November 30, 2015

When It Comes to Filmmaking, What Do You Struggle With the Most?

What's holding you back from making the film of your dreams?

I've been writing for this site for several years, and in that time, I've penned close to 700 articles. Some of them have been good. Others have been questionable. But the thing that ties them together is that I've largely written them for myself. They're born out of my curiosity about a particular topic, or they're a result of me sharing content that I like.

But here's the thing, this site isn't about me. Nor is it about any other writer. It's about you, the hundreds of thousands of filmmakers who come to this site to learn, to grow, to be inspired.

And that brings us back to the point of this article, which is to find out what you struggle with most when it comes to filmmaking. By having an understanding of your frustrations and roadblocks, we can begin tailoring our content to help you move forward. 

So with that out of the way, here are a few questions for everybody. 

  1. What's your biggest psychological barrier when it comes to filmmaking? This could be something like, "I'm not sure I'm skilled enough to make films that live up to my high standards," or "I'm scared that I'll waste people's time and money on a bad film."
  2. What's your biggest technical challenge in filmmaking? Do you struggle with making your lighting or camera moves look good? Are you daunted by the complexity of some digital post-production workflows?
  3. What's your biggest logistical challenge? Do you have trouble finding talented cast and crew in an area that isn't a filmmaking hotspot (LA, NYC, Atlanta)? Is it finding and securing the locations that you actually want?
  4. What's one piece of content that you would like to see on No Film School in the future?

It'd be incredibly helpful if you could take a few minutes to answer those questions down in the comments. We'll be reading all of them, and working hard to steer our content in a direction that helps you get the most out of this site.      

Your Comment

105 Comments

1. "I'm scared that I'll waste people's time and money on a bad film."
2. Main technical issue is acting.
3. I don't have any.
4. More about working with actors & preproduction.

November 30, 2015 at 8:10AM

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Andy Tokarski
Director, Editor, Colorist
1200

1. I feel suffocated by working full time and being a full-time student and it makes me feel creatively stifled because I don't have the free time to sit down on a weekend and write all day or go out and do things that inspire me. I know there's ways around it but in my head it's just not adding up.
2. I don't feel technically challenged so much, as I love working with the tools that I have, but I do think my lighting can improve. I would like to see more affordable lighting solutions, as I don't have the budget to buy one light that cost as much as my camera.
3. I definitely have trouble finding talented cast and crew where I live. There is a slight hotspot (South Florida) two hours south of me which makes it not as bad as rural, isolated areas, but scheduling people to drive up or getting crew to travel down south is a logistical problem but can be done.
4. No Film School is one of my favorite websites so I'm not sure what else I could suggest adding. My answer can be subjective since some people on here work on bigger productions and prefer to see things more useful to them, where as I'm a more DIY, run and gun kind of guy due to my circumstances. So just keep up the great work, haha!

November 30, 2015 at 8:25AM

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1. There are so many talented filmmakers out there. Why even bother trying?
2. Lighting, lighting and lighting. I think it's incredibly hard to do a good job in this area, and we know how important it is.
3. None
4. Lighting, lighting and lighting. Have I mentioned lighting ?

November 30, 2015 at 8:32AM

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The trick with lighting is to just use some. Stick a cheap 800 watt soft box at an angle to someones face. Hit the space behind with a fresnal light and gobo. Re-light in post. For most amateur stuff this is enough.

December 6, 2015 at 6:02AM

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2. A steadycam type of rig where I can still shoot in low light and use narrow depth of field. Doesn't help that I'm a one-man band, so probably involves some crazy wireless follow-focus setup that I can't imagine or afford. Plus it can't make any noise. Ideas?

November 30, 2015 at 8:32AM

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Sounds like you need to shoot during the day.

November 30, 2015 at 9:09AM

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Why limit yourself?

November 30, 2015 at 11:31AM, Edited November 30, 11:31AM

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John Kivell
director/cinematographer
88

I would suggest you work on blocking until you get the timing down. Keep the exact same distance from the talent and move in sync with them. And get cutaway that can be used in case of bad movement or focus.

November 30, 2015 at 11:36AM

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John Kivell
director/cinematographer
88

Second this. Dual ISO AF technology like in the Canon C(XXX) range though excites me. Not a complete solution but looks like it could solve a lot of situations.

