Save a significant amount of time in your filmmaking learning curve through 9 powerful tips to become a better filmmaker.
When it comes to becoming a better filmmaker, there are a lot of tips and bits of advice out there but which among them are practical?
And Who do you trust? Most people out there who make good films, do not really have a filmmaking degree at all.
They learn by making mistakes. People make a lot of ugly films and mistakes and learn from them all.
But if you want to start right and avoid the most common mistakes, you can save a significant amount of time in your learning curve and that’s through expert advice and tips from across the world.
Table of Contents
- Tips To Become A Better Filmmaker
Tips To Become A Better Filmmaker
We have compiled a list of 9 important and powerful tips to become a better filmmaker.
1. Study Existing Films
You know what they say “People learn from their mistakes” but “Wise people learn from the mistakes of others”.
So, have a habit of studying your favorite films and learning from them. We know that filmmaking is a creative field but it is also technical.
To learn all the cinematographic techniques you need to observe the already existing ones.
Observe important things like camera angles, lighting, focus, and editing. There’s literally so much video content out there and you can learn a thing or two from everything posted online.
Watch YouTube Short films and see how they depict a story within a few minutes. It would help if you cut off the audio and just observe the video.
2. Don’t Neglect The Basics
People enjoy watching a film if the story is interesting and if they could relate to the characters. People won’t pay much attention to the technical details if the story is very engaging and get them excited.
But there’s a limit to the number of mistakes that people could tolerate because after a point, if they find it hard to follow the story and if the cinematography becomes unclear, they will lose interest.
So, don’t forget the basics of trying to implement new techniques and styles. Good audio quality and proper camera shots are essential.
Keep an eye on aspect ratio, compression and bit rates, depth of field, exposure, focal length, frame rate, noise, and shutter speed as these are the basic essentials of a good film.
3. Curate Content
This is one of the important habits of a successful filmmaker. I know making our own content is the core point of filmmaking but we can bend the rules in this world.
You must have learned so much in your journey of learning and mastering this art and so giving your opinions on other people’s content in your niche can actually be extremely valuable and entertaining.
There are loads of people out there curing content and it goes viral. Curation helps us extract the best possible content out there and you become the trusted referrer to this valuable information.
People often confuse this with a digital marketing strategy but this is another healthy way to create content.
4. Question Everything
Filmmakers are curious people and they all have a habit of questioning everything. Film-making itself is like solving a puzzle and one needs to be sharp and question the knowledge they already have to be able to fit that puzzle together.
Some of the most common question that filmmakers ask are :
Question 1 – Why film?
The point is, that not all stories and messages need a film. Some concepts can be better understood through a novel and some others are better done through a photography exhibition.
So it’s critical to know why we make the film and what’s in it for us.
Question 2 – Why me?
Some filmmakers believe that they should only take a project if they are the only ones in this world who can make it the right way. As in they have the specific skill set or extreme interest in the subject matter that makes them special.
Question 3 – Why now?
Get the timing right and you will hit the numbers.
- Why do we make this film now?
- Does it impact people?
- Is there a problem that needs to be addressed?
- Are people seeking a solution for something?
- Will it provide overall value to people considering the state of affairs of the year?
All these need to be considered before making a film.
5. Experiment With Lighting
Most filmmakers, when starting out, they aren’t too much into experimenting with the lighting. They are more focused on the story and the technical aspects of it but lighting is one of the important elements in videography and we need to get it right.
It’s more than just having proper brightness or appropriate darkness, it is the foundation and key factor of a successful shoot. Lighting talks to the audience about the emotion they should feel.
It sets the genre and the mood for the people viewing. So experiment with it until you get it right.
6. Show, Don’t Say
“Less is more”. Steve Jobs thought this lesson when he marketed the ipod as “1000 songs in your pocket” or the “World’s thinnest laptop”.
Tell the audience one thing that they need to know the most. This is a very important lesson in filmmaking.
Try cutting down the dialogues and show what you wanted to say in an interesting visual. That way, the message of the story or a concept reaches the audience very effectively.
7. Work With What You Have Got
You might have a story that is as good as the “Game of Thrones” but not all of us can make a movie with Dragons and Snowborn Jon Snow, Can we?
We need to keep in mind the resources we have to make the film at the moment. Don’t write a crowd scene if you are in a less populated area and there are not many festivals coming up.
Look at all the resources you have access to and make use of them to the fullest. Maybe you have something that not many people have – So it’s important to use that to distinguish yourself from others.
8. Find Costumes That Tell A Story
This might seem a bit obvious right? Actors should wear clothes that resemble their character’s descriptions.
Since it’s obvious, people don’t give too much attention to this. All you need is to put a little more effort into this.
The costume is one of the many tools that the filmmaker uses to tell the story. Even the small details talk about the personality of the character and give life to it.
9. Don’t Listen To Anyone
“Nobody knows anything,” said William Goldman. Everyone would have an opinion. They always do and sometimes people go ahead and force their opinions on you.
People might say filmmaking is not profitable, easy, or practical. Just remember, if you truly love doing something, don’t let people’s opinions derail your path.
Make the film you want to make, do it your way. You can listen to constructive criticism and learn from your failures but remember to be an artist and not a performer.
The performer does it for the money, an artist does it for himself and the audience.
So this wraps up the 9 important and powertful tips that will definitely make you a better filmmaker. Above all, the more you put in your time and effort, the better you get.
Go out and make films. You will only get the necessary practical knowledge when you start implementing such tips.
Let me know if you have any other useful tips to become a better filmmaker.
Also, check out:
- 50 Things I Learned About Film Making
- The Ultimate Guide To Cinematic Travel Videos
- 6 Important Filmmaking Tips For Shooting A Dialogue Scene