March 19, 2019

3 Things You Don't Want to Overlook as a New Filmmaker

In the rush to become the next big filmmaker, you might end up missing some of these important lessons.

Let's get real—nobody wants to linger too long in obscurity. For new filmmakers, the glamor of a Hollywood career often causes them to run before they can walk, which is often the very thing that keeps them from achieving the level of success they desire.

And that's a real bummer.

While telling someone that they need to focus less on casting a big name or buying a high-end cinema camera and focus more on something boring like pacing or audio is not often considered the most inspirational message in the world, it's usually the thing that helps them become better quicker.

In this video, Ryan Connolly over at Film Riot answers some questions from his YouTube subscribers, one of which I think will help you set yourself on the right path creatively and professionally as a filmmaker.

[The whole video is worth a watch, but the big I'm referring to starts at around the 1:48 mark.]

Pacing is Huge

One thing you see a lot of in amateur films is a lack of pacing. The story doesn't seem to follow any kind of rise and fall in tension, the stakes always kind of remain the same, and the emotional ebb and flow seems to stagnate. 

Unfortunately, pacing is also a pretty obscure concept. It's not difficult to explain or even to understand on a base level, but it's certainly challenging to grasp to a degree that you can implement it into your work right off the bat.

Experience helps with that. You'll be able to see/feel/notice when your story is dragging or when it needs a little something extra. You'll be able to almost feel the natural undulation of the narrative and tweak it as you see fit.

Getting Better > Getting Views

Yeah, we all want to put our precious cinematic babies out there so the public can ooh and ahh at them and make us famous and give us a million dollars to buy fancy hats and racecars.

That's not really how any of this works, though...or rather, it's not always the most beneficial thing to focus on.

Instead of worrying about clicks and views and subscribers, you might want to worry about honing your craft and exercising those creative muscles, because at the end of the day, those are the things will make you a better filmmaker.

Audio, Audio, Audio

If you asked a group of new filmmakers what their dream camera is, chances are they'd be able to answer immediately. But if you asked them what their dream microphone is...you'd probably be met with silence.

Unfortunately, sound and audio are often low on the totem pole for beginners, which is exactly the opposite of where they should be. Audiences can stand to watch images with bad quality, they cannot, however, stand to listen to shitty audio. So, if you're just starting out and have a little money to burn on some equipment, burn it first on a good mic or a good handheld recorder, like the timeless Zoom H4n (or one of its newer, shinier big brothers)

What are some other things you think beginners overlook in the beginning of their careers? Let us know down in the comments.     

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1 Comment

Accurate. I am guilty of all of these.

March 20, 2019 at 12:32PM

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Evan Olow
Writer and Director
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