Key Actions to Take to be a Successful Filmmaker
- Make Films: This is the number one. Nothing gets you further than a film you have produced and directed. Every Film Course or School number one objective should be to make students make one to two short films per year. Now, you can do this on your own and actually make one or two short films per year.
Enter Film Festivals. Attend Film Festivals and attract attention. After three short films, move to a micro budget feature length film, get the best distributor and enter film festivals. This is how previous filmmakers that are famous today, made it. This is what you have to do.
- Learn how to Make Films. “ But I do not know how to Make Films”
This is why we invented the 4 Month Filmmaking Course. The key objective is to teach new and emerging filmmakers how to direct and produce their film. We teach this – guess what – by actually making a short film on the course. Then immediately after the course, go out and make your second short film.
If you are not in Sydney or Melbourne where we run the 4 Month Filmmaking Course, we are going to create the Online 4 Month Filmmaking Course, part of which will be the Online Editing Course which we have already created. We use this very course on our 4 Month Filmmaking Course. Learning how to edit your short film is one of the most challenging parts of filmmaking. It is also one of the most essential.
- Network with the Film Industry and Business.
No matter where you are in the world, this is an important skill. Find your filmmaking bodies and attend their functions. For example, in the United States you have the American Film Market. I attend the AFM every year in Los Angeles. It is a week where all the film buyers and filmmakers with their sales agents merge and sell their films and have conferences on the film business. The networking events after hours are tremendous fun and you meet many people.
You also have the American Directors Guild or PGA – Producers Guild of America. I have attended their amazing weekend in June and networked with top notch producers. Along with your films that you have made and had shown in film festivals, you will have your own work to share. Hang out with the top so you can get there quickly.
Also, attend film festivals that you have entered and being officially selected. Do your best to attend and meet industry people and fans of your work. You will feel energized and start attracting powerful people who can help you as a filmmaker.
- Keep Learning and advance your Skills
When you are fresh to the film business, any work experience on big film sets is a great help. You will see professional filmmakers on set and learn how they work. You will make contacts. Most of the Film Guilds such as the ADG will have attachments where members help out up and coming filmmakers.
Also read the trades. Two Trades I recommend are Deadline and Hollywood Reporter. If you check them out twice a week on your phone or iPad, when you are having a cup of coffee, this will keep you informed about what is happening at the pinnacle of the film business. Last week I published a fascinating article from Deadline on how the cinema exhibition is dramatically changing, As you read these articles, you are learning about the film business.
In conclusion, do your best to imagine a great future in the film business, set your goals and model yourself on successful filmmakers such as Peter Jackson. Remember to fill in your name and email so you will be informed every time I publish a post or podcast.