If you are a young filmmaker or a filmmaker that is just getting started, I’ve compiled a list of 8 tips that will be helpful as you navigate through your filmmaking journey.
It seems like only yesterday that I was a young boy, borrowing my mom’s Sony camcorder for the first time. I remember the excitement of being able to capture something, splice it together, and show my friends and family what I made. It truly felt like magic.
If you leave this article with one thing, I hope you remember point #1, which is to remember to have fun. Even to this day, that tip has continued to serve me well and keep me excited to pick up the camera. Without further ado, read on below to check out my 8 tips I believe young filmmakers should know.
Best Training For Young Filmmakers
Before we dive into the tips, I wanted to recommend a free class to you. If I could go back in time and give my young self one training to watch, it would be this cinematic masterclass. It’s completely free and would have saved me hours of time. I know you’ll get tons of value out of it because I know I would have. Cheers!
1. Remember to Have Fun
Why do you want to do filmmaking anyway? If you were like me, you wanted to do it because it was fun! I had a blast creating goofy videos with my friends and capturing fun moments when I was traveling. Whatever you do, remember to have fun because it can be easy to lose track of why you got started in the first place.
2. Don’t Worry Too Much About Gear
The newest and nicest camera does not make you a filmmaker. Buying the newest and nicest camera only makes you the owner of the newest and nicest camera. The only way to become a filmmaker is by making films. Whether it is with the camera on your phone or your parent’s old camcorder, just start shooting and don’t stress out about gear just yet.
3. Watch Movies and Observe
What’s your favorite movie? What is it about that movie makes it your favorite? Is it the storytelling, the actors, the way it is shot, or something else? As you watch movies, try to ask questions to yourself and make mental notes. Why did they put the camera in that position? Why did they start the movie with this scene? And then, how can you learn from what they have done and use it in your own work?
4. Look For Opportunities to Practice
The best way to get better at filmmaking is to practice. Ask around and see if a local charity or organization is interested in a free video or even make videos for fun for your parents or friends. Whenever you can, try to increase the amount of time you spend behind the camera and you will find yourself improving more and more.
5. Make a Variety of Different Types of Videos
When I was starting out, I thought that I needed to focus just on making videos about me playing guitar. And, for a while, that stopped my creativity as it limited me quite a bit. It’s not a bad thing at all to find a niche or something you are passionate about and focusing on that, but also keep in mind that it is okay to make a variety of videos and see what is fun to make for you. I never thought I would enjoy making nonfiction work, but now it is one of my favorite things to capture and create.
6. Don’t Give Up
During your filmmaking journey, you will have videos that are amazing and videos that you never want to see the light of day. And that’s okay! There are times when people may even make fun of or criticize your work, but don’t let it get to you. No one starts out as an expert filmmaker and you’ll never become one if you stop because of something someone said. Stay focused on your goals and don’t let the negativity get to you.
7. Find Friends to Film With
Some of my favorite memories are with friends filming a video idea we had that we thought would be funny. If you know of others that are interested in making videos or even just acting in them, get together and make a video. Working with friends to film videos is a great way to learn from each other and make something you can all be proud of and share with all of your friends.
8. Ask for Feedback from Trusted Friends & Family
Feedback is a necessary part of the process to learn filmmaking. The audience is the one that is watching the video and they can provide valuable feedback on areas that were effective or confusing. When looking for feedback, be sure you keep in mind who is giving you the feedback and consider even asking just specific people for their thoughts. Some good people to ask are other filmmakers, close friends that know you are learning and are passionate about filmmaking, and family members that support you.
Final Thoughts on Being a Young Filmmaker
Filmmaking is one of the coolest hobbies (and jobs) that I could possibly think of and I am grateful to be able to do it still as a hobby but also as a job. As a young filmmaker, remember to keep the fun in filmmaking, remember to keep creating no matter what, and remember to learn from your past videos by talking with trusted friends and family. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the filmmaker you have always dreamed of.
I hope this was helpful to you and, if you ever have any questions, feel free to reach out to me here.