If you’re trying to figure out how to get into the film industry, I am going to share some ideas that would have accelerated my career by a few years. To start this off, let me remind you that film industry success is not created in a vacuum. Film industry success is created with the help of relationships.
This means you will need the support of other people, including friends, associates, mentors and past co-workers. And if you don’t yet know any of these people, you will need to take bold action reach out to people cold.
To do this, you can leverage social media, text messages, email, or even go to “networking events” and try to find people to help introduce you to appropriate contacts. But let’s be honest…
Most times the people you NEED to meet (to become a filmmaking success) don’t go to networking events. And many are too busy to accept yet another social media “friend” request. So what do you do? You pick up the phone, call your prospective contact’s place of business and try to get him or her on the phone. Your goal is to get a meeting.
Will this approach work? Maybe. Maybe not.
But if you had a list of 100 prospects and you called all the people on that list, odds are good you would find someone willing to sit down with you. Why is this important to your success? Because unless you ASK for what you want, how is anybody in life going to know how to help you?
While it is true that some people get lucky, I would venture to say that over ninety-percent of the people who figure out how to get into the film industry got what they wanted in life by using some variation of the following three success tips:
- FIRST: Successful pros know what they want.
- SECOND: Successful pros make a plan to get what they want.
- THIRD: Successful pros pick up the phone and call people who could help make their plan a reality.
How To Get Into The Film Industry
This is going to sound easier said than done, but one fast way to get into the independent film industry is to make a film. And lucky for you, advances in technology makes this much easier than it was in the past. These days filmmakers can leverage crowdfunding, find inexpensive cameras and distribute movies globally through one of the many VOD platforms.
This means you can wake up every day imagining all the wonderful movies you plan to make. You can create your own mini-movie-studio and distribute your movies anywhere. If your vision and passion is strong enough, you will take small steps towards the achievement of this dream.
But let’s make one thing clear. You are not entitled to filmmaking success. You still have to do the work.
You will have to write or option and refine a screenplay. You will have to find actors and collaborators with gear who want to work with you. You will have to raise money to pay these people. And you will have to firm up a production date and go the distance to get your movie made, seen and sold.
Months and years will pass. Many of your friends will get married. They will have babies. They will have families. Their kids will grow up. And you may very well find yourself living alone in your mid-life wondering if trying to achieve filmmaking success is worth it. This will test your resolve.
On top of this, a lot of other people are wondering how to get into the film industry. While affordable production technology has made filmmaking accessible, you aren’t the only filmmaker who knows this. Many people are making backyard indies. As a result, the supply of cheaply produced movies has surpassed demand. And the days of HUGE upfront cash advances are over.
So if you’re going to become a filmmaking success, you need to do more than simply make movies. You will have to view yourself as an entrepreneur and you will have to view filmmaking as your business.
Three Tips For (Modern) Filmmaking Success
One of our readers reached out to me asking for some time management tips. She explained her day job is distracting her from filmmaking. After some thought, I came up with the following filmmaking success challenge:
- Make a list of all things filmmaking that you need to accomplish.
- Break the list into micro-steps. For example if the task is to finish your screenplay, break it into “write one page per day.”
- Carve out at least one half-hour per day to get closer to your goals.
If you follow this formula, you can become a filmmaking success in 30 minutes or less, per day. Think about it. One half-hour per day equates to 3.5 hours per week – or 182 hours a year, which is roughly 4 working weeks. What can you do with 4 weeks of solid work? Probably a lot.
The best time to accomplish your filmmaking goals is early in the morning. Each night before bed, prep your work area and plan what you hope to accomplish. Then get up an hour early and get to work.
You create your own reality. This means you are responsible for sourcing an audience and building a platform for your projects. And this reveals the next major challenge. How does a filmmaker succeed in this changing business? Here are some additional ideas to get you thinking.
Become an Internet marketer. Or team up with someone who is. Movies are now accessible everywhere, including computer monitors and mobile devices. As a result, you will need to drive targeted Internet traffic and convert these visitors into a paying audience.
Learn how to run a crowdfunding campaign. Running a successful crowdfunding campaign requires social networking, real-world networking and Internet marketing. Crowdfunding allows you test your movie concept before you invest time and money into making your movie. When your campaign is successful, you can add your supporters to your ever growing mailing list. This brings me to my next filmmaking success tactic…
Your audience is your business. Marketing nerds have a saying, “The money is in your list.” And the same statement applies to you.Your goal is to create work that encourages people to sign up for your mailing list and become a fan of you and your movies, for life. Then with each project, your ongoing goal is to continually grow your list.
If you’re still wondering how to get into the film industry, you’re missing my whole point. You don’t need permission! And if you enjoyed this bit of filmmaker motivation, you’ll love my filmmaker action pack.