Over the last few months, I’ve been interning at a film/creative media company in London called Latimer. I do a little bit of everything here – blogging, website management and SEO optimization, researching for documentaries, putting together press materials, organizing events, interviewing sources, video production, assisting with focus groups and film shoots, and the occasional making of tea. It’s been a blast and I’ve learned so much about running a media company, establishing an online presence and making films for all sorts of audiences. Not only that, but I have discovered this insane desire to start creating films of my own. I realize the only proper film training I’ve had was through the Missouri School of Journalism, which isn’t a bad thing — I feel very prepared to create broadcast-quality videos — but I’m not as confident in my ability to create anything beyond the standard TV-package. So, my goal this summer is to practice. I’m going to borrow a camera and just experiment!
I was once told that if you really want to accomplish something, you need to do something every day toward reaching that goal. So, today I put together a list of advice for young film makers from the professionals … (and had some fun creating a graphic to go with it!)
“Tempting as it may be to try to imitate the style and gloss of your favourite blockbusters, let’s face it; the game is rigged in their favour. You can try, and your failure may be unique and interesting (or at least funny) in its own right—but you can also just do your own thing, and try something that the studios wouldn’t have the balls or the imagination to do in the first place.
#2 Just DO it:
“Thereʼs no better way to learn filmmaking than getting out there and DOING it. And you donʼt need expensive equipment. A handycam, or even a mobile phone, plus free editing software available on Mac and PC computers – thatʼs all you need to get started. Sound recording may not be great on these cameras but you could always start by making a silent film. Itʼs a little old-fashioned but itʼs the best way to learn. It challenges you to tell a story visually. Once youʼve mastered that you might want to invest in a separate microphone for sound recording.
#3 Try to See Everything:
“So many directors lament openly that their schedules make it near impossible to see movies. They’re barred from keeping up with the art that they’re obsessed with. Of course, there’s also the famous maxim of writing that there are only two jobs involved in it: reading and writing. One is inhaling, the other inhaling. “I try to see every movie, I have projectors at home, so it’s a little easier for me now; those pictures that I can borrow prints of I run at home, and those that I cannot, I go and see, but I try to see everything.”
#4 Develop a Thick Skin:
“Our culture celebrates wunderkinds. You will have to learn to carry on working despite the mistrust and incredulity of people around you. It can turn out to be a great motivator. I will show them what I’m capable of. The easiest way to develop a thick skin: seek constructive criticism. It will make you stronger and improve your work.
#5 And for the devotedly motivated filmmakers … Make a Movie Every Weekend:
“ “My advice to young filmmakers is to make a movie every week in Super 8 or hi-def, write every night, and every weekend, shoot for two days. Work with actors. Work with a little 1000 watt lighting kit. Set it up, set up your shots, get a tripod. Shoot a little scene. Work with the actors. Cut those scenes together, and then the next weekend, have worked on it with sound and looping and put some music to it — it can all be done for nothing nowadays with a computer. And get a response. Get a response from the audience, and see where it’s slow, and where it doesn’t work, and where your ideas weren’t being communicated properly. Learn from that experience sitting in with a crowd, then go out and make another picture the next weekend. Just keep doing it. Make films, no matter what anybody says, and you’ll be a filmmaker.”