6 Tips for Making It in Hollywood as a Filmmaker
If you want to make movies, chances are that you are hoping to one day make it to Hollywood. So what can you do to make your dreams a reality? Below are six tips that you can use to help you have a better chance of realizing your dream.
Start Really Early
When you think about all of the people who have made it big in film, they began really early. They love movies, and some grew up with people who were part of the industry, others began doing work with action figures and camcorders. The one thing they all have in common: they all started out really early.
No matter what you do, begin early. Don’t simply absorb the movies you watch. Study the movies. Do what you can to understand editing and take note of the recurring music in various scenes. You should also study the theme movement as well as the camera, and remember to ready up on the popular trends – past and current.
Get Disillusioned Earlier than Later
Even though you love the whole filmmaking industry, you want to recognize right away how dissapointing thisn industry can be sometimes. There are six things you should know about it:
- Everything is reputation
- Relationships and friendships are two different things
- Everything is a gamble
- Your reputation is going to depend a lot on earning money
- A movie will pay off or it won’t
- You’ll be at the bottom until you are not
Do not Think Your Only Answer is Film School
Film school is expensive, and even though you’re likely going to learn a great deal, you’re paying just for a certificate, a few contacts, and a note on your diploma. This will help you with getting some gigs to work as a production assistant and some great internships. Film school can often be very helpful.
You want to think about your options. If you have the money and you really want to go to film school, there are lists like the one from The Hollywood Reporter which lists the United States’ top film schools. It’s a list that has 25 names on it.
Intern Anywhere and Anytime Within Reason
Interning is going to be a really good way that you can work on your aspiring filmmaker resume. You’re often going to get great experience and it’s possible you’ll meet some famous screenwriters, producers, or directors. There is going to be a lot of time that you are going to spend with some talented people working out of the limelight who can give you some valuable tips as well.
However, a lot of interns are used for unpaid labor in the industry. If you aren’t getting education or training, you should not be working for free.
Think About Working as a PA
For the majority of aspiring filmmakers, their first job in the film industry will be as production assistants, also called “PAs”. These people are usually at the film crew’s bottom. However, when you’re doing a good job and showing initiative, it’s possible that you’re going to climb up that ladder and not even have to switch positions.
Make Some Movies of Your Own
There is a great deal of conflicting advice on how people get into the industry. Is it a good idea to get into film school? Should you move to Los Angeles or Hollywood? Is it a good idea to work for free as an intern? These kinds of questions don’t have easy answers since a lot of leaders in the film industry went different routes to get into the industry.
One thing that just about everyone who is in the film industry is going to tell you is that you should make movies anytime you can. It’s not important to sink lots of money into producing them. Even when you make movies using a camera of your own or a borrowed one can be really rewarding.
No matter what you do, you should continue producing some new work since you’re going to learn a lot more everytime you do something. Whether you learn the way to light up your set after it’s dark or you’re learning exciting and new editing techniques, it’s all a learning experience. As you keep on growing and becoming a filmmaker, you’re also going to find yourself with a work portfolio that’s always expanding. Submit your work to some film festivals from the little independent ones all the way up to the big ones such as Sundance.
It’s also important to use the resources we have online. With things such as YouTube and other platforms, you’re going to find a lot of places to showcase and share your short films. Who knows? Today it might just be your family and friends who are watching your latest film on YouTube. But there’s no telling what the future may hold. You may just be the next Steven Spielberg. But unless you use the resources that are available to you, you’ll never know.