For our last venture into Filmmaking Tips, the ever so resourceful and smart Kathryn Butt and I have decided to finish off this era of films and joy by sharing what we think are the things that make a strong and successful filmmaking career. When you are making films, think about the things that go into the process of creating a short film story and never stop trying to make yourself a better version of you. If you focus on your own self and work well with others, you are bound to create beautiful and long lasting art. Here are some tips to help you stay in the loop:
Start doing short courses
Maybe film school is not the ideal solution for you for a number of reasons – whatever they might be. Think about doing courses that don’t last for long, but could bring you knowledge and contacts for your career in the long run. There are many different types that fit your needs, and most of them are tailored especially to what you might want to explore. A lot of these courses can be Masterclasses with filmmakers that have had a long and lasting career. You should take the opportunity to talk to them and ask them about what they have been through!
Go out there and schmooze with filmmakers
Try and always be aware of any networking events that are happening out there. Raindance and Shorts on Tap always create meet ups for people in the industry, and it’s good to be in the centre of what’s happening and what is new in the world of film. All of the people that come to these are there for the same goal – meet new and potential creatives to collaborate with and better their career.
Be aware of what’s new in the world of film
Keep up with the trends in Indie cinema and have an understanding of what the current climate is. Read news outlets and follow websites that constantly update about the industry and whatever is happening. You can even sign up to the Raindance newsletter for both international and local indie film updates. Watch award shows and read the buzz in the news! I really enjoy watching interviews with actors and directors, producers and writers. It helps me fully understand their thought process while also hearing about their career and working with the greatest minds in history and our industry.
Utilize social media to its full potential
While keeping up with the newest trends in technology and news in the industry, it goes without saying that you should use the power of social media to your advantage. Your IMDb, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Vimeo should be used for people to see your work! Your career should be very important to you, so don’t be afraid to show whatever you’ve made. Nobody is going to promote you and your work unless you do it yourself. Use these platforms to be productive and share your work with the world – you might inspire somebody.
Getting involved and making a career
If you are studying, or even if you are just trying to break into the industry find volunteering opportunities at fairs and festivals where you can get a better sense of what the people with the same type of career goals as you are like. There are multiple different types of new technology exhibitions happening on a monthly base all around London, and you should know what the new equipment is. Take a weekend to be productive and do something you love – you’ll be surrounded by people with similar tastes and aspirations.
Have you thought about doing an internship?
Early on in your career internships can be a most effective way to get your head into the business. Kat, Eleonora and me met through our internship at Raindance, and it has been more than an amazing experience. We understand how one of the most powerful festivals in the world works. We learned how to be productive, how to make priorities and manage our time properly while also meeting a plethora of talented industry professionals and aspiring filmmakers.
When’s the last time you read a book?
Some of you filmmakers might cringe at the thought of reading books, but trust me – there is so much literature out there worth exploring and reading. Be sure to google or ask around what kind of books you should read to get a better insight into film and story, cinematography or producing. Read at least one book a month and pick out the things that you might think work for you.
You better be watching films!
This is a no brainer, so of course you are not surprised it’s featured on our list. What more is there to say? If you are starting out as a filmmaker, I’m sure you have a lot of inspirations and stories you want to tell. Watch films and discuss them with your friends and family, read trivia and watch behind the scenes videos. Pick apart the details of a cinematic story and use whatever is out there to inspire you to achieve greatness.
Make sure to watch our videos
I mean, this isn’t a must.. But we have brought up a couple of valid points here and there. Even if you don’t think we did, at least it’ll be good for you to know what not to do and correct us. You can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Never stop filming
For goodness sake, film! The most important thing out of all of these is probably to just make movies. There are endless stories to be told around you, and most certainly within you. Use your camera to create films and trust me that every next one will be better than the previous one. Even the greatest of filmmakers have good and bad days. It’s important to keep the momentum going so you can slowly, but certainly, get to a place you are comfortable with.
Yours in film and cheese,
Dušan & Kathryn
Thanks to the wonderful Rebecca Hughes for animating Kat and Dušan – check out her fantastic work here!
Read more about Kathryn Butt here!
Read more about Eleonora Passelli here!
The Independent Filmmaker’s Ball is back?? Yes, please!