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10 Tips for Newbie Filmmakers!

Aug 27, 2015

When you first embark on a career in filmmaking it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the industry and feel daunted by all of the things you need to learn. This week we are sharing some tips for filmmakers that are just starting out. We hope you feel encouraged to simply get out there and have a go!

1) Focus on creating great content

You don’t have to know someone in the industry these days to get your foot in the door. New technology has changed all the rules and the Internet has an insatiable need for content, good or bad.

2) You don’t have to go to the right film school

Not every great filmmaker went to film school. For example Quentin Tarantino and Stanley Kubrick never had a formal education in film making.

Trying to make a film yourself with no money is the best film school you can do.” Quentin Tarantino

You can watch the documentary series ‘The Story of Film’ and even read great books to help you learn about filmmaking.

3) You live and die by your reputation

The film industry is very small and people talk. Being rude or behaving in disrespectful manner could be the kiss of death for your career. Remember you are at the bottom of the food chain and put your best for forward with everyone you meet.

4) You don’t need to be a great writer

Did you know Steven Spielberg does not write his own material? Obviously it’s an advantage but not a necessity; some of the greatest partnerships are between filmmakers and writers, so if you don’t write get networking. Collaboration is a big key to success in filmmaking!

5) Watch lots of movies!

If you want to make great movies you’ve got to watch great movies, do some research on some of cinema’s classics and Oscar winners. Watch them critically, thinking about what makes great storytelling, and directing.

6) Network like crazy

To be a successful filmmaker you must be a social person, although you no longer need to know the right people to catch a big break you are going to need to socialise a lot moving forward. So get that smile ready, invest time in Facebook and brush up on your social skills. Going along to arts events put on by your local council or arts organisation is a great idea.

7) Use social media

It sounds obvious, but we mean doing a little more than creating your own YouTube channel. It would be a great investment of your time to learn about digital marketing to get word about your film out there!

8) Get yourself a website

Once you have created some content put together your own website to showcase your work and skills. You don’t need to spend money, Wix, WordPress and Ning are free and have great template websites for you to use. You can even use a Facebook and personalised Youtube site to showcase your work.

9) You don’t have to live in a city

You don’t have to live in a capital city to start your film career; you just need an awesome group of friends, a camera and a great story to tell to get started. There are lots of film festivals and competitions that now include a category for films made on your phone! So there are no excuses not to just have a go!

10) Just do it!

This probably sounds like the most obvious piece of advice; however it’s the most important. Here is a great quote from James Cameron:

“The most important thing is to pick up a camera and make a film. Even if you don’t have money, get your friends, even if it is the worst piece of crap, it still will have your name saying ‘Directed by’ … and for everything after that you are a director.”