I'm doing. The “greetings earthlings” is something that hit me the other day and so I'm experimenting with that. It may totally flop, but I'm trying something different – what are you doing?

99% of you aren't putting yourselves on screen – you sit behind it and pass judgement. Well, try getting out in front and doing reviews that are entertaining. Try writing blog posts that keep people coming back for years on end. Take the negative comments that are thrown at you as if you are dirt. It isn't easy. But I'm trying things and learning along the way (which is also how you grew to where you are today) – I just happen to be doing it in front of thousands of people.

And I'm completely serious! If you want to do a video review of a product you love or hate, send it to me, I'll post it. Want to write a guest blog post? Let me know!

Go ahead! I dare you! We can all learn from each other so why not step out of your comfort zone and show everyone what you can do?


You can make comments here – I welcome them! But note that later today, all comments will be closed (on the blog) and commenting will happen over on the new forums. Registration is simple – as easy as 2 clicks! Plus, you'll be more involved in the conversations happening there.

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


chief astronomer at planet5D LLC
Mitch "planetMitch" Aunger is the creator and mastermind behind planet5D.com

He's incredibly happy running planet5D and sharing so much joy of photography and filmmaking with his readers.


  1. great stuff mitch. i for one have followed you and this site from the beginning, clearly you put a hell of a lot of work into it, it really shows. what people seem to forget is that you are not charging a single cent for the information you put out there. i love that you put yourself out there as you, you dont try to be any kind of guru, you are just you, a nice guy that has a passion for all things dslr and wants to share it with the world. this is a very popular site and it seems to be growing.. i guess that tells us there are a hell of a lot more lovers than haters of this site out there. how can it possibly be a bad thing that the c5d forums are moving here?? seriously think about it. its all about the users on the forum, not mitch.he is just one in a few thousand people on there.
    for those haters out there, stop whining, spend some time on this site and see for yourself thats its a good, positive place to be. if you dont like the content.. maybe write a post for mitch to put up, im sure he’ll be more than happy to work with you. maybe give him some ideas as to the things you think are missing. he only wants this site to be better and he seems very approachable.
    all the best mitch.
    james, from uk & australia.

  2. It takes a lot of time and energy to write and maintain a blog. Those of us who do it find it to be its own reward, most of the time. So I think you have to write in your own voice and “be” who you are. It takes real guts to do that.

    I’ve heard of a recent study stating that only 1% of folks reading a blog will ever make a comment on that blog–and that’s thought to be a symptom of folks not daring to risk “exposing” their thoughts, feelings, and personalities for others to potentially poke holes in.

    I appreciate it when folks comment one way or the other, because they too are showing they are willing to “put up or shut up.” We won’t always like or agree with all comments, but I salute folks who are “putting themselves out there” as you say, Mitch.

    My two cents: you gotta do it your way and stay true to your own aesthetic.


  3. Congratulations for the continued growth of planet5D, Mitch! I love your honest style and passion for the success of this site. All your effort is greatly appreciated. – Vicky

  4. I think your doing a great job Mitch n the video was perfectly fine….keep up the humor!

  5. Hi Mitch,
    Another vote of confidence from me; and your reply to all this has been balanced, professional and reflects your enthusiasm and character. And I am saddened that you have received negative comments. Maybe folk just need to lighten up a bit!

    I have watched your site grow since its beginning, and in my view, you are doing remarkably well and a great job. The site is “what you are” – it has its own character and style, just like magazines have their “house style” that is geared to appeal to a certain kind of audience.

    I can imagine those negative comments hurt a bit; but I am sure most of your viewers wish you continued success. Onwards and upwards!


  6. Congrats on making the move! It was great to get to hang out with you in Los Angeles and chat about this. Proud of you for pushing through. It takes a lot of time, effort and dedication to pull off what you’ve done and few people see the blood, sweat and tears that go into things like this…just remember, “You can’t go wrong by truly helping people.” Keep helping people. You’ll power through.

