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A director directs, an editor edits, a writer writes, a producer produces, an actor acts, a filmmaker.. well, needs to have skills in all of the above.
There are many of us out there who claim to be a ‘filmmaker’, myself included, although I do refuse to take those ‘L-plates’ off just yet, but can we truly lay claim to this title? Do we even know what it takes to be a filmmaker, honestly?
Filming some pretty flowers blowing in the wind and slo-mo close-ups of water droplets on our DSLR, that’s not making films. Not even close.
What are we doing to help us achieve, with credibility, the title of filmmaker?
The general consensus from most in the industry is, get out there and film stuff! It’s the only way to learn, agreed. However, are we stopping to think about what and how we are filming, and more importantly – what are we learning along the way?
Are you working on the art of writing a screenplay? It’s the nucleus of ALL films, the absolute foundations for what ends up on the big screen. Have you given it the respect and time it deserves to help develop your filmmaking skills? If not, grab a pen (or keyboard) and write. From experience, it WILL make you a better filmmaker.
Do you know how important the role of producer is? Have you made any attempt to leave your comfort zone in order to make things happen for your film? I’m not talking about filming in your neighbours back garden with family and friends as actors. I’m talking about blagging the use of cool locations, persuading experienced actors to appear in your film, getting local hire companies to lend you kit for a day or two, for FREE, and so on. It’s an art form, it’s worth coming out of your comfort zone to learn, it WILL make you a better filmmaker.
OK, you have a Canon 5D, a few lenses and a tripod, but do you REALLY know how to frame a shot, to get perfect exposure, to get pinpoint focus, to work with ND filters? Do you know how to manipulate natural light to get incredible results on screen? Do you know what makes an interesting shot – or are you just guessing? Are you making any effort to learn? If not, then follow the best cinematogrpahers in the business, pick their brains, read their blogs, watch their videos and work out how they get ‘that look’. Goes without saying, it WILL make you a better filmmaker.
The same goes for all the other areas of making a film.
I’m a few years into my filmmaking journey, and most of that time has been spent learning the trade. All areas of making films. I’ve had valuable experience writing, producing, filming (cinematography), directing, lighting, editing and the rest. I don’t claim to be a great filmmaker, what I can say is I’m a much better filmmaker than I was a few years ago as a direct result of the experience I’ve given myself in the whole process.
Still a long way to go. But now I feel like I can tackle any size project with a lot more confidence and credibility. What are you doing to make yourself a better filmmaker? Other than just going out there and filming stuff?
There are several film projects that I’m working on right now, find out more here.
Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to tune into the next Live Filmmaker’s TV Show on Tuesday 26th July at 9pm UK time here http://www.livefilmshow.tv
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Every aspect of being a good film maker would also include sound, which always seems to be overlooked, having all the realitive skills in terms of camera and lighting are fine but if your audience think the sound is bad they will stop watching your images
Hi Chris, I think you are absolutely right!! Sound should come very (very) close to the top of the priorities list, during the whole filmmaking process. It's important to chat to your sound guys way before getting to set. They can help flag up any potential sound problems or hurdles that might need jumping. An audience will forgive a little dodgy camera work, but bad sound – unforgivable!