Ever been gripped by insecurity and thought to yourself you don’t have what it takes to get your feature film done? Well, welcome to the boat! Almost every single beginner filmmaker has gone through this and sometimes even professionals do as well. For some, getting over the impostor syndrome takes years, other times, it simply doesn’t go away. But there are a few things you can do to help you cope and push forward.
1. Give yourself a chance and say “yes” to yourself.
Oftentimes, the situation doesn’t call for approval from other people but instead, the approval from yourself. You’ve probably found yourself helping out other people and taking huge steps to get something done. Apply this same enthusiasm for your own project and give yourself a chance to follow your dreams. Don’t feel like you’re being selfish because it’s not a selfish endeavor to share your story or your ability to others.
2. You probably have more experience than you realize.
Again, that little voice in your head might be screaming insecurity and saying you don’t have the credentials or the experience to be directing your film. Chances are, you didn’t just wake up one day and decided you’ll create a feature. You probably have been interested in film for a long time, maybe studying or writing scripts, acting and more.
3. Always ask questions.
Don’t be afraid to be a beginner. Everyone starts from somewhere. Use the resources you have and ask plenty of questions. Get down to the nitty gritty. It’s best to be overly prepared as opposed to overwhelmingly underprepared. Just know you will learn a lot of things along the way. After all, experience is the best teacher, so, doing your film and going through the process will be your biggest teacher yet.
4. Be organised and prepared.
This is a crucial thing for any new director. Have everything organised and don’t just “wing” it. If you want your film to work, you need to know where and how everything goes. What scene is coming up, what your lines are (if you’re also acting in it) and more.
5. Remind yourself why you wanted to do this and why you can.
We all need a bit of encouragement and inspiration along the way. Sometimes they come readily in the form of people who believe in us and in our project but other times, it’s more indirect. For some, it could be in the form of a movie or director they want to emulate. If this is the case, go and rewatch the films you love or the ones from the director you admire. Keep in mind, they too started from the beginning. You can also hang inspiring images or words to remind yourself why you wanted to do this and why you can.