  7. Mitch, I agree with all of the positive comments above. I’ve been a freelance DP for over 30 years and I often find useful news and info on your site. I appreciate all of the information and effort that you have put into your blog. It’s too bad that some individuals persist with negative behavior. I’ve experienced a little of that myself when I wrote some guest blogs for No Film School. It can sting a little, but it helped me when I thought a little about why someone would be so hateful and disrespectful. Clearly it’s a sign of immaturity and probably deep rooted insecurity. We all want attention and to be important – it’s human nature. Unfortunately some people resort to disrespectful behavior to gain that attention. It boosts their self-esteem and makes them feel superior when they put someone else down. I agree with your comments about constructive criticism. It’s fine to express one’s opinion – but it is much more useful to the whole community if it is done respectfully. Personal attacks just polarize or shut people down – preventing any meaningful learning or growth. Unfortunately, this is a problem that I’ve witnessed on many blogs and forums. I’m glad that you’ve addressed the problem publicly. Keep on being yourself. You can’t please everyone as you say. Good luck with your new endeavor!

  8. I must say that this is probably your best blog post so far in my opinion. Its as honest as it gets. And yes most of us just dream about doing youtube career but dont have enough will power and creativity to keep things interesting for very long time. Not to even mention being behind the camera. I think money factor fck… a lot of things which are related to just being yourself. Trying to please the audience to simply keep up with the trafic and money making is annoying as f….
    I do admit that I can only tolerate so much ‘geekiness’ in subjects to do with technology. But at the end of the day, I think you improved big time, since the day when I would just turn of your video. These days I actually can stand watching:) sorry for sarcasm:) but I think you much improved.
    And for other big plus I count that you bring most unique pieces of the video web to one place. And connect communities. If people don’t like it they do not need to criticise, but most people do it, as they only wish to do it better, but do not do anything instead. Dreamers are the ones most easily offended.
    The only thing, beside taking some comedy classes, which is just another sarcasm, pls don’t:) is to do a very well known youtube trick. To simply cut video and the pauses between thoughts and sentences. Today honestly, nothing to do with you being slow or anything like that, but since there is millions of videos that comes to my email, if the videos are not concise I simply dont have the time to watch, and easy think to do is to dislike. Its little viewers message to creator, to fix the style, there is not even any time to write something constructive. Nothing constructive is ever constructive enough. But the editing is very simple way of speeding up the experiences. As we all live in hectic times, we want everything fast.
    That is me done! I wish you to gather even more will and try out even more things, fuck the audience, embrase the personality.

  9. Hi Mitch, I was just one of the posters who wrote on C5D that they were concerned about the future of a forum we’ve come to rely on over the past years.

    Yes, I wasn’t impressed with the video, but no I didn’t resort to the sort of spiteful comments you describe above. Also I think to be fair to your readers and those that comment on this article (which is basically a copy paste of your response on the thread) you didn’t really elucidate on the actual concerns of C5D users. I also think you’re embellishing a lot of the venom. There were one or two individuals who perhaps went a bit overboard, but I don’t think it was to an extent that would warrant deletion of comments and I sincerely hope that this isn’t a trend we’ll be seeing on the new boards (i.e. moderators being heavy handed about deleting any differing views).

    C5D has had an extremely professional and active core in the filmmaking community around the world for many years. We’ve come together there to share tips, advice and resources and I myself have had a number of jobs through the boards. Sebastian has always been an exemplar of the high quality of admin/article writing and more that we’ve come to expect.

    Simply put a LOT of users were a little taken aback at your intro video. It’s not the humour, humour can be fine, and we don’t want (or I’ll rephrase that) I don’t want ‘stodgy and boring’. In fact I haven’t seen a single comment on C5D or otherwise where someone has ASKED you to be ‘stodgy’ and/or ‘boring’. Simply I and others I’ve spoken to would like you to be capable – the video you posted did not demonstrate that in any way. For such an important introduction to many users, I couldn’t; understand why you didn’t take more time, perhaps get a second opinion, do a few different straight through takes etc. Maybe you did, but if that was the end result I might have reapproached the idea from a different angle.

