You’ve heard about how some filmmakers lucky breaks happen out of nowhere? Can it be that luck visits some and not others? Or perhaps, like me, you don’t believe in luck at all.

7 Reasons How Filmmakers Lucky Breaks Happen:

1.Filmmakers’ lucky breaks happen through hard work

There is nothing difficult about independent filmmaking. It is hard work. If you want to make yourself successful you need to watch movies. And you need to write scripts and make movies. Most of what will pre-determine your success will come from your hard work.

2. Lucky filmmakers complain less

I hate whiners and complainers. Sure, misfortune will befall you. When it does, resist the temptation to complain. It will put you into a looser mindset and leave you open to more negativity. And remember – the minute you whine about someone else, you will be known as a snake – and will destroy the trust of everyone around you. And you wouldn’t want that colouring your chance for a filmmaker’s lucky break, would you?

3 Teach others

Filmmaking is a collaborative art form. The trials and tribulations you suffer and the barriers you overcome are important lessons. Distinguish yourself – share the knowledge you’ve acquired freely.

4 Share the credit

So-called lucky filmmakers are quick to share the credit for their achievements. Even if it’s your idea and your film, remember that there are lots and lots of people who contribute to your success. From crew to festival programmers, from publicists to financiers – they all contribute to your film. Remember: if you credit them, they are more likely to shout about your achievement and will heighten your chances of getting a lucky break.

5 Show up on time

Punctuality is the golden rule. When you commit, be there. Even being five minutes late will make you look like you aren’t fully committed.

6 Be responsible

Responsibility in this day and age has several different edges – from moral responsibility to observing health and safety best practises. Everyone surrounding you will be impressed that you are concerned about their well-being.

7 Stay teachable

Learning is the life-long character trait of a successful and lucky filmmaker. Be open to new ideas and new trends. There are always better ways to achieve what you are trying to do.

Fade out

I personally don’t believe in luck. I think we make our own luck. And this is how I think it works:

If every single day you go out of your way to do something kind or good for someone else, you get a ‘lucky token’. When you get enough of these lucky tokens somehow you get a chance to cash them in.

A filmmaker is going to need lots of lucky tokens. How do you know which of the 5,000 film festivals around the world are right for your film? And it might not be Raindance.

When you choose a film festival, don’t you want to be the only cute and darling film there? Why? So you can be ‘discovered’. And you know what ‘to be discovered’ means – right? It means someone gave you a cheque. That means you can come back home, pay off your investors and do the next one on a bigger scale. Which means you will have the power to do more good deeds for more people.

And that’s how I think filmmakers’ lucky breaks happen.

About 

Elliot Grove is the founder of Raindance Film Festival and the British Independent Film Awards. He has produced over 700 hundred short films and also five feature films, including the multi-award-winning The Living and the Dead in 2006, Deadly Virtues in 2013 and AMBER in 2017. He teaches screenwriting and producing in the UK, Europe, Asia and America.

Raindance trailer 2017

Elliot has written three books which have become industry standards: Raindance Writers’ Lab: Write + Sell the Hot Screenplay, now in its second edition, Raindance Producers’ Lab: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking and Beginning Filmmaking: 100 Easy Steps from Script to Screen (Professional Media Practice).

In 2009 he was awarded a PhD for services to film education.

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