How do I get into the film industry?

Updated on : December 6, 2021 by Theo Chambers



How do I get into the film industry?

The best way to enter the film industry is by filming and getting involved with other filmmakers.

"It may sound ridiculous, but the best young filmmakers should do is get themselves a camera and some film and make a movie of any kind." - Stanley Kubrick

I think his words sum it up better than anything else, but I'll try to give you some tips on what I've found helpful in getting into the film industry. First, remember that the path to becoming a successful screenwriter or director is nothing more than overnight. It takes years, I'm still trying to get there by myself, but or

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The best way to enter the film industry is by filming and getting involved with other filmmakers.

"It may sound ridiculous, but the best young filmmakers should do is get themselves a camera and some film and make a movie of any kind." - Stanley Kubrick

I think his words sum it up better than anything else, but I'll try to give you some tips on what I've found helpful in getting into the film industry. First, remember that the path to becoming a successful screenwriter or director is nothing more than overnight. It takes years, I'm still trying to get there by myself, but one thing I know is that I'm getting closer, you will feel this too and of course there are days when I think not, you just have to do it. write them down on days off and keep them to a minimum. Once you have a strong and determined mindset, you are in the right frame of mind to be successful. Remember also that Rome was not built in a day.

So I normally structure my filmmaking cycle like this, I research, write, film and edit ... I repeat, that's a basic cycle to follow, but you do it however you see fit.

  1. Find a local film group / community or film production company. Ask if they are looking for a new member and need help, express your interest. You probably won't be cast in the role of director or writer, but you will learn a lot about what it's like to be on set and inns and outings from movie making. Stick around and maybe you're writing or directing the next project. (I advise you to try to dedicate as much time to each department of camera, set design, etc.). This is great for networking, you will meet so many people with similar interests. (If you don't have a local film group, could you make one ?!)
  2. Find friends or classmates interested in making movies. If you do film studies or media studies, this is a good place to find people with similar interests, ask them to get together and do a project.
  3. Research an idea you want to make a movie about and write a script.
  4. Get as many people to read that script as possible, get feedback to improve it!
  5. Gather some friends, family and film that script. Just to get a motion picture movie.
  6. Invest in some equipment, such as a camera, lights, or microphone. I have the Cannon 700D, the Rode camera mic, and some cheap lights from Ebay. You can find cheaper cameras if you are on a budget, if you already have cameras, lights and microphones then you are one step ahead.
  7. I read some books on cinematography, which I often read are The Movie Book Amazon.co.uk: DK: 9780241188026: Books gives a very good description of the history of books (there is another good book, but I can't remember the title, comment or send me a message if you are interested)
  8. Keep up with the industry by getting magazines like Empire that cover a lot about upcoming movies. You can also follow blogs like No Film School No Film School, which covers pretty much every aspect of filmmaking, from pre-production to post-production.
  9. Movie again
  10. Create social media accounts, I have been using social media more recently, you can build a fan base and share your work, it also makes it easy for other filmmakers to keep up with you. Maybe one day I'll get you a job! and be sure to leave a link to your social media accounts when relevant. Thomas A. Jackson ,;) It is very important to network with other filmmakers offline and online.
  11. Once you have some good content under your belt, make a portfolio of websites to showcase your work.
  12. Finally, all Trace and error. These basic tips will get you off to a good start, but you'll find what works for you - every filmmaker works a little differently.

Here are some YouTube channels that I find useful for information on making movies.

Cinematographic database

Nerdwriter1

Riot from the movie

DSLRguide

I hope this has helped you and I wish you the best in your mission. I think the most important thing you can do as a filmmaker, besides filming, is network with other filmmakers to build a community. With that I leave some links to my social networks where I post movie things all the time ...

Twitter: Thomas A. Jackson

Thomas A. Jackson (@aleccmelon) • Instagram photos and videos

How old are you and are you still in school?

The point of that question is to figure out where you are in your life so that we can give you the best possible advice on exactly what your first steps might be in reaching your ultimate goal.