December 1, 2015 at 7:15AM

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J.Eiffel
Director/DOP/Editor @ Eiffel
97

You can get cheaper (but still usable) rigs like Flycam, or Glidecam and get great results without a full Steadicam. Wide angle lenses make everything easier and more forgiving on focus. For a shallow DOF with tighter lenses, keep the same framing on your shot: same distance away=same focus distance. Also remember, the tighter the lens, the more shake appears in the shot.

December 1, 2015 at 11:01PM

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Craig Douglas
Writer/ Director/ Editor/ Videographer
1480

Please don't ever try to do shallow depth of field with steadicam if both you and your focus puller are professionals with professional gear. It will annoy anyone and everyone watching it...not just us picky perfectionist filmmakers.

December 10, 2015 at 5:56PM

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Daniel Mimura
DP, cam op, steadicam op
2256

1. I, like many, have ambitious screenplays I wish to bring to the screen however I understand that your early foray into making films isn't going to be as perfect as it can be. One psychological barrier for me is letting go of the fact that it won't be perfect first time (or that they are likely never to be perfect). I have had opportunities to develop short films in the past but shied away from them as I haven't been convinced the script, or the available crew/ actors are going to be perfect. I also see short films by some other first time directors and immediately see all of the errors they have made (usually bad sound and poor colour grading) and don't want people to think about my work in the way I have thought about others work.

2. Being entirely self taught and mainly working on promotional films, I see my biggest technical challenge is lighting a scene effectively for the story. Everyone can do the basic 3-point or 4-point lighting needed for corporate films etc. But creating a dynamic look with lighting to compliment the mood of the scene is slightly daunting as it is an area I have never really delved into.

3. My biggest logistical challenge is definitely finding crew, being entirely self taught, I have always failed to let go of control over areas of the production process. I very much like to be the one planning, directing, shooting, editing, grading etc. This has meant I have a relatively small network of specialist crew to call on. So finding a crew that I know are good at their job is a logistical challenge for me.

4. For me, the largest worry I have is blocking a scene, knowing its right and that on the day I will be able to think on my feet. So for me any resources on blocking scenes effectively and for the edit would be a massive help.

November 30, 2015 at 8:37AM, Edited November 30, 8:42AM

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Samuel Willis
Director/ DP/ Editor
74

1) What's your biggest psychological barrier when it comes to filmmaking?
I never feel like I manage to express what I feel inside with any art form. That's annoying. I always feel I hugely underperform and the results are never what I'd like them to be. For this matter, I tend to be a bit shy in involving people in my projects.

2) What's your biggest technical challenge in filmmaking?
Lighting is currently the aspect I struggle the most. I'd like to have a DP for that, but NOT FOR FRAMING THE SHOTS. That, *I* do.

3) What's your biggest logistical challenge?
Both actors and locations, being (at the moment) in a medium-small town in Italy.

4) What's one piece of content that you would like to see on No Film School in the future?
Some accomplished professionals watching shorts and stuff made by the users of Nofilmschool and giving advices in what to improve, what works, what doesn't work, and so on. In other words, the same exact thing Scott Kelby and other photographers do with photos in "The Grid" and shows like those. It is a very helpful thing to do, especially for beginners.

November 30, 2015 at 8:38AM, Edited November 30, 9:10AM

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David R. Falzarano
Director / Writer / Editor
1449

Zacuto made a few great web series that critiqued Indie films and the process of making films. I don't think anything is still in production, but old episodes are still worth watching. ( I loved the "Critics" series with Steve Weiss and Philip Bloom )

http://goo.gl/qha5Go

November 30, 2015 at 3:36PM, Edited November 30, 3:37PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30518

Just noticed that you can download episodes from the Zacuto Vimeo channel : https://goo.gl/WdKKIE

November 30, 2015 at 5:51PM, Edited November 30, 5:52PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30518

Thanks again, that is really interesting. Watching this I would like even more something similar done on a regular basis, with the chance to submit your work and have it critiqued by professionals inside the community. I think it would help a lot inexperienced people (and not only them, to be fair...).

December 3, 2015 at 5:55PM

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David R. Falzarano
Director / Writer / Editor
1449

Per #1.

