October 24, 2016 at 6:28PM, Edited October 24, 6:30PM

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Started my carreer in filmmaking, what now?

I recently discovered that my talent (and passion) is in the film business, and in the last 6 months started working as a professional actor (for TV series), I want to make this my life career but I don't know what to do now.
People for whom I worked told me to emigrate (because in my country there's no career path for this), I will do that but, then? what should I do? if I want to write and direct in the future, should I get equipment? contacts? work in the area? sell my scripts? enter a film conservatory for a year?
Any suggestion?

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Short answer: Make films.

Long answer: Start making films, even if you are lacking things you think are necessary for you to make them. As long as you have a camera (if you don't, smartphone cameras these days can do a lot), you can create a film. Let's say for example you're lacking audio equipment and you feel restricted by this, then make it an experimental music-driven film, you see what I mean? By doing this you will learn to be resourceful and in the long term you will cultivate your skill and master (using this word loosely) your craft and develop your style, which you will then leverage for yourself in the industry.

Alright so you've made some films, at least enough that you can showcase something proudly, it's time to hustle and get some work. I recommend you create a presence online through social media (no excuse not to), and develop a website. Hopefully at this point you'll have a showreel & business cards. This is when you got to get out there and grab business. Call as many local businesses as you can every day and pitch your services to them. Offer them whatever you are good at (I'm assuming writing and directing) and try to get them to bite. Of course this is much easier said than done. It's going to take a lot of hard work and persistence. This is also not glamorous work, you might not enjoy it most times because in the short term it doesn't seem like it's what you want to do, but you have to work, work, work to ultimately get to where you want to be. This is the path of the freelancer.

Of course there are also employment possibilities, and those depend on where you live, (what's available in Wichita, Kansas is totally different from what's in Los Angeles) but I'm going to be honest and tell you I don't know much about those paths, I'm sure there are other members who can give good insight on that.

Personally, I've gone down the freelancing route and followed the path I explained previously. I'm now slowly reaping the benefits of my past work, which has put me in better positions to choose projects (a luxury you dont get when you start!), negotiate better rates for my services, be more hands-off in the physical work of shooting and actually focus on directing rather than doing everything myself (being able to hire assistants & being called only to direct, not handle the project a-z), and focus on personal work above all else.

These progressions in my career have happened slowly, sparsely, and on micro levels, but it's important to always keep creating in order to bolster your portfolio and reputation.

Hopefully this is useful to you, I wish you the best of luck in your career.

October 24, 2016 at 7:00PM

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Ehab Eazy Ismail
Director/D.O.P
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