Making any film, especially if it’s your first one, is always filled with struggles and unforeseen challenges. For new filmmakers, it can be overwhelming. Soon, they learn having people, a camera or a boom mic doesn’t mean they’re already a filmmaker.
Filmmaking is hard business, whether it’s your first time or your 10th time. The more you create and practice the craft, the more you learn. While experience makes things easier, it doesn’t guarantee you won’t struggle through the process.
Below, are 3 important tips to help filmmakers like you, prepare, create and navigate through struggles you’ll come across as you make your first few films.
1. Be Realistic
There’s nothing wrong with having grand aspirations for your film. But it’s good to be realistic with your expectations and be grounded.
In fact, if you believe investors or supporters will easily say “yes” to your requests, they can also just as well say “no.” Having a plan or set of goals for your finished film is good, but never be delusional about it. Chances are, your film won’t be accepted in prestigious film festivals or have major directors and producers fawning after it.
If you want to be one of the best filmmakers, be concerned and focused on making the best film possible instead of daydreaming scenarios where your films are being fawned over and appreciated by big name people. The more focus you have, the faster you learn and improve your filmmaking game.
2. When Crowdfunding, Accept the Responsibilities That Comes With It
For most filmmakers today, crowdfunding is the way to go when financing their films. There are different kinds of crowdfunding options, so pick one that suits you.
For example, New Dawn Films is using Equity Crowdfunding to create their latest film, An Angry Boy. This type of crowdfunding entices investors who want to help see the film created in exchange for them receiving potential returns.
If you go this route, know that crowdfunding isn’t as simple as putting out your campaign and watching the money flow. In fact, it’s tied to a ton of responsibilities. For instance, you need to promote to social media almost daily. Send out tweets, create Facebook posts, send out emails asking friends, family and strangers to fund your film.
There are some who find it difficult to relax until their funding goal is met, especially since it’s sometimes an all or nothing campaign. Aside from that, you also need to get the budget on point as well. Because all the things you will do, and the possible rewards you’re promising backers, will require money.
3. Hire Good Actors
While free labor is great, when it comes to your film, always opt to hire good actors. Bad acting will kill your film and chase audiences away. Take the time and whatever budget you have to audition and cast the right lead actor for the part. Great actors will draw your audience and help sell the film. Also, when auditioning, don’t settle for the first two actors that seem promising. Keep looking until you find one that transforms into the character right before your eyes.
Make this a practice for choosing the rest of your crew as well. Key positions like the editor, sound engineer, composer and cinematographer need to filled in by qualified people who can do a great job.
Avoid Cliché Storylines
Your job as a filmmaker is to stand out against the norm. This means creating a strong storyline and delivering it in the best way possible. There are a lot of film clichés you can fall into especially when working in certain genres like horror or thriller films.
Provide your audience with a story they can follow, something that takes them on a journey instead of treating them like children being ordered to sit there and see what happens. Engage them by making use of great cinematic style, music, silence, atmosphere or lighting. Surprise them with twists and turns. And above all, entertain them.
These are just some things to keep in mind as you go about making your film. While it won’t be easy, you will learn a lot as you go along and gain more experience.
In the meantime, make sure to visit our Scary Mysteries Channel for delightfully, scary mysteries to keep you company during this quarantine.