This is an interesting one. I have always struggled with it in film but not with music. I started out in music and it just flows, I don't have to try. Film is much more tedious and difficult (in nature). It doesn't lend itself to "jamming". It's long and grueling, so I think the writing phase is where you can really put yourself into the work. After that, it's all so technical that there isn't a ton of time to express yourself on the spot while in production. Then in post you're back to it and you can take some time and make it personal (as much as possible through music and stuff like that)

December 1, 2015 at 12:48AM

1
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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2350

Now that I think about it, something like that occurs to me when, every once in a while, I play bass. Every time I do that, without even wanting it, I create on the spot many nice bass lines... they just come to me at the speed of light without no effort at all. If I listen to the bass of any song, 3 or 4 alternative bass lines almost immediately form in my mind... It's ironic if you think I actually am a mediocre and very occasional bass player, and I have no interest at all in writing bass music :)

December 3, 2015 at 6:05PM, Edited December 3, 6:07PM

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David R. Falzarano
Director / Writer / Editor
1449

These are great questions:

1) I have to say, I don't have many psychological hangups when it comes to shooting anymore. I'm always ready to start filming.

2) Getting great sound.

3) This goes back to the second question. Finding a crew that will work for very little or under scale. I'm an actor who writes and directs, so connecting with other actors is pretty easy. But when it comes to finding a crew, especially a good sound person it can get challenging. We're not trying to low ball folks by any stretch of the imagination. But many times, at least right now as a independent film maker, we just don't have the loot to pay people what they'd get on a feature, or a television show.

4) Would love to hear about people's different experiences while shooting, or different strategies and techniques that were helpful in completing their films.

Lastly let me say, Chicago is a great place to film. There a lot of great acting talent in the city, and a nice network of film makers and artist.

November 30, 2015 at 8:55AM

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Stacey Carpenter
Actor who writes and directs
81

1. 3rd World problems. I'm not sure if I could make a living out of filmmaking. But yes I'd love to make it happen.
2. File formats confuse me haha especially ProRes and all lol my biggest frustration is After Effects
3. It's hard to look for film grants in Bacolod City, PH.
4. Film grant, film school scholarship overseas, get to meet the pros worldwide.

November 30, 2015 at 8:59AM

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Aldrich Rosano
Director, Director of Photography, Editor
1

I am not sure if my story or my subject would be accepted by the audience :(

November 30, 2015 at 9:02AM

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Dikshya Sinha
STUDENT OF FILMMAKING/FILM & VIDEO EDITOR
81

I don't worry about audience that much. If I like it then someone in the world will also like it. When I make movies I focus on me liking them, not audience. I think it's a better, less stress oriented attitude.

November 30, 2015 at 9:09AM

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Andy Tokarski
Director, Editor, Colorist
1200

I cant afford equipment at the moment so I was wondering if it were possible to have an article about using your cellphone to shoot a film (setting up shots etc)

November 30, 2015 at 9:25AM

3
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Back in July, NFS posted an article on how the feature film "Tangerine" (2015) was shot using the iPhone 5s.

http://goo.gl/VzdL6f

96 Percent Fresh on Rottentomatoes.com
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/tangerine_2015/

November 30, 2015 at 3:52PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30518

I'd love to know how to find funding sources for short films.

I'd also love articles that list camera movement motivations and reasons for choosing a slider shot vs a dolly shot, etc.

I prefer written articles over links to videos, because it's much easier to get away with reading an article than watching a video in a waiting room or in public.

November 30, 2015 at 9:29AM

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Alex Vietinghoff
Cinematographer, Editor
81

How to convert all my great film research into a great script. I have over a year and a half put into research and want to shape it. HOW?

November 30, 2015 at 9:42AM

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What's your biggest psychological barrier when it comes to filmmaking?
Gathering enthusiasm and motivation to fabricate an idea is easy, but I find it is harder to motivate myself to start a project, and often I stop at the first roadblock I find. Most of the times, weather it may be true for some, I figure if I havent got the motivation to surpass the roadblock is because the project isnt worth it.

What's your biggest technical challenge in filmmaking?
Moving shots - any kind of movement requires special equipment, and depending on the camera it can be quite costly and difficult. I have a Blackmagic Cinema Camera, such a bulky and oddly shaped camera requires special gear, gear that often I cant afford. I often find myself changing the script around in order to avoid specific kinds of shots because I know I lack the technical equipment to perform them correctly.