For example, if you are retired and thinking about a second career, or if you attend a small rural high school in Alabama, or if you are about to enter college or if you are thirty years old, live in Los Angeles and want to change your life: each of these situations would require somewhat different responses, although they would all have certain points in common that could be applied to

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How old are you and are you still in school?

The point of that question is to figure out where you are in your life so that we can give you the best possible advice on exactly what your first steps might be in reaching your ultimate goal.

For example, if you are retired and thinking about a second career, or if you attend a small rural high school in Alabama, or if you are about to enter college or if you are thirty years old, live in Los Angeles and want to change your life: each of these situations would require somewhat different responses, although they would all have certain points in common that could be applied to several of those situations.

So the more specific I can be, the better I can give you an answer that could really help you and also help me provide information of a more general nature that would help others as well.

Thomas already gave you a good answer, but here's one more focused on screenwriting:

What steps do I need to take to become a screenwriter?

There is nothing stopping you from writing a script. Give it a try and you will no longer be a "wannabe", you will be a screenwriter.

Many people who think they would like to write screenplays find that they never start, or never end. If you can't even get to the point of finishing a script, there is no point in dreaming of writing professionally.

Getting a PAYMENT for scriptwriting is very, very difficult, so you need to have a backup plan.

Read "Unmanned Rebel" by Robert Rodriguez (lead) and watch JJ Abrams TED Talks on "Mystery Box" for inspiration.

Start making movies.

Put them on YouTube. Get into festivals. Show them to friends you may know who are close to the industry (or close to people in the industry). If you can afford it, go to film festivals to understand the scene you are entering.

Good luck!

I guess by "risky" you mean income. How likely is a person to earn a living?

First of all, I'm not sure that literature or psychology is much less risky than cinema. I have degrees in both. I earn a decent living, but that's largely because I have a Ph.D. A bachelor's degree in either will not necessarily provide an easier path to a steady income.

This is what I say to my own daughter, who is also in grade 12:

The quality of life of a person is directly related to the satisfaction they get from what they do. Not how much money they make. If you get personal satisfaction

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I guess by "risky" you mean income. How likely is a person to earn a living?

First of all, I'm not sure that literature or psychology is much less risky than cinema. I have degrees in both. I earn a decent living, but that's largely because I have a Ph.D. A bachelor's degree in either will not necessarily provide an easier path to a steady income.

This is what I say to my own daughter, who is also in grade 12:

The quality of life of a person is directly related to the satisfaction they get from what they do. Not how much money they make. If you get personal satisfaction from science, get on with science. If you get personal satisfaction from the arts, move on to the arts. The bottom line is that you can make a living doing just about anything. If you are fascinated by cows, you can earn a living tending cows. If you are interested in volcanoes, you can become a volcano expert and earn a living from them. You cannot earn a living in the same way, that is, not all activities will generate the same amount of money, but no one judges the quality of your life based on money. Well ... practically no one.

However, there are some details that must be included in the equation. You have to 1) dedicate yourself seriously to all aspects of whatever it is you want to do and 2) you have to base your lifestyle on your income. So if you love something that doesn't pay much, even when you work on it all the time and are willing to do everything about it, then you have to live simply. As long as you have a roof over your head, enough food to eat, clothes to wear. Are you okay.

Let's say someone wants to be an actor. Most people will tell you that they shouldn't do that because it's too risky and most actors don't "make it." But "making it" is not the goal of someone who really wants to be an actor. Acting is. If "making it" is what a person is looking for, then he really doesn't want to be an actor, he wants to be someone who gets rewarded. They want to be a great movie star. That is a childish ambition and the person pursuing it will likely fail because they are unwilling to act unless they see it as a path to reward.

But the person who really wants to spend his life acting will do all of the following:

1. Study. Earn acting-related degrees. Educate yourself.
2. Teach to act when they are trained. They can teach individual lessons, or teach children, or teach at the YMCA, or they can earn enough degrees to teach acting, theater, and film at a college or university.
3. They will do film, television, radio, commercials, industrial films, theater - local and fair - they will do sketches and plays and presentations. In other words, they will do whatever kind of performance is possible. Some of it will pay. And the better they get, the more they pay until they have a base income.
4. They will be smart with the money they earn so they can continue to act. They may buy a cheap car instead of a fancy new one to keep their monthly expenses low enough to keep performing. They will live simply.

