Amanda Mustard

Photojournalist and Filmmaker
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Nationality: American
Biography: Amanda Mustard is an independent photojournalist and filmmaker based between Brooklyn and Bangkok. She just finished directing her first feature documentary Great Photo, Lovely Life , which is making its festival rounds before it's premiere on... MORE
Tips and Tools for 2023
amanda mustard
Jun 6, 2023
It's been a few years since sharing tips, as I've been in the deep end of directing my first feature film, Great Photo, Lovely Life. It's making its festival run through the year leading up to a fall 2023 HBO due date for y'all to see! Check out for more info.
To say that my 8-9-ish year process bringing this deeply personal indie film baby up was a steep learning curve is an understatement, it was the biggest but most rewarding challenge I've faced in my career mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It's only getting clearer how much our output is connected to what's going on inside us, and I'm as hungry as ever to keep learning how to deal with my shit, live a more sustainable life, and finetune my creative practice. With all that jazz in mind, here's a mixbag of things that have been helping me along ride for brain, body, bank and business:

(None of these are sponsored ads, they're all personal reccs)

Rick Rubin's The Creative Act: A Way of Being

An absolutely essential spiritual check-in for any artist in any medium. If you think you might be into it, I promise you will be. If you don't have time for the book, check out his podcast ep on Revisionist History.


In the ongoing whack-a-mole journey to navigate and maintain my mental health, a friend recommended an absolute game changer that I hope becomes standard practice. It's called Genesight, and eliminates the often horrible trial-and-error process to find the right meds. Your doctor/psych registers to submit a simple DNA swab sample from your mouth, and in a couple days it spits out a comprehensive list of best and worst medications for you specifically. Most insurances will cover it, but they will work things out with folks who aren't covered.

Dr. Gabor Mate's The Myth of Normal - Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture

One of those books you can feel rewiring your brain as you read, it fundamentally shifts our understanding of the relationship between stress and illness, and

Bessel Van Der Kolk's The Body Keeps The Score

You probably know it, but if you don't, it's the most essential resource available by the world's leading expert on trauma.

Zoom F3 Professional Field Recorder

Finally desperate to update my Zoom H4N, this 32-bit float recording 2-chan compact recorder takes the hassle out for us audio-phobic folks - it catches everything with no need to fiddle with gain.  

Carhartt Overalls and Dickies Cooling Coveralls

I still use my beloved Think Tank Change Up 2 waist bag (why did they discontinue them?!) to protect my back longterm, and these overalls + coveralls are the best shooting/long flight uniforms I've found yet. The overalls have of chest pockets for cards and caps that don't interfere with the waist bag, and the coveralls are great in a range of temps, and they've got both men and women's versions.

Visible Phone Service

I pay $25/month through Verizon's Visible for plenty sufficient unlimited cell service. Sometimes in busy city centers you get slower service but it's a small inconvenience that's worth saving a bunch of cash each month. Times are tight for all of us, save $20 with referral.

WISE Online International Banking 

Wise (formerly Transferwise) has always been great to us internationally working folks - it's a *massive* game-changer for freelancers trying to receive payment in a major foreign currency. When you enroll (for free), you get EU, UK, US, and AUD bank account details and a debit card with free ATM fees (£200 monthly cap). Use my referral code to sign up, we both get some cash.

Moo Business Cards

Still happily riding the Moo train. You probably already use Moo, but if you don't: I've used these for many years, and they just keep getting better. Also, outstanding customer service. I've ordered both business cards and stickers, and anything I do through Moo is 10/10 for process, price, and quality. Use this link to save $15 on your first order.

Work I've been into:

Film: Joyland (BFI)
Film: France (Mubi)

Film: M3gan (Peacock)
Series: Paul T Goldman (Peacock)
Series: Jury Duty (Amazon)

Series: Platonic (Apple)
Doc: All The Beauty and the Bloodshed (HBO)
Doc: Stutz (Netflix)
Doc: All That Breathes (HBO)
Short: Pennies From Heaven (Vimeo)

Short: Deliver Me (TBD)
Short: Cousins (TBD)
Podcast: Jane Fonda on Wiser Than Me (Apple)
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Tips and Tools for 2023 by Amanda Mustard
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