You bought a camera, a tripod, a green screen, a shotgun mic and hired on some talent on deferred pay or convinced them to volunteer and you’ve just wrapped up shooting a new short. Now, you’re a filmmaker. In fact, you’re a director, cinematographer or whatever fancy title you want to give yourself.
The suffocating truth is that it sort of sucks to be a filmmaker when so many others out there claim to be. How do you survive in such a competitive market?
You can’t get ahead, you’re constantly battling, your personal relationships suffer, you work two jobs and sleep only while you wait for a clip to render. This is the life many of us aspiring entertainers live.
We slave over generating ideas, planning and executing…and I could go on. This entry is not meant to steal away the wind that blows deep into your sails. It’s actually quite the opposite. I challenge you to think deeply and carefully as every action you take and every decision you make can result in a variety of outcomes.
Set aside ego for just a moment (difficult even for me) and ask yourself these questions:
- Am I any good at what I do?
- Am I willing to give up everything on a moments notice?
- Am I ready to get back up when I’m knocked down?
If you answered “yes” to all of the above then you have confidence and a splash of ambition that cannot be easily broken. A new wave of entertainment has been unleashed and getting more eyes on what you create is going to be key to opening up even more doors.
The content you create today could lead to opportunities of a lifetime tomorrow. It’s all about what you can do and what you can bring to the table. The game changers can come fast and furious often times requiring you to drop everything you’re doing for this one chance. If and when it comes, it’s up to you to convert that chance into something more.
Here are some tips to make the most of your opportunities when they come:
- Create relationships with as many people as possible while focusing your attention on those who offer solid gigs. Forget about pay.
- Stay professional at all times. Don’t fall prey to dumping your life story on a crew, cast members, etc. Save the drama for your mama and put your energy towards creating the best of whatever it is you do.
- Be humble. Don’t forget where you came from, who you met along the way and how your opportunity came to be. Always be grateful for the things that come your way in life.
I know this doesn’t have the answer to all of your filmmaker woes, but perhaps it gives you something to think about as you work towards even bigger goals and aspirations. Believe in yourself and keep doing what you do. Most of all, enjoy the simple fact that you have the ability to create something magical.