For some of you young filmmakers, you might be wondering how you're going to learn the very complicated craft of filmmaking if you haven't yet learned how to navigate the crowded halls of your school without being completely awkward. Don't worry—not only is walking through a crowded high school innately awkward and often miserable, but Darious Britt has shared 12 tips that will help you get a sense of how to start your journey to becoming a professional filmmaker. Check out his video below:
Really quickly, here are the 12 tips Britt shares in the video:
- Focus on learning how to tell a good story
- Actors: Write your characters to your actors' strengths
- Keep it simple and don't try to do too much too soon
- Use literally any camera that's available to you; it doesn't matter what it is
- Practice your framing
- Use whatever editing software you have
- Lighting: Use the sun! It's free! Use windows and available light! Film during Golden Hour.
- Make sure you have supportive people around you
- Don't just talk about it, be about it! WORK!
- Take advantage of all resources, including books, movies, online tutorials, blogs, and, if you want, college.
- Be mature about criticism
The great thing about Britt's advice is that it reminds us all that though filmmaking is fun, it also requires a lot of discipline, determination, and maturity. Perhaps the biggest obstacle for most young filmmakers is the fear that their work either won't be taken seriously or that it will be rejected, especially if videos are shared online and are exposed to all of the lurking trolls on YouTube. (Vimeo is a much better platform when it comes to this.)
However, if you come at it with confidence, maturity, and a positive attitude, you can learn from all of the critiques that you're bound to hear and grow as a filmmaker. In fact, consider yourself lucky if your films and videos are getting critiqued (again, legit critiques, not vitriol from trolls), because some of us had to wait until college or our first professional gig to get an outside perspective on our work—and most of the time it's not pretty.
It's easy to let negativity and self-doubt keep you from continuing on your filmmaking path, and unfortunately, that never goes away. The great thing, though, is that you've got your whole life to learn how to be great, so spend this time wisely and learn the craft, establish a good work ethic, and nurture your passion, because those are actually the things that will carry you further than anything else.