Making films is a great way to express yourself creatively, work within a fun industry and also make a living while you’re at it. So how do you get into this industry? The answer is often much easier than people think. At a Spike Less conference in Toronto conference a couple of years ago, Mr. Lee addressed this very question from an ambitious film student. This film student stood up and asked her question about breaking into the film industry. It seemed that no matter how hard she searched for a job that nobody would hire her.
Spike Lee’s response was fantastic. He interrupted the student in the middle of her rambling about how “she can’t find opportunity” and he told her to “create opportunity”. He mentioned that today you can find video cameras for around the $500 – $800 mark. All you need at this point is access to a computer and friends who don’t mind working for the sake of “creation” and getting your name out there.
Spike Less is likely the most famous independent filmmaker out there and he used this “create your own opportunities” mentality to gain recognition for his accomplishments on a global level.
If you are looking to become a filmmaker there are certain rules you should follow in order to ensure the work you produce is commercial grade quality. Obviously this won’t happen overnight, but you should follow the following process to ensure you get your films exposure.
1. Just Create: Get out there and start making films. Cast your friends, create short movies, music videos. Just create. You’ll make a lot of mistakes along the way but this is a great way to learn. Nobody starts in this industry without making mistakes.
2. Educate Yourself: Enroll in a film school or film course. These can take anywhere from 4 years to 2 days to complete. There are a wide variety of film schools out there that will help you greatly improve your skills as a filmmaker.
3. Promote Yourself: By promoting yourself you are letting others know of your film ambitions. It’s amazing what happens when people know you’re interested in film. People will automatically want to be involved in your projects. Independent film projects really bring people together and inspire people to get creative which is an opportunity most people are deprived of in their day to day lives.