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by Aveline MacQuoid on June 25, 2021

in Extras

4 Tips for Young Filmmakers

We are led to believe that filmmaking is a glamorous industry filled with fame, money, and opportunity. We think of the bright lights of Hollywood twinkling in the dusk of the Los Angeles late night sky. We think of designer dresses, red carpets and fancy champagne. But is filmmaking all it’s made out to be or is there something all young filmmakers should know? Is there a lot of work involved to make this a career? Keep reading to find out.

Get a Degree

First, it’s important to get the education you need to be a professional filmmaker. The qualification you need to get work will vary depending on where you live but, generally speaking, it will take 4+ years to get a basic-level degree. College is expensive but taking out a student loan from a private lender can help to take the financial burden off you now so you can study with no stress and pay later. If you’re in the US, The American Film Institute Conservatory has been voted the best in the country for a few years running.

A Good Screenplay is Essential

So where do you put your focus when developing your craft? The answer lies in perfecting your screenplay writing skills. After all, a good story is the foundation of a great film. It’s what captivates audiences and keeps them entertained from beginning to end. There are seven basics to writing a good screenplay. These are crafting a logline, writing a treatment, character development, creating a plot with an outline, writing a first draft, taking a break (so you can look at it with a fresh set of eyes) and re-writing. Develop these skills early on and you will have a very successful career ahead of you.

You Must be Flexible

If you do not like change and you don’t deal with stress very well, it’s time to move on. A good filmmaker is flexible and able to meet the challenges that will come up when shooting a movie. You’ll have to deal with budget problems and all that comes with not having enough funding. Technical issues will become the norm so what are you going to do when the DSLR stops working or runs out of battery in the middle of a scene? Filmmaking is a chaotic and fast paced environment where anything can happen. Are you up for the challenge?

Learn How to Edit

In contrast to what most people think, a filmmaker is not finished working after the last take. In fact, the hard work begins just as the last scene finishes. When starting out, you’ll most likely have to edit all your work due to budget constraints. Our advice here is to learn this skill as early as possible as it is a learning curve that never stops growing. Even social media apps like TikTok can teach you things to avoid and how to edit short clips in a space that is low commitment and low risk.

For more advanced practice, find editing software that you are comfortable using and immerse yourself in training tutorials and courses. Practice what you’re learning by shooting mini films and editing them from start to finish with opening and closing credits. Get familiar with visual effects and stylizing the finished reel. In time, you will be able to hire a full-time editor to take over this part of the job for you but, for now, it’s all down to you.

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