I only have so many words in me daily, and since November they’ve been given to my first novel, so if you’ll forgive my lack of consistency with this blog, I’d like to share a new series of posts for anyone interested in getting started as a filmmaker (and yes, I know most of the lessons learned are by someone that was just starting out, but I’d like to cover the first basic steps).
Film is difficult to transition from hobby to vocation. Many people are passionate about filmmaking, and the thing about passions are that they are usually the things you would pursue even if unpaid… which is a necessary precedent to start off with but one that’s incredibly hard to transition away from, especially if you’re wanting to continue to tell your stories.
A brief aside, I’ve learned the person with the funds is the one that picks what story to tell.
But let’s say you’re still firmly in hobby-land. Film interests you greatly, and you’d love to make it your vocation. How do you build a following? How do you get invited on to other people’s sets? How do you even make a film?
There is one crucial question you need to ask yourself before you take your first step:
Why do you want to make films? There are plenty of filmmakers out there now that the cost of admission equipment-wise has plummeted. I don’t bring that up to discourage, but more to stress the importance of knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Knowing why you’re pursuing film will help you find others like you with the same why that can compliment your skillset, effectively creating a family and crew that you need in order to get started. Eventually when your Why leaks through your film, an audience has a better grasp of what the film is about and will click in and eventually become your most vocal supporters–your base.
It may be because you can’t imagine yourself working in a cubical farm for the rest of your life. It may be because you see how much culture is shaped by media and you want to toss your voice into the cacophonous mix. It may be because you just enjoy being on set and seeing a finished product come to fruition. I don’t know, it’s your why.
If you aren’t sure what it is right now, I think that’s all right as long as you know to search out why you’re making film. The one caution I can offer is that if your Why is because you want to become famous or boost yourself, you’re not going to stand out, nor are other people going to share interest the Why of You.
As this series continues, I’ll get more technical and how you can even make a film if it’s just you wearing every single hat on the simplest of projects.