If they do these things, they basically work hard in every way to act and don't put themselves in a bad financial position, they can earn a living and keep acting.

Simply staying debt free opens up a world of possibilities by dramatically reducing a person's cost of living.

In the end, I tell my daughter to think of it this way: imagine that you are lying on your deathbed at the end of your life remembering everything you did. What will you consider important? How much money did you earn? The things you bought? Or the countless wonderful moments you spent accomplishing what you love to do?

I hope this helps.

Good luck.

Writing scripts is by far the cheapest, but not the easiest. Getting a used camcorder of any kind takes you faster, but it's not the best. Using a smartphone is the easiest but has the most limitations.

Cinema is about the passion for storytelling. If that passion burns within you, then you will have no choice but to travel by train at all costs. The most powerful and expensive storytelling tool is the human mind. Endlessly inventive, hardened by rejection, and committed to the last neuron.

Making movies can be extremely expensive, but by volume, most movies are not blockbuster.

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Writing scripts is by far the cheapest, but not the easiest. Getting a used camcorder of any kind takes you faster, but it's not the best. Using a smartphone is the easiest but has the most limitations.

Cinema is about the passion for storytelling. If that passion burns within you, then you will have no choice but to travel by train at all costs. The most powerful and expensive storytelling tool is the human mind. Endlessly inventive, hardened by rejection, and committed to the last neuron.

Making movies can be extremely expensive, but by volume, most movies that are made are not blockbusters. Every short, every TV commercial, every low-budget feature, every document, every TV show, every YouTube channel is a story. A movie. A moving image that tells a story. Telling a story can be done on any budget, although a story about a jet set spy will cost a bit more.

Every person involved in a great movie worked on a medium movie first. Everyone who works on mid-budget movies has worked on smaller movies first. Everyone who made a small movie did something smaller before that. Everyone starts out knowing nothing, and through a powerful combination of curiosity, enthusiasm, and perseverance, hopefully you will become an active and valuable player in the game.

No guaranteed paths, promotions, or even pay for many years of work. Having access to cash to help you survive between gigs would improve your odds, but surprisingly not as much as you might think. Many people with a lot of money do not enter more easily.

If you want to move forward and you can't stop trying, you will go at least part of the way and head in the direction you want.

Find the local film school, the local film community get involved with them. Help with your shorts, learn, be valuable. Watch online tutorials on everything you can.

Good luck!

There are many good answers here already, so I would like to add some notions.

There are many ways to enter the film industry. You can enter the film industry through film school or by being self-taught or through an internship in a studio and many other ways. But the thing is;

Neither of those ways will get you there.

There are no certain ways to enter the industry, no path to get there, no guarantees. Because in the end it is not how you get there that matters. It's the quality of your movies that will eventually get you in, if you ever do, and nothing else.

So one thing would

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There are many good answers here already, so I would like to add some notions.

There are many ways to enter the film industry. You can enter the film industry through film school or by being self-taught or through an internship in a studio and many other ways. But the thing is;

Neither of those ways will get you there.

There are no certain ways to enter the industry, no path to get there, no guarantees. Because in the end it is not how you get there that matters. It's the quality of your movies that will eventually get you in, if you ever do, and nothing else.

So one thing I would add is this:

If you want to enter the film industry, know that the only ratings you will be judged by are your films. And if you made some great movies because they taught it to you in school, good for you. But if you taught that to yourself, it's good for you too. In the end, it doesn't matter how you get to your craft level. what matters is the trade you present.

So if you want to become a filmmaker; Make movies and do a lot of them. And once you feel like you've done something that can be seen (which usually takes at least 8 or 9 short films), send them to a festival with a competition or use it as your calling card for an entry-level job.

