Whether you aim to rival Spielberg or make a career shooting wedding videos, the first steps into filmmaking will always be the same. The digital age has created a huge demand for filmmakers, the likes of Youtube making it easier to share videos than ever before. Businesses of all kinds want promotional and instructional videos, whilst budding actors and scriptwriters need directors to get their ideas off the ground. Get your foot in the door and you’ll open yourself up to a world of opportunities. Get these tough first steps out the way and you’ll be on the road to success.
Knowing the right people can help point you in the right direction. Attend as many free events, screenings and launches as you can – here you will meet people that can give advice and help you find a way into the industry. Start a Facebook and Twitter page and promote your work. Join community groups on social media and get yourself out there. Similarly, you should use social events to talk of your filmmaking ambitions – you may find a potential client or link that can get you up the ladder.
Learn to edit
Being able to edit your work is as important as being able to shoot it. This more technical side can put a lot of people off, but it’s necessary in order to get a good product. There are a number of tuition options available such as Premiere pro courses by Training Connection that can help you to develop professional editing skills. Alternatively, if you work best self-taught, there are many instructional videos and blogs online.
Building a portfolio and having references is important. This may mean having to work voluntarily in some cases. A small production company may be able to give you some experience operating a boom, or you may able to volunteer to shoot a friend’s wedding. You can then add this experience to your CV or add testimonials to your website that will help you gain more work.
Stick to your budget
Filmmaking can be expensive, so it’s important to budget accordingly. Don’t get carried away buying expensive equipment – beg and borrow where you can. Take voluntary work but try to find another source of income so that you don’t run yourself into debt. When starting your own business, you plan out all your spendings in advance including equipment, marketing and travel.
Don’t be picky
It’s good to have your eyes set on a goal but don’t limit your scope too much in the beginning. Take on a few odd roles to begin with even if they’re not related to your specific area or niche. Help edit music videos for local bands, film instructional videos for schools and help a film studio with lighting. You’ll slowly build up a body of experience behind you that will allow you to then specialise. You may even discover a new area of filmmaking that suits you more.