Entering the world of filmmaking is exciting. However, anyone who has been in the industry for a while knows that the world of moviemaking can be a tough nut to crack.
Navigate the trials that new filmmakers face by adopting a resilient, persistent mindset. This will serve you well during setbacks and help you retain your creative vision when met with rejection.
A resilient mindset will serve you well when filming, too. This is helpful when working with challenging stakeholders or when filming on the road.
Raising funds is one of the biggest challenges facing independent filmmakers today. Movie makers around the globe have been impacted by budget cuts that have slashed funding for the arts. This is a real issue as a new filmmaker, as you’re more likely to be reliant on public funding than established pros.
Some filmmakers have negotiated the new landscape of funding by setting up crowdfunding pages. These crowdfunding pages are all about capturing the attention and interest of prospective audiences before your film is even made.
You can raise tens of thousands of dollars online and fund your first film by offering investors special perks or gifts. Consider, for example, inviting folks who support your vision an opportunity to attend premières and run a series of exclusive Q&A sessions for folks who support you.
Filming on the Road
As a new filmmaker, you may be surprised by how much time you’ll spend away from home. Most shoots occur far away from your home address and will require you to get comfortable living in hotels and temporary lodging, so you’ll want to learn everything you can about working from the road.
Maximize your chances of success by embracing the digital nomad lifestyle. As a digital nomad, you’ll always be connected to the web no matter where that day’s shoot is located. This is key if you’re working with demanding stakeholders who want regular progress updates.
Alleviate the emotional strain of filming on the road by setting a clear routine for your day. A clear routine can improve your mental health and give you more time to review your progress. This is particularly important as a new filmmaker, as you’re likely to experience a fair dose of anxiety and stress while working. Take some time for yourself and encourage others to keep their work-life balance in check.
Working with Employees
Successful filmmaking is an exercise in leadership. As a filmmaker, you have to get everyone on board to ensure that your creative vision potential is fulfilled.
Even experienced filmmakers, like Jordan Peele, put an emphasis on effective communication on set. Peele explains that he “relies on some amazing storyboard artists,” who “help me figure out what I want it to look like.” This gives his films a sense of purpose and helps him communicate classic ideas of good filmmaking like “less is more”.
You may find yourself working with tricky actors on set as a new filmmaker. Many actors have type-A personalities and are extremely driven to do a good job while working on set. This can cause conflict if you don’t see eye-to-eye. Maximize your chances of getting on by creating a calm, confidence-building environment on set. Get to know your actors and give them space to work.
You may need to adapt your approach to filmmaking if you’re working with child actors. Prepare to work with children by adopting a patient, enthusiastic mindset whenever you’re on set with young actors. This will bring the best out of them and help you create a fun-filled environment. You’ll also need to be aware of state-by-state child entertainment laws to ensure that your shoot isn’t derailed by legalities.
In an ideal world, you won’t have to worry about distributing your film. Instead, executives will do the heavy lifting for you meaning you can focus on the creative side. However, if you’re self-funded, you may need to do all the distribution work yourself.
Consider sending your first films to competitions and festivals. Success at filmmaking competitions will get you noticed and raise your profile amongst professionals. Getting your film recognized by groups like Raindance will look great on your CV, too.
Some festivals and competitions can help you network and meet folks who will want to distribute your film. Film schools and festivals like Raindance boast an impressive alumni of directors like Sasha Baron Cohen, Guy Ritchie, and Sadie Frost. Connecting with the world of film will help you build a buzz around future projects and may help you find funding and distribution opportunities that raise your profile quickly.
The world of filmmaking can seem imposing from the outside. However, with enough effort and persistence, you’re sure to get the break that you deserve. Start the process by securing funding for your project. This is key, as you’ll need enough capital to pay actors and distribute your film. After you wrap, consider entering competitions and festivals. These can raise your profile in the filmmaking world and help you connect with folks who want to support new filmmakers.
Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Portland area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter.