Building Your Filmmaking Experience: 3 Quick Tips
Gaining experience as a filmmaker can be tricky for those who are just starting out. On the one hand, everyone knows that you must start somewhere and that you need to work on a production to gain experience. On the other hand, it can be difficult to gain work with a production until you have experience! It can seem like a Catch-22 situation, but do not lose hope. There are a few quick tips that can help you take matters into your own hands and begin building experience. Start small and work consistently, and before you know it, you will have an enviable CV that will secure you lots of future work.
1: Take A Class
There is a wide variety of filmmaking classes available, ranging from formal qualifications to after-school classes. Attending masterclasses or workshops about filmmaking can also be very helpful—as well as exciting! Classes will often enable you to get hands-on experience with a camera, or at least teach you how to handle one when you eventually get the opportunity. Building your knowledge slowly may not seem as glamorous as starting instant work on a production, but it has advantages. You can address gaps in your knowledge by reading books, asking professionals for advice, and attending classes. Then, when you do get your first job on a film set, you will impress people with your knowledge and professionalism.
2: Try It!
Cameras can range from the affordable to the extravagant. Whatever your budget, you are likely to be able to find a video camera to record small amounts of footage. At a push, even a conventional instant camera will help to teach you some awareness of lighting and composition for a great shot. If you are lucky enough to have a video camera on your phone or an affordable alternative, start right away. Take footage of your local area or while on a day out, then watch it back with a critical eye. What struck you as good footage and why? How would you use the footage to tell a story? It is never too early, or late, to begin building your understanding of filmmaking—at whatever level!
If you hear about a local production taking place, then why not volunteer your time and services for free? Be sure to check out our earlier post on things to consider before working for free, to ensure that you are benefitting from the situation and that it is fair overall. As long as it is for a finite period of time and not at great expense to you, working for free can be a very helpful way to build experience.