Filmmaking for beginners. How to start out in the film industry

Filmmaking for beginners

Filmmaking for beginners just how do you start out in the film industry?

This is an old blog post, you might like to read a new and updated blog post such as - 12 Film Career FAQ’s

When I first started out in film it was all about the filmmaking. There was no thought about making money or forging a career. It was like many of us start out innocent and in it just for the fun.

It would be good to get that fun back again, have little care what camera I am using or if the story even makes sense, just head out make a short film and edit it together within a week.

If you are just starting out you may be overwhelmed by the amount of choices and advice out there  on how to begin as a filmmaker. Here is some basic advice for those starting out, if you have any advice to share feel free leave some in the comment box below.

I have no experience at all

If you have zero filmmaking experience pick up a camera, any camera and make a film. What camera you use to shoot on doesn’t matter, likely you first few films will not be very good and that is OK. You will learn the basics of filmmaking simply from practice. When you feel confident shoot a short film, music video, documentary – anything that tells a story. Make a script, create a plan, shoot and edit it – now you’re a filmmaker. From making your own no budget films you learn the very basics of filmmaking.  

I have never worked on a film set before

If you want to work in film, despite the job role you want it would be useful to get some first hand on set experience. Every city in the world will have a film production happening right now and your best bet is to search online job sites and see if any productions are advertising for help. If you have zero experience you can fix that by being a helping hand on a low budget film set.

It is unlikely you will get paid for your first few gigs but this experience will allow you to find out if you like film work, lets you see how a film set operates as well as making you a handful of contacts in the industry. If you get along with anyone on set be sure to swap numbers or follow each other on social media – you never know who you will met in film and how they will help you within your future career.

I have no idea what job I want to do in film

That’s fine, there are a lot of choose from – and notjust the obvious jobs of Producer, Director, and Cinematographer. First find work experience on a film set (or even an office job in film any job will do) and try out a mix of job roles. I wrote a post with a checklist download on how to find your job niche here. Likely if you keep working in film you will find that you gravitate towards one department.  I never did want to be a Script supervisor it was just the job I found myself being hired to do indie films sets. Often the job chooses you.

I have just finished education

Perhaps you have just finished college, university or film school and you are wondering just what to do with your life. If it is definitely a career in film you are looking for and you know what job you want then you need to figure out a plan of attack on how you will get that job. 

Yes, it wont be easy or obvious for some roles on how to get the job you want. You best move Is to find work in any job role to begin with be that entry level Production Assistant or something else. There is no right or wrong way to begin. Make sure you get lots of work experience and explore all job opportunities in film. It is going to take a few years to feel secure with this type of work. 

I hope these answers above help with some of the most asked questions for film making for beginners.

You can find me via Twitter here - @amyclarkefilms