In the same way that being a professional doesn't necessarily mean your work always looks professional, being an amateur doesn't have to mean your work looks amateurish. One way to ensure that is by boning up on what the most common mistakes "newbie" filmmakers make, and DP JP Caldeano is here to tell you what five of those are in this helpful video:

There are a ton of mistakes filmmakers of all levels of expertise make on the regular, but there are a few that seem to plague the newcomers more often than the old timers. Here are the five Caldeano mentions in the video:

  1. Bad sound
  2. Bad acting
  3. Poor location choice
  4. Too many crazy shots
  5. Being negative

If you've watched a lot of amateur films (or took a cold, hard look at your own amateur work) you'll certainly agree that those projects were rife with some, if not all, of these mistakes. However, I actually want to talk about an issue that was missing from this list, one that I think is not only the number one problem filmmakers struggle with, but is also the most important issue for them to address—and that's #6:

Not having a strong story

Story is the impetus of your film. It's not only the engine, it's the tires, the wheel, the fuel, and the body. Hell, it's the radiator and wiper fluid, too. It's the whole damn thing. But so many filmmakers fall short of constructing an engaging, coherent, and entertaining narrative that audiences can make an emotional connection with.

Avoiding making that mistake means, yes, learning all you can about screenwriting, like story structure, character development, and dialog, but I've found that just knowing just how important storytelling is in a film is a humongous step in the right direction. So, crack open some books, read some screenplays, and watch a ton of movies; it might help you avoid one of the biggest mistakes filmmakers make—having a boring/unclear/nonexistent story.

Source: Cinematic J