    To the apologists up thread, I’m glad you have some value in this site. With the addition of the C5D community, I hope even more value comes of it. But you can’t deny that Mitch ISN’T a professional filmmaker – hence a concern over who is ‘in control’ of ‘our baby’. A lot of the C5D core ARE serious filmmakers. YES there are a lot of keyboard warriors – but there are also a lot of concerned people who are feeling protective of their baby and, based on the reputation of P5D (Which hasn’t been good I’m afraid) were concerned about the direction it’s heading. I understand Mitch’s argument that it is the community that makes a forum, not an admin – and I hope it unfolds that way into somewhere we can all learn from.

    Good luck with the forum, I truly hope it works out.

    1. Author

      Note: I’m breaking my rules of approving something without a valid email address. I’m very disappointed you don’t have the nerve to say who you are.

      1. Thank you for approving it. Though to be honest I’m unsure why an email address is necessary in a comments section for something that is obviously not spam? My only reluctance at using a valid email address is that I can’t see any small print anywhere that says how that address is going to be used (added to mailing lists etc. It doesn’t say it WILL, but then again it doesn’t say that it WON’T.)

        And I said who I was. My name is Ed.

    2. I think that Ed’s reply is a great example of a dissenting opinion that is expressed intelligently, respectfully, and constructively. I really appreciate this style of criticism.

  10. I say keep the humor, and be true to yourself… Internet tough guys abound, and it is best to ignore them. They will get bored and take their derision somewhere else in short order. You can easily tell between those with valid criticism and those that simply want to tear down. Keep up the great work, Mitch!

  11. Mitch,

    Thank you for all of your hard work and all that you do. I am going to play both sides of the fence in an attempt to put it all in perspective.

    It takes a lot of courage and ambition for someone that is used to being behind the camera to get in front of the camera and all too often it is easier for spectators to criticize when they are playing arm-chair quarterback.

    The biggest issue with most of these people is their inability to communicate a critique in a constructive fashion. Sometimes it is tough to express a dislike for a product without sounding negative but I do agree that there is NO room for name-calling or foul language when giving feedback.

    I for one am a vacuum for information and I can never get enough of this knowledge because I love it and because I know it will make me better. There are many people out there reviewing products. Some are good and some are not so good.

    When I see a review, I want the facts and if the reviewer’s style is distracting to the facts, then in my opinion it takes away from the experience. There is a fine line between entertaining and distracting and which side of the line anyone falls on is dictated by feedback. If one has a high percentage of bad feedback, they should try something different because after all, the first rule in production, at least to me, is to know your audience. Who is this going out to and how do I capture the highest percentage that I possibly can?

    In a perfect world, I would love every review to be entertaining and informative but if I have to choose between dry and distracting, I will choose dry every time.

    I do agree with you on that when you go in front of the camera you are putting yourself out there even more. But everyone in our industry puts himself or herself out there every single day in some capacity. The minute my videos are seen by anyone’s eyes but mine, I put myself out there. When a video is shown at an event for the first time, put on a forum, sent to a client or just shown to friends and family, we put ourselves out there. If I get a lot of negative feedback, I have to make changes or my product will suffer and I can’t make a living.

    I believe it was Bill Cosby that said, “I don’t know the secret to success but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone.” I get this, but it does not mean we stop trying to be better. ☺

  12. I admire your ability to put yourself “out there”…instead of confronting your critics you’ve challenged them. I hope this leads people to realize its a lot easier to be critical than it is to be creative. Your spot on and I know I certainly felt empowered to do a review and I’m normally not one to point out flaws or be critical…for me I take what I can use and learn from it…and try to appreciate something for what it is.

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