What's your biggest logistical challenge?
People - most people will accept working for, lets say a non profit just "fun" short film. But none have the same goals or motivations as me. Most people I know that are working in the industry are very competitive and often dont really want to cooperate on projects.

What's one piece of content that you would like to see on No Film School in the future?
Technical production tutorials from experienced people. Not just reviews or very specific tutorials for crazy expensive gear, but people showing how they do certain shots, how they setup their gear, how they plan their next investment. There needs to be technical content for all the "stages of filmmaking" , this means either people starting out, or people with a few years experience, or people that are really experienced but want to keep updated with the industry.
I suggest you invite more writers from all sorts of experience levels, they all have valuable input that could serve to specific demographics.

November 30, 2015 at 9:45AM, Edited November 30, 9:45AM

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Miguel Pinto Ferreira
Creative Director
108

Everything I do is on a documentary side or commercial work. So I am never dealing with actors thank God. I just have never had a desire to shoot a film that involved acting. I have no clue what my style is other than, IF I was ever given the opportunity to film a movie or a documentary . I will chose doc every time.
I struggle most with the story line. My mind runs a 100 mph as I am getting my shots that I have no clue where its headed. I have no idea what the final outcome is going to be. I just shoot , I keep shooting until I run out of time and have to start piecing the puzzle of my frames back together. I have never worked with a shot list, script or assistant. My biggest struggle by far is structure .

November 30, 2015 at 9:55AM

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Jason Corley
Owner @ Jason Allen Media
74

I just want to say I love No Film School! You guys are awesome and I owe so much of what I have learned to this site, it's writers, and all those who work to give us this content. Thank you so much!

1) I'm lazy. I can start a project but I cannot for the life of me finish one.
I'm afraid that I cannot communicate effectively with my crews.
I'm afraid to collaborate because I have pride issues (I'm working on that one).

2) Color Correction/Grading is a challenge for me. I saw the article on working with log footage. I haven't read it yet, but that's exactly what I'm looking for.

3) Time/Time management

4) Behind the scenes of smaller projects. I think seeing how small(er) crews work would benefit the community greatly. Besides that I think it's been great. Focusing on the process of filmmaking (directing, lighting, sound, editing, etc.) with a few gear posts sprinkled in here in there is great!

Keep up the great work!

November 30, 2015 at 10:07AM

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Jerald Roberts II
Filmmaker
328

1. Biggest psychological barrier is perfectionism. Although sometimes a very good trait, several projects, which could have been finished by now, are still in pre-production.
2. I am anxious when directing somthing that is going to have VFX done later in the process - am I shooting it right? Will the VFX blend in?
3. Not really an issue.
4. I want to follow a director on-set doing his thing. How does he adress the actors? How does he cope with all the challenges?

November 30, 2015 at 10:16AM

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Thomas Meldgaard
Director
74

I have been waiting for such a Q&A session, Thanks. First of all thanks to No film school for being an educative and informative website, we need you. Now coming back to my concerns, what's stopping me from making my films.
I have a few concepts and scripts which are my dream films and I would like to make them in this present life. They consist of shorts and features both. My feature/s are costly and I haven't made a single feature till now, so I feel why will someone invest on me.
secondly my fav shorts are also costly for me so, I can't finance them and I feel no one will put money in shorts coz, they don't get released so, they won't make money.
I have lot of other shorts which I can think of financing and I recently did finance one. but, I am not very enthu on making such short films coz, they don't excite me that much how much my best scripts do.
So I am stuck up here and have just been thinking for a long and haven't acted at all, this way I will go nowhere, so I am worried also.
My friends always tell me to write my scripts, make the ppt and start pitching them and leave rest on God. I am confused, how do I start?

November 30, 2015 at 10:17AM

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I would love to see some articles on production design. Sometimes that's my downfall, yet it's so important. Things look placed where an environment should look real.

November 30, 2015 at 10:18AM

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"What's your biggest psychological barrier when it comes to filmmaking?"

I've written and directed three short films but I can't seem to make the jump into the feature film world. I have a hard time committing to one idea - as soon as I begin outlining my screenplay, I start doubting whether its the right idea so I'll stop writing.

"What's your biggest logistical challenge?"

