Pursuing a Film Career in Todayâ€™s Market
With the advent of digital technology, many thousands of young aspiring filmmakers are jumping on the scene. This is good in the sense that more people can get involved, but can also be a challenge to compete with the sheer volume of material competing for attention. If your desire is to be a filmmaker, here are some things you need to know about pursuing a film career in today’s market.
FILM SCHOOL IS OPTIONAL
You read that statement correctly; you don’t necessarily have to go to film school to become a filmmaker, despite what you may have been told. (You do need an education, but school isn’t the only place to get that education.) Many famous directors never went to film school, or never finished. Additionally, if you do go to film school, you need to make sure they are keeping current with the latest trends, especially when it comes to getting your film seen. Alternately, you can learn a lot of the basics by practice and studying films. Mentoring and relationships also play a big role in learning filmmaking, so if you can align yourself with someone in the industry who can help you, all the better.
COME UP WITH A FRESH APPROACH
Believe it or not, the biggest challenge in pursuing a film career is not to be the “best” filmmaker out there. You need to be the best you can be, but with all the other films flooding the marketplace, the biggest challenge is to get noticed. There are so many indie films out there that just putting another one out there is not the way to get seen. You need a fresh approach, whether it’s in the way you tell the story, or the way you shoot the film, or whatever. Something about your filmmaking needs to draw people’s attention in a good way, to make your film stand out.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
Even if you do get someone’s attention with a film, you need to have some consistency in your approach, some genuine substance in your abilities behind the attention-grabber. Otherwise, you’ll only be seen as a fluke. While getting your film seen is the biggest challenge, the next biggest one is to be excellent at what you do—and that takes practice.
Whatever film(s) you’re using as your calling card, get them out there wherever people can see them. Film festivals are one way to do this, but even the festivals nowadays are getting overrun by a blend of amateurs and professional studios entering “indie” films—so don’t rely on that outlet. Get your stuff on the Internet, do social networking, pass your business card around, and show your films to whoever will watch them. You never know who will be able to help you take the next step. In pursuing a film career, your biggest break is most likely to come through one of your existing connections.