The beginning of 2019 is on the horizon. Presents have been unwrapped. Crackers have been popped. Michael Buble’s heavenly voice will not grace our ears (and souls) for at least another year. Christmas has finally ended. Cue a collective sigh of despair.
However, all is not lost! The new year brings a fresh slate. If you’re a filmmaker, it’s time to master your art.
If you’re not sure where to begin, here are 10 New Year’s Resolution suggestions for filmmakers both old and new alike:
1. Rejuvenate your social media.
Social media is a powerful tool when harnessed correctly. No longer do we have to suffer at the hands of the carrier pigeon – we now possess the power to be viewed globally at the click of a button. Review your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts and think of ways in which they could be revitalised. If they cover a broad range of topics, maybe fine tune their focus. However, avoid being too repetitive. If it feels like your online voice is becoming monotonous – spice it up. It needn’t take loads of time either – read our article on how to build social media authority in 18 minutes per day.
2. Watch the classics.
Great films are the elixir of life. You can never watch too many. The best way to improve as a filmmaker is to expose yourself to as many genres, directors, screen writers and cinematographers as is humanly possible. You will be a better filmmaker for it. Some of the classics, such as, Pulp Fiction, Memento, The Blair Witch Project and Oldboy, have previously been played at Raindance! So if you’re not sure where to begin, one of these would be great place to start.
What is better than one brain? Yes, you guessed correctly – two brains. Make this the year of collaboration. Commit to someone else’s project and you’ll start to formulate a network of talented filmmakers to help you out on all your future endeavours. Raindance is promoting a great new collaboration venture: Collab Writers. Join. It’s free. And don’t forget our monthly Boozin’ N’ Schmoozin’ – it’s a great place to meet collaborators.
4. Procrastinate less. Create More.
In this industry, it is easy to get stuck in a rut. Unfinished projects seem to be the filmmaker’s curse. So instead, make this year rain(dance) with your own film projects. Did you make two short films last year? Great. This year, make three. Scrap that, make five. Commit to them. You won’t regret it.
5. Experiment with form.
Don’t put yourself in a box. So what if you’ve only made dramas? This time, make a comedy. Have you only written short films before? Test yourself. This year, write a feature. You could even dabble in a bit of VR and become a multi format content creator. The comfort zone did not breed our generation’s great filmmakers, so get out of it while you can. There are no limits on what you can do. The only limit is yourself. So don’t build barriers, break them.
6. Add to your skill set.
Are you a director who refuses to touch a camera? Are you an editor who shys away from script-writing? Ask yourself why. There’s no reason you can’t learn a new skill. If you are a producer, learn to edit. If you are a writer, learn about different camera lenses. Why not attend our Saturday Film School and broaden your skill-set (and horizons)? The phrase ‘an old dog can’t learn new tricks’ is a load of billy b*ll*cks. Stop chewing the same bone again and again and find yourself a new one. A bigger, meatier one.
7. Read More
Some of the all-time greats originally started off as books. Timeless classics, such as Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Godfather and Trainspotting first began as best-selling novels. Books contain the recipe for a successful screenplay; in-depth character development, a considered plot and carefully composed dialogue. And the benefits don’t end there! Reading regularly will also help you mature your writing style; the more words you visually ingest, the wider your vocabulary will be. Frankly my dear, you should give a damn about reading.
8. Alter your Perspective on Rejection
Rejection is a part of life. Whether you’re a jilted lover or a 5th-time Oxbridge reject, rejection is a universal tragedy. It’s no different for filmmakers. As artists, you will be often faced with the dreaded word; ‘No’. Sadly, after being exposed again and again to a string of pitiless rebuffs, it is easy to fall into a black hole of self-pity. This year, grab rejection by the balls and use it for self-improvement, rather than self-deprecation. Think carefully about why your film, script or application didn’t succeed, join us in our famous gallery of rejection and use this time’s failure to pave the way to next year’s success. Once you understand that rejection is part of the game – you’ll automatically become a champion.
9. Balance is key.
What do filmmakers tend to have in common? They usually suffer from the burden of perfectionism. Whilst being a stickler for perfection may have its merits, becoming a workaholic, quite frankly, does not. So this year, push yourself. But don’t push yourself over the edge. Whilst setting challenges and keeping busy will make you a better filmmaker, if you don’t have a balance, you will quickly burn out. And so will your art.
10. Attend More Film Festivals.
Film festivals are an absolute blast. They are chock-full of life-affirming films, talented filmmakers and ardent film-enthusiasts. Not to mention, there are parties aplenty. So if you want to learn the inner workings of the industry, build a contact list as long as your arm and boogie the night away with like-minded people, then these are the places to be. Why not begin by attending our very own festival in September!