Finding a true "producer" is challenging, the brunt of finding and securing locations falls on me most of the time, which is my least favorite part of filmmaking.

"What's one piece of content that you would like to see on No Film School in the future?"

I love No Film School and it has helped me immensely over the years and I greatly appreciate everything you do to help filmmakers. One thing that I would love to see more of would be content specific to directing actors. Films can have great cinematography and a great story but if you don't have the tools to direct actors or have the confidence to speak to them in their own language, performances will be flat and generic, and therefore, the film will inevitably fail.

November 30, 2015 at 10:36AM, Edited November 30, 10:36AM

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Moses Flores
Writer and Director
74

1. I'm afraid that I don't know enough about what I'm doing. That I might bring a whole crew out, and be totally unprepared.

2. My biggest technical challenge is lighting.

3. Biggest logistical challenge would be locations.

4. I would like to see more information on preproduction.

November 30, 2015 at 10:45AM, Edited November 30, 10:45AM

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Ian Cessna
Videographer
213

I particularly enjoy reading articles about lighting techniques. I believe that's one of the most important technical things a filmmaker can learn. Another thing that is often overlooked is art direction and production design. Would love to see more on those subjects!

November 30, 2015 at 10:48AM

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Eric Thayne
Director | DP | Music Producer
146

As amateur film maker as usual like everyone else technical knowledge in different departments in film making is where i lack & especially Managing People in every department and get the work done perfectly (Its hard when you are inexperienced, working on small projects & people around you don't trust and respect your work & talent).
I am so thankful to No Film School for the knowledge and the updates about the technology and Industry. And i believe No Film School is helping lot of people like me who cant afford to learn new techniques by joining courses to buy new gears so easily. I hope No Film School will notice this comment of mine & help artists like by giving sensible and simple knowledge where we are lacking and of course with belief and hope which every film maker must have in life. Thank you

November 30, 2015 at 11:08AM

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Arjun
Freelance Film maker
74

I have trouble finding people in my experience level. I don't want to team up with beginners because I'm afraid of overwhelming them or scaring them off. I don't want to team up with professionals (if they were willing to team up with me) because I'm afraid of slowing them down or giving them a bad impression of myself. Also, being a one-person band is always hard no matter how well-equipped you are. Also day job and school. The struggle is real.

November 30, 2015 at 11:26AM, Edited November 30, 11:29AM

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Alexandra
Videographer / Documentary Filmmaker
465

Articles on lighting will very much help us. The thing is many of us can't afford to buy those big flood lights and all. Please tell us ways to create light in our films and how to submerge our creative instict with the lighting part of a film IN DETAIL. Thank you

November 30, 2015 at 11:55AM

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1. Ambition, about all of my physical obstacles to making a film really boil down to how much do I want to draw out of my life/work balance to tell this story. Even writing this makes me want to leave my desk at my day job and just shoot something, but unemployment wouldnt work for me right now.
2. Crew, I can get actors fairly easy enough but affording the crew that would make my story better is not so easy. I can get images that tell my story from a crew. So perhaps money is a technical obstacle.
3. Cost, I can tell and have read some great stories that I would love to make into a piece. But even doing a rendition of a script is costly. I can find locations, crew, actors and I can produce a good piece of work that will entertain someone, many someones hopefully.
4. Keep on keepin on, I draw alot from this site. The almost quarterly updates on grants have led me down some interesting paths and the gear updates keep my tech head in check. Dont fall to click bait titles if the story doesnt compel one in a direction. Keep giving us beautiful images and reshared articles from some awesome sites I keep in regular rotation, I miss some things so its nice to catch up. More of the same, just more of the same.

November 30, 2015 at 11:58AM

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Chris Hackett
Director, Director of Photography, Writer
901

1. "I'm not sure I'm skilled enough to make films that live up to my high standards," "On a project,when am I ready enough to go shoot ?" "How do I know it's going to work ?"
2. Juggling between production issues and directing actors ,on set ,when on budget
3. Finding Talented Cast
4. Preproduction details, how Copyrights works and different ways of directing actors.
Thank you sooooo much for this site,truly awesome work.
++

November 30, 2015 at 11:59AM

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Jacob Taieb
Screenwriter,Director,Editor
6

Lighting is something I wish I knew more about.

