Today anyone can become a filmmaker with the help of a few gadgets. But the good news is that the demand for professional directors, videographers and directors of photography hasn’t decreased. In fact, with the rise of vines, youtube and tiktok, anyone can become both storyteller and producer and can also reach an international audience in a matter of minutes. If you are truly passionate about the craft and plan to start a career behind the camera, here are a few helpful tips.
The field of indie cinema is so vast and exciting that you will need to gear up and hone your skills at the same time. If you consider yourself to be a creative, passionate and innovative person, you already have the fundamental requirements to join the guild. You can now switch your focus on the logistics required to become a freelance video content creator and turn your hobby into a fruitful business. If the main focus is commercial or artistic, that is entirely up to you.
Back to basics – follow an online course
Learning from home has never been easier with the help of online photography courses and filming is no exception. You can conquer the next lockdown by earning a major in the field that interests you most, whether it is directing, VFX animation or just creating social media content.
The Bachelor of Design Arts (specialized in Filmmaking & Photography) applies a holistic approach to the creative field of Design from the perspective of visual narrative. It is a great way to get in tune with the latest trends and technological developments, not to mention gaining accreditation and credibility in your future job.
Get your foot in the door – sneak in the film industry
So where is the best place to start getting some real world experience? On set, of course! Even during the pandemic, there still is increased filming activity and they are ALWAYS looking for volunteers.
Do not consider your first year on set as an unpaid job, but an investment in your future. See it as a personal internship. This is a great way to both perfect and present your skills to many people who you will collaborate with later on. Build yourself a network of people that won’t hesitate to ask for your help and provide it as well. Make yourself reliable and known in the department you wish to excel in.
Increase your visibility – start doing your own gigs
Let’s say you are one year in since you’ve decided to adopt a visual arts career. Are you still following your original dream job, or have you discovered a more inspiring and lucrative department in which to shine? Whatever it is, it’s about time you start doing your own stuff and develop your personal brand identity.
Are you that guy filming awesome vintage style weddings? Are you that photographer that combines babies with heroic fantasy imagery? Are you the author of that short movie that hit a million views on youtube last month? Put your name to a work. And for that you’ll need is a portfolio! You can either impress with your artistic flexibility, and include a sample of your most diverse works, or show off your proficiency in a certain niche, gaining the client’s trust that you’re the best on that specific type of visual product.
Last but not least find a logo that will represent you and attract your clients. Even today, a good logo and slogan can make the difference between being overwhelmed by clients and filing for bankruptcy. And since we’re here…
Be entrepreneurial – it’s called show-business for a reason
One essential lesson is you need to diversify your income. Do not rely solely on clients and events to make money. You can also own a website where you can sell your work (photos, stock photos, visual effects, animations, etc) or build another business around your passion. Many commercial directors have figured out the need to own a casting database, to which other colleagues in the field can apply. Remember, collaboration is key.
If your main focus is short films, you can also apply for funding. FilmFreeway, for example, is just one of those platforms allowing you to submit your films to international festivals and gain grants or funds to further develop your projects. Make sure to have a special chapter in your business plan reserved for crowdfunding as well.
Final thoughts before you start
Made up your mind yet? Take advantage of the technological opportunities, but keep in mind that your most valuable asset is yourself. Take the time to self-invest and elevate your potential. Be open to new ideas and friendly towards older peers who are willing to help you along the journey. One thing to love about this business is that there is enough success to go around. So go get yourself a slice!