If you are wondering how to become a filmmaker, you’re not alone. Living in Hollywood, I am surrounded by people constantly trying to answer the same question. The problem is, many would-be filmmakers do not realize there is more than one way to become a filmmaker. Here are 3 ways how to become a filmmaker.
Employee Filmmaker (indie producer works at a production company): An employee filmmaker is someone who gets a job at a production company. The employee filmmaker shows up each day, on time. The employee filmmaker usually “starts at the bottom” and then works their way up. Many spend years working on on other people’s projects (OPP) and one day, if they are really lucky, they get permission to helm a movie.
Freelance Filmmaker (indie producers hired on a per-project basis): As a freelancer, you get hired on a per-project basis. Then when the production wraps, you go back to your network, seeking your next job. Eventually, you find ways to move up and take on other jobs. Like an employee filmmaker, as a freelancer, you spend years working on other people’s projects (OPP). If you’re really lucky, you get your shot.
Entrepreneurial Filmmaker (indie producer creates his or her own projects and hires other people): In this scenario, your goal is to find a good screenplay, raise money and make your movie now! You don’t wait for anybody to give you permission. But unlike an employee or freelance filmmaker, if your project doesn’t get made, you don’t get paid!
To succeed, you will need cold calling courage and the ability to face rejection every day. Additionally, you will have to face ridicule. Many people stuck in the employee and freelance ruts will hate you, say mean things about you – Ironically, these same people will call you for a job.
But the upside is great. Unlike the other paths, you can grab a camera and start putting together a production this year! While those other folks are still carrying cables, you’ll be making movies.
If you are a long term reader of filmmaking stuff, then chances are good that you radiate towards entrepreneurial filmmaking. Good for you. Half of Hollywood doesn’t get it yet. But as a modern moviemaker, you no longer have to ask permission to make your movie. And thanks to non-discriminatory distribution, you can now reach a global audience through VOD distribution.
To become a filmmaker, grab your free filmmaking book by going here.
And if you are still waiting for someone to give you permission to make your movie, STOP IT.
- How Do Filmmakers Compete? (filmmakingstuff.com)
- The New Model of Filmmaking (filmmakingstuff.com)
- Modern Filmmaking Business Plan (filmmakingstuff.com)