I also struggle giving myself credit for films but I'm not sure you can really write an article on that...

November 30, 2015 at 12:02PM

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1. For a first time director I'm nervous that I will fuck up majorly and lose the trust of friends and family. Doubt is also a big one coming from a PA to director.
2. Post isn't a big problem if the story is right. I think some tips on choosing the right shots will help
3. I live in ATL, i guess my biggest issue with crew is if your budget is zero how can I get people to work on my film.
4. What workshops are available to help first time directors? and Info on minority mentorships to help nurture young inexperienced talent.

November 30, 2015 at 12:07PM

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Love the site but I'm really getting tired of the tech posts. It is sad that one of the most popular posts recently is about the new sigma 20mm. We are here to learn how to tell stories and to learn how others are telling their stories, not to learn about the latest gizmo. That's my two cents anyway.

November 30, 2015 at 12:15PM

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Tom McKenna
Jack of all trades
96

1. I don't do or plan on making big screenplays, I am more of a Youtuber. Still I do have many projects in my mind, but lack of resources mostly to execute, mostly of people for the projects I intend. Also have other projects in mind but I already have a list of videos coming for my channel, so I don't have yet the time for them.
2. Biggest technical challenge is color grading. I am trying to do basic stuff of Premiere, but lack total knowledge on what I need to do. Want to start using Resolve to learn better, but even so, I don't have proper camera for it yet. Lightning I also have problems, mostly because lack of equipment. Acting as well is hard for myself, need to become better at talking to the camera.
3. Logistical problems as I said, the lack of cast and crew to work. I don't have money to be looking for people right now based on the projects in mind.
4. Acting tips maybe and advanced grading in Premiere Pro CC.
5. If you get a chance, hope you can check my channel out: https://youtube.com/eduarfilms
Thanks!

November 30, 2015 at 12:17PM

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Eduardo Rojas
Youtuber Eduarfilms channel, Film Stories on vimeo channel
74

Getting a work visa for the US as I live in the UK.

November 30, 2015 at 12:37PM

1
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Dan Hasson
Cinematographer
1

1. I am afraid that my screenplay will be considerred bad, regardless of whether I think it is good or not.
2. Refined camera placement and lighting
3. None
4. I would like to see NoFilmSchool promote, advertise, and generally bring on the spotlight various opportunities for young filmakers.

November 30, 2015 at 12:41PM

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Getting a good group together is always hard. Or at least that one other person who has a suggestion when you have none; someone who has ideas of how to get things done, how to go about them without the hesitation and eventual fade out when you're stuck without a way forward or an idea of how to proceed. Someone who knows how to work within the confines of the limited money you have and still make it the best project they can. Someone who doesn't give up when that's all you feel like you can do.

November 30, 2015 at 12:46PM, Edited November 30, 12:47PM

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Raj Jawa
Director / Producer / Actor
81

Money

November 30, 2015 at 12:58PM

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Edgar More
All
808

Ha!!

December 1, 2015 at 12:54AM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2350

Oh thank you, thank you. I have been saving that comment for a dozen years now.
Perhaps it would be easier to leave filmmaking and start my own witch hunt company.

AHA! you get it? No, anyone? ...OK

I feel so lonely.

December 1, 2015 at 8:55PM

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Edgar More
All
808

1. My biggest psychological barrier is determining how to best tell the story. How does this story feel on film? How do I make sure the audience is able to connect with these characters?
2. Biggest technical challenge for me is lighting. I just don't know enough or care to know enough about it. I'd much rather use natural light, but sometimes that is very limiting aesthetically.
3. Biggest logistical challenge: FUNDING. Hands down. How am I going to pay for this?
4. I'd like to see No Film School feature more independent filmmakers. People who don't get the chance to have their work seen by their peers.

November 30, 2015 at 1:06PM

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1. My biggest psychological barrier is that I feel like I have to try twice as hard to achieve the same things as other people. I constantly ask myself if it's worth it to even try if they're just gonna make something better than me with the same amount of time/money.

2. I suck at lighting. I have accepted this. There are virtually no gaffers to speak of where I'm from. Plent of folks that have cameras and a dream. My fellow filmmaker and myself are trying to learn how to do this. Limited budget for lighting doesn't help. This is something we are actively trying to resolve.

