Brett Kollmann is the Creator and Host of The Film Room on Youtube. His popular channel specializes in bringing in-depth X’s and O’s analysis to NFL fans, and Brett has built a loyal following through his passion for bringing knowledge to the sports media landscape.
We caught up with Brett for this week’s Friday Five…
1) Who is your biggest mentor?
I have been blessed with many great mentors both on the media side and the “football” side of things over the years. When I was part of the team at NFL Network back in the day, I was honored to work under great producers like Charlie Yook, and with phenomenal on-air talent like Daniel Jeremiah, Charles Davis, and Scott Hanson. Seeing how all of them operated both in front of the camera, and behind the scenes was instrumental in learning how to present the game to my audience in the most informative and entertaining way possible. On the football side of things, I have so many fantastic coaches that I look up to that have been incredible resources for me over the years. Without those coaches like Chris Vasseur, J.T. O’Sullivan, and Dan Casey taking time out of their busy days to respond to even the most mundane of questions (like the best opening step for guards when reaching a 2i vs reaching a shade), my show would not be nearly what it is today.
2) Why did you decide to start your film breakdown channel and what are your aspirations in the football industry?
I’ll be honest, my career as an analyst started entirely by accident. When I first started making videos nearly a decade ago, the early versions were just “proof of concept” videos for my producers at NFL Network. I wanted to be a writer and producer for similar types of content for the league, but using NFLN’s existing talent like LaDainian Tomlinson or Willie McGinest as the presenters instead of myself. Those early works were just supposed to be used as an elevator pitch, of sorts…but as fate would have it, the videos became very popular all on their own. After some unexpected organic growth, my now-wife had the guts to tell me to try to do YouTube full-time. In her words…”you aren’t even trying yet and it’s already succeeding. What happens if you DO try?”. I’ve been doing it on my own ever since.
As for my aspirations in the football industry, I hope to be involved in the game in some capacity for as long as this life will let me. Whether I stay as an analyst, traveling around the country and breaking down games for my audience, or if I get into scouting with an organization and helping to build a winning program “for real”…I would be blessed either way. Football is one of my two true loves – as long as I can continue to help grow the game and be around it for as long as possible, I will consider this a life well-lived.
3) What do you think has contributed to your success in gaining a loyal following?
Admitting when I am wrong, and learning from it. Nobody will ever be 100% right when trying to scout prospects out of college — hell, even just 50% is considered solid. But learning from the misses, and being honest about why I missed in the first place goes a long way towards building trust in an audience. They know that I’m not perfect and that I will never pretend to be, but they also know that when I’m wrong about guys like Justin Herbert, Patrick Mahomes, or Stanley Jean-Baptiste (2014 was a different time, okay?), I will do everything in my power to learn from those mistakes and be better for it in the long run. That kind of honesty and transparency is always key for success.
4) What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Groupthink is the enemy, so don’t be afraid to be alone on something. If you think Mack should go before Clowney, just say it. If you think Vic Beasley is not versatile enough to be a top pick, just say it. If you think DeShone Kizer is a first round pick…well, maybe keep that one to yourself…but don’t be afraid to have an opinion! At least if you think for yourself, people know you do enough work to form those opinions in the first place.
5) If you could invite any three people in history to dinner, who would they be and why?
Bill Belichick, Kobe Bryant, and Anthony Bourdain. I feel like all of them would offer valuable perspectives on leadership, self-motivation, and perhaps most importantly, finding common ground between different people in a very large, very complicated world.