October 13, 2015

This Might Be the Biggest Mistake You're Making as a New Filmmaker

There are tons of advice videos and articles out there warning about the pitfalls of amateur filmmaking.

Are you unintentionally shooting against white walls? Are you not checking white balance? Are you casting a buddy from your dorm to play a police chief? These are common mistakes beginning filmmakers make, and it's really helpful to be reminded of them. However, they are just symptoms of a larger problem, which is why this video from The Basic Filmmaker is so important for beginners, pros, and everyone in between

The main point that the Basic Filmmaker is trying to get across is that, yeah, beginner filmmakers make a lot of mistakes, and that's okay, but if they continue to make mistakes it's probably because they're not behind the camera (or writing or editing) enough. You're not drilling yourself -- you're not doing it!

Imagine your filmmaking is your body, and the mistakes you make are ailments. You've got a sore throat, so you pop some lozenges. You've got a headache, so you take some pain killers. Upset stomach? Drink some flat 7-Up. You can combat each of these symptoms with some sort of remedy, however, it won't cure your sickness and it surely won't prevent you from getting sick in the future. What you need is to diagnose the actual problem, that way you don't waste your time trying to cure the symptoms.

Practicing making films (which is just making films), is a great preventative for making silly mistakes. Of course, this doesn't mean that you'll never make them again, but it'll help you commit things to muscle memory. Eventually, you won't have to think too much about avoiding shooting against boring white walls or checking your white balance, because it's just something you always do.     

Your Comment

14 Comments

Do - Review - Learn - Apply

October 14, 2015 at 2:32AM

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great!

October 14, 2015 at 10:56PM

1
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Manny
Dir
81

This was great

October 14, 2015 at 3:06AM

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Is the top filmmaker mistake not spelling "filmmaker" correctly in your title?

October 14, 2015 at 6:58AM, Edited October 14, 6:58AM

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Kevin Perkins
Slash
114

On the title card, that was intentional humor. Good eye, you are the first person to have caught it. :)

October 15, 2015 at 4:32PM

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Basic Filmmaker
Filmmaker | Author | Educator
84

sounds like microsoft sam! :)

October 14, 2015 at 8:24AM

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This video sucks

October 14, 2015 at 8:52AM

5
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this video could have been two minutes long. shut the heck up already.

October 14, 2015 at 10:58AM

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That sounds about right. I remember hitting my head against the keyboard as I reedited my first film a few years back, looking at every dumb thing I did.

October 14, 2015 at 11:09AM, Edited October 14, 11:09AM

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Sean Voysey
Creative Director
295

Wow such simple advice, but it hit home. Thank you.

October 14, 2015 at 5:50PM

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Thanks for the post and taking the time No Film School. Very much appreciated. N.B. The video image spelling of "Filmaker" was meant as intentional humor. :)

October 14, 2015 at 5:59PM, Edited October 14, 5:59PM

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Basic Filmmaker
Filmmaker | Author | Educator
84

No mistake is recognized unless you find it, finding your mistakes is not
the answer to solving your problem, and finding your problem is never going
to help you fix your mistakes, yet making mistakes is part of life, but life is full of mistakes, and by the very nature of life we are a mistake.

?

October 15, 2015 at 6:28AM

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Darryl Gregory
Director of Photography
235

Solid information! It is so easy to read books and watch tutorials, but there is nothing that trumps experience. I find books and tutorials fun to watch, but they can be the time bandit that takes me away from the "doing it" that ultimately is far more important than reading about it.

October 16, 2015 at 7:11AM, Edited October 16, 7:11AM

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David Patterson
videographer/editor
580

Makes sense to me, experience is the greatest teacher.

August 19, 2016 at 11:18AM, Edited August 19, 11:18AM

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Daniel
Filmmaker
199