3. Locations. Good locations are hard to find locally. On top of that, when you find a location, people want a substantial amount of money to use it. Not easy on an indie filmmaker trying to make use of their surroundings.

4. I would love to see a production breakdown. From conception to print. I always see the little pieces, but never the big "picture". When you're doing indie work, it's like you're constantly stabbing in the dark and hoping to nail it. This could be a series.

November 30, 2015 at 1:10PM

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RJ Ortiz
Cinematographer
216

I'm scared that I'll waste people's time and money on a bad film and Lighting are my problems

November 30, 2015 at 1:17PM

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Money overcomes all of the points mentioned in this post.

November 30, 2015 at 1:45PM, Edited November 30, 1:45PM

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Az Kola
Colour Grading/Video Editor
8

1. That people will not be invested or interested in my films.
2. Narrative. Visual and literary.
3. Transporting people and equipment comfortably and cheaply.
4. Essays on the origins of filmmaking as an art form and craft so the misinformed can stop using the word 'cinematic' in the wrong context.

November 30, 2015 at 1:53PM

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Kieran Bourne
Writer/Director
76

First off, just want to say how grateful I am for the work you all put into this site. It’s been an invaluable resource.

1. My biggest psychological barrier in most cases is the willingness to make the changes necessary to get to the next level - growing a video company beyond a single filmmaker takes a different skill set than being a freelancer, for instance.

2. My biggest technical challenge at the moment is lighting - my skill set here is passable, but it's an area I've got to grow in.

3. My biggest logistical challenge is finding & securing good locations, which, let’s be honest, is a problem more networking on my part can do a lot to solve. Where NFS could probably help is in helping us hear from people who actually do location scouting and know the proper procedures/etiquette to help those of who don't scout for a living avoid burning bridges for other filmmakers.

4. The best learning I’ve experienced has come in the form of being on set with people who knew more than I did - content that in some ways replicates this sort of approach (BTS videos, lighting breakdowns, etc) tends to resonate most with me.

November 30, 2015 at 2:05PM

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Mauricio Tinoco
Videographer / TV Producer
74

4. More original articles like these, written by the person making the post. Well done Robert.

The worst articles are the copy paste ones from popular youtube channels. We get it, we saw the video 3 days earlier.

November 30, 2015 at 2:13PM

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1. I'm scared of getting others on board with a project for no money. I also am not that confident on directing others.
2. I'd like to learn more on editing & colour correction/grading.
3. I have trouble finding interesting locations in my area.
4. I would like to see No Film School do some more on writing screenplays.

November 30, 2015 at 2:28PM

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1. What's your biggest psychological barrier when it comes to filmmaking?
Making time to do my own projects, given client and family demands.

2. What's your biggest technical challenge in filmmaking? Do you struggle with making your lighting or camera moves look good? Are you daunted by the complexity of some digital post-production workflows?
Not at all. I love learning new stuff. NFS helps with that, oftentimes.

3. What's your biggest logistical challenge? Do you have trouble finding talented cast and crew in an area that isn't a filmmaking hotspot (LA, NYC, Atlanta)? Is it finding and securing the locations that you actually want?
Locations are always a bitch, if you're in LA or NY. Logistical I'd say is creating and keeping crews cohesive. We're all gypsies, here, you know?

4. What's one piece of content that you would like to see on No Film School in the future?
Keep on keeping on. NFS has gotten much better since it was opened to your variety of views and writers. I still care about the geeky shit, but I'm glad to see you're really taking time to talk about "how was this done?" whether it's lighting or movement, or even how to work with actors. I do think NFS is weakest with the screenwriting stuff, but hey- there's many other places online to get that fix. And there's only so many articles to write saying "WRITE, DAMN YOU! SIT YOUR ASS DOWN AND F'N WRITE!!!!!!!"
Love you guys. Happy Merry.

November 30, 2015 at 2:50PM

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Patrick Ortman
I tell stories. Sometimes for money. Sometimes, not.
561

Time is my biggest issue and motivation after a whole day of creative work, 2 kids and a wife that works eves/nights and weekends is a killer. I have a FT job as a creative manager of a video dept so i do a lot of what I like during the day but real films it takes a long time. I am currently posting a short i filmed over a year ago.
I think everyone can use encouragement.
KEEP PUSHING EVERYONE!!! THE MORE WE PUSH THE CLOSER WE GET!

