An Insider’s Guide on How to Become a Filmmaker

Have you ever wanted to be a filmmaker? It’s a dream of many people, but few know where to start. In this blog post, you’ll learn how to become a filmmaker and get your foot into the filmmaking industry.

Becoming a filmmaker is not an overnight thing. We see a lot of people try and fail and then, unfortunately… give up. They see all these stars creating encapsulating movies then when it doesn’t work out they stop and decide it wasn’t for them, yet! They have the burning desire within them. Here is a little guide to assist and help build confidence and accept the knockback.

What is the definition of a Filmmaker?

A Filmmaker is someone who loves film and video, and knows how to use various cameras, editing software, and other production equipment to make movies or television programs.

What does a Filmmaker do?

A Filmmaker writes, directs, produces, edits, and often stars in their own films. They are responsible for every aspect of the filmmaking process, from conception to post-production.

In essence, they are a jack of all trades when it comes to making the film projects.

How do you become a filmmaker?

Every step is a learning curve. Even the top directors are still learning: Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, James Cameron and Martin Scorsese.

How to Become a Filmmaker: James Cameron, Director

You should check out their first pieces of work. It will give you the inspiration to continue the journey. Enjoy all the wrongs and you’ll be a much better filmmaker. Check out Nolans first breakthrough short film and now look where he’s at.

How hard is it to become a filmmaker

While some would say it is hard to break into the filmmaking industry, it’s not as hard as you might think! All you need is passion, creativity and a willingness to learn. With these three things, anyone can become a great filmmaker.

Now, getting your films seen by industry professionals is another story. But for now, let’s discuss the aspects of becoming a filmmaker.

1. Study!

Firstly we recommend a form of study. Whether it’s an evening course, a 3-year bachelors degree or a weekend course, it will give you the basics to get started with. Studying the basics will give you an understanding of what you want to focus on and an all-round understanding of the film world.

2. Gain experience

Offer to work for free or expenses as a runner. Gain that on set experience and after a few non paid roles you’ll soon be offered a paid runner job. Make sure you are punctual, flexible and most importantly a great attitude!

3. Don’t buy the most expensive equipment!

You can make a cool film without a high tech Hollywood style film camera! Just take a look at “Tangerine” an incredible film – our top-rated, reasonably priced camera review can be found here: The Must-Have Cameras.

4. Enter film competitions

Enter film competitions whether it’s a screenplay, a student film or something you and your friends have put together – make sure you enter it into a competition. It’s one of the best ways to get noticed as a newcomer. One important thing to watch out for is scammers, so always use trusted sites like FilmFreeway and do your due diligence!

5. Don’t go it alone.

Make sure you attend gatherings, workshops and start to talk with other filmmakers – maybe offer a helping hand and you will receive many offers back to assist you with your work. We find sites like Shooting People are great for this. Plenty of meetups and offerings and a year-long membership is very affordable.

Check out How to get your short film funded: The many ways to finance your film

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Jay Neill

Jay Neill is the founder, owner, and managing editor of iFilmThings and believes everyone should have access to the film resources they need to plan their filmmaking project, which is why he’s dedicated iFilmThings to helping all filmmakers.

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