The other thing I want to mention is the fact, and this may sound strange at first, but there is no film industry !!!

The so-called Cinematographic Industry revolves around projects that filmmakers come up with. That is all. So every time you create your own project, you have just created a film industry. So, don't expect there to be a place where you will be hired to make movies. There is no such place. Not even in Hollywood. Producers have their own projects, and when they do, they form an industry around them.

And that's what you have to do. Think of a project you want to do and then do it and BANG !!! - you are in the industry.

Making movies is incredibly easy, I've been doing it for 45 years. An explanation of "so damn difficult" would be valuable.

It is not more complicated than building a house. And it is as complicated as building a house. Truly a perfect parallel analogy coined by the humble self.

In 2019, there is no valid excuse for the difficulty of making a movie.

In other words, access to equipment, technology and distribution platforms has never been so democratized and widespread. There are so many people who know something about it that you should be able to place the cast and crew behind your couch. Everywhere.

So ... if a movie

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Making movies is incredibly easy, I've been doing it for 45 years. An explanation of "so damn difficult" would be valuable.

It is not more complicated than building a house. And it is as complicated as building a house. Truly a perfect parallel analogy coined by the humble self.

In 2019, there is no valid excuse for the difficulty of making a movie.

In other words, access to equipment, technology and distribution platforms has never been so democratized and widespread. There are so many people who know something about it that you should be able to place the cast and crew behind your couch. Everywhere.

So ... if a filmmaker has trouble making a movie, it may be because:

The script sucks. Does not exist. Needs work. It is not cool. It's not important. Or you yourself are not excited about it.

Weak social or communication skills. Many new filmmakers buy into the DIY movie idea. It does not work. You need to communicate the idea and collaborate with many people to achieve the result you want. Managers shouldn't be dictatorial unless they have the budget and the name to be idiots… much of the process involves managing and encouraging people. The energy and leadership to run a project over time is easier to maintain among a partner group than among an individual. See also: DIY is a bit BS.

Misperceptions about money. You need money. Or maybe not. But you need to find out before talking about the movie that doesn't exist yet. What is realistic and why? Your plan must be complete and defensible. Some people can get a movie based on favors and offers. Some can't even do it with bags of cash flying out the door. You need to know their monetary needs and motivations, those of the investors and those of the participants. Your movie can cost just $ 100 for pizza and coffee, or $ 1,000,000 for a very simple execution of the exact same script. It is a business. Or is it a hobby? You need clarity on the business side. And most struggling filmmakers don't want to produce, nor do they want to hire someone who can. That is crazy and lazy.

A lot of good advice in this thread, an important one internationally is that, in addition to many of the other things below, there are countries where a "successful career" in a certain field may not look like what people imagine "a successful career".

I always remember a terribly embarrassing Q&A session at the Toronto International Film Festival in the early 2000s, in which a member of the public asked Chris Browne (director of "Third World Cop") how he could get "one foot in the door" from the Jamaican movie. Industry and an incredulous Browne replied "you are looking at the Jamaican film industry."

I also worked extremely

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A lot of good advice in this thread, an important one internationally is that, in addition to many of the other things below, there are countries where a "successful career" in a certain field may not look like what people imagine "a successful career".

I always remember a terribly embarrassing Q&A session at the Toronto International Film Festival in the early 2000s, in which a member of the public asked Chris Browne (director of "Third World Cop") how he could get "one foot in the door" from the Jamaican movie. Industry and an incredulous Browne replied "you are looking at the Jamaican film industry."

Similarly, I worked with a well-known author director at one point in my career, who (over a period of 5 years or more) would likely feature in the "top 5" lists of most living director critics. who work in their home country. They had three or four highly praised feature films to their name and, by any possible metric, they would be in the top percentile for "success" in the country. And that person was driving a 20 to 30 year old junker that their parents had loaned them because they had never qualified for a car loan, nor did they own a home, nor did they have savings to speak of, because of "success."