November 30, 2015 at 3:00PM, Edited November 30, 3:00PM

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Paolo Mugnaini
Director/DP/Editor
113

I have one answer for several of these questions: MONEY!

I've found several articles about film financing, and I did find them helpful. I still need to figure it all out.

Honestly, I wish there was an article about finding sponsors or advertisers to help finance your projects; how to talk to companies about product placement, or anything along those lines.

November 30, 2015 at 3:13PM

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Rachel RC Scott
Writer/Director/Producer/Editor
227

I also echo anything said about lighting, locations, color correcting, and after effects

November 30, 2015 at 3:16PM

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Rachel RC Scott
Writer/Director/Producer/Editor
227

Psychological Barrier
- I have a small social circle of film-making friends, so trying to get things done on a limited budget can be challenging.

Technical Challenge
- Wireless focus pulling on a flying gimbaled camera. Something I hope to fix next year.

Logistical Challenge
- Finding affordable cinematic locations.

Content I Would Like to See
- Easy VFX that can upgrade the quality of your finished film.

November 30, 2015 at 3:27PM, Edited November 30, 3:59PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30518

I feel confident in writing an emotional roller coaster and crowd-pleaser, but as I transition from being a writer to a filmmaker, I'm scared to death of the camera. I'm scared to death most of how to use the lens on this camera I bought (which I researched well before I purchased it) so much so that I haven't even turned it on.

I want to know how do I use data to prove that there are buyers for a film before I shoot one frame. Like, how can we create a minimum viable product-version of a film to prove that there aren't just potential viewers but actual buyers.

How do I create a crowd-sourcing plan that will actually work to raise funding for a film?
How do I edit creatively in terms of choosing the right angles that were shot to best tell the story, where to begin/end the scene etc.? (not just technical editing)
How do you guarantee distribution (besides VOD) before you shoot one frame?
How do you create viral videos that take off like crazy? How do you increase your chances of turning the film you shot into something that's viral?
How do you attract A-list talent when you have a small budget film? How do you know what A-list talent that distributors, including foreign would scoff at and which ones they'd salivate over?
How do you find an Academy Award campaign consultant who will work with a small budget and guide you in going for a shot of a nomination in one of the categories? How do you create your own DYI campaign?
How do you shoot and get a series on Amazon, Hulu or Netflix (not just a feature film)?
What new technology is out that will make it easier to do previz that looks realistic and yet is affordable and easy to use?
Besides crowd-sourcing, how do you raise your first $50-500k for a small budget film? Who do you approach? How do you convince them to work with you?
How do you set up a LLC and handle financing of the film, the monies received, taxes, etc.?
How do you use the first film you shot to attract bigger/better talent for your next film?

November 30, 2015 at 3:56PM

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Jeff Rivera
Filmmaker | Storyteller
799

1. Writing content that has a bigger purpose in the narrative. Finding actors who intellectually understand it so when I direct them they understand why I'm saying what I'm saying.

2. Sound. Getting great sound without spending hundreds of dollars on rental equipment and not using half of what I was said to rent.

3. Finding the crew who has the talent to persevere in minimalist filmmaking. Less is more when you know how to use "less", finding people who do not think a drone is essential to every shot, even a close up.

4. Directing in general. Mostly for all of us to shape the other half of our job that isn't the lens,the light or the equipment. But the scene. How emotional journeies can be achieved without relying on just score and lighting. I see a ton of videos on filmmakers going on about 'achieving look and feel' but never tackling material. The scene, the characters and the narrative. This is what most people outside of filmmaking talk about anyway, and so should we.

November 30, 2015 at 4:03PM, Edited November 30, 4:03PM

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Editing. And I'm not talking about a "how to use a specific software" tutorial type of thing. I'm talking about the actual art of visual story telling. why you cut there and how do you put together certain sorts of sequences. How do you get organized for an edit and not just a big budget. How about those guys just starting out on their first project. Getting that first one right can mean the difference between continuing on or throwing in the towel after the first hurdle. There are a couple of places doing this but it's expensive. How about something affordable.

November 30, 2015 at 4:12PM

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John Stockton
Film maker, Editor, Photographer.
294

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