1. James Cameron and Steven Spielberg both did not go to film school. They also both don’t like to recommend students to do it. What they both advocate is for filmmakers to keep practicing and building their reel until they have enough experience to work on paid directing jobs.
  1. Want to stand out? Master the art of color and design in your films. If you feel you need help on this, check out various design sites online or maybe scour stylish design books. Aside from making your reel pop, it’s also a great way to forge an identity with your audience. Oh and don’t be afraid to add some eye candy, provided it’s relevant to the shot and story.
  1. Take your time in picking out actors. In an effort to rush the film or if you simply get too excited, you often just cast the first actor that seems to fit the role and can act. But if you want to make a great film instead of merely a good one, hire great actors from the start. If your taste in actors isn’t good, then partner with a reliable casting agent.
  1. Prioritize developing your film skills. You can buy the most expensive or most professional cameras out there and shoot with it, but you can’t fake good direction and fluid shots. These have to be learned so always prioritize learning excellent filmmaking first.
  1. Being a strong INTJ, Stanley Kubrick actually shot, produced and created his first ever short film project in 1935! He then went on to sell it even though at that time, it was completely unheard of especially from a relative unknown filmmaker.
  1. Experts would advise against giving film distributors early sneak peeks of your film. Instead, make sure all distributors watch the film at the same time and if possible the same place. Otherwise, if one distributor watches first and tattles if the film isn’t so hot, that info will spread like wildfire and you won’t get a chance to get your film out there.

7. Learn to lead. As a filmmaker, you can have the very best of actors and staff but they won’t create your vision if you have no clue how to lead them. Learn to be the kind of leader people would want to work with and help to make your vision come alive. And once you do land paid directing gigs, always be grateful for those who helped get you where you are.