Now, what has changed in that regard is that the rise of prestigious television series means that there are more opportunities for top directors to earn a salary on projects that do not take years to recover, but I am in a hurry to do so. . find many other fields where there are mid-career "more successful" examples struggling to pay even modest bills.

I've worked with all kinds of filmmakers, actors, and crew, from Oscar-winning legends, to beginning students, and if you were to ask my honest assessment of 100% of them as a whole *, I'd say the happiest. movie people I know tend to have paid day jobs whose involvement in movies is either a hobby or a side project. That's not an absolute rule of thumb for * everyone * in the industry, but I think it's important not to sugarcoat the people who come in that economic uncertainty never goes away even after you've "made it".

I'm a production coordinator, and after working with people in various positions in the industry, one thing stalled. The people who excel are usually the ones who can't do anything but film. If there's anything else you can do that makes money easier than movie, it's going to do it again the moment the going gets tough, and things get tough pretty fast. But if all you know is to make a movie, you will push it and do it excellently. This industry is not a piece of cake, it is a form of voluntary torture that people who work in it take just because they want to see a made movie. In moments of the making of his movie

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I'm a production coordinator, and after working with people in various positions in the industry, one thing stalled. The people who excel are usually the ones who can't do anything but film. If there's anything else you can do that makes money easier than movie, it's going to do it again the moment the going gets tough, and things get tough pretty fast. But if all you know is to make a movie, you will push it and do it excellently. This industry is not a piece of cake, it is a form of voluntary torture that people who work in it take just because they want to see a made movie. At times in your film career, you will question your sanity and the validity of the industry itself. You will have an interesting life full of sweat, tears and blood.

Ask yourself if you can dedicate your life to making movies. If not, take it as a hobby. Make a short film or two every now and then whenever you feel like it. Earn a lot of money to get the EP or some production credits. And making movies is a REAL career - if you can't see it as a lifetime commitment, it's not for you.

Make one. Don't spend a lot on equipment. A fancy camera won't make you a filmmaker. In fact, if you have an iPhone and a computer, you don't need much more gear to get started.

Don't try to complicate it. Think of a simple story, probably short. Find some friends. Make it as cheap as you can. Have fun with her and walk in knowing that your first movie, and probably the next one, will not be very good. You will make all kinds of mistakes. Treasure each one.

Then look at it. Watch it with an audience. Consider what should be best for the next. I guess you will value the script more,

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Make one. Don't spend a lot on equipment. A fancy camera won't make you a filmmaker. In fact, if you have an iPhone and a computer, you don't need much more gear to get started.

Don't try to complicate it. Think of a simple story, probably short. Find some friends. Make it as cheap as you can. Have fun with her and walk in knowing that your first movie, and probably the next one, will not be very good. You will make all kinds of mistakes. Treasure each one.

Then look at it. Watch it with an audience. Consider what should be best for the next. I suppose you will value the script more, you will want to get some basic lighting equipment and maybe you will invest in better recording the sound.

Repeat.

Nothing teaches how to make movies better than making movies. Also, you will have a lot of fun.

There are probably hundreds of stories, each with a different path from where one person started and eventually became an assistant director.

One of the more traditional methods is to start working as a PA on as many film projects as possible.

-Watch everything that goes on set
-Befriend the second and the first of the announcements -Ask
questions -Learn
all you can -Don't
be a bummer, but show your willingness to learn and in non-union sessions - -Do more than your job spec statements - show you care and want to help production -
Make your presence felt in a positive way by 1st AD and P

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There are probably hundreds of stories, each with a different path from where one person started and eventually became an assistant director.

One of the more traditional methods is to start working as a PA on as many film projects as possible.

-Watch everything that goes on set
-Befriend the second and the first of the announcements -Ask
questions -Learn
all you can -Don't
be a bummer, but show your willingness to learn and in non-union sessions - -Do more than your job spec statements - show you care and want to help production -
Make your presence felt in a positive way by 1st AD, production manager and producers - keep in touch with them after every shoot - -
build and keep your network alive - getting film jobs is about who you know, who likes you and trusts you

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