As a film teacher, many of your students will look to you first for advice on how they can achieve their dreams of filmmaking. Instilling film theory, filmmaking skills and history in your students will help propel them a long way in a film career However, it’s also advantageous to teach them about the best routes to go about achieving their dreams and putting their best foot forward when it comes to a career in film.
1 – Time is of the essence
It’s common to hear the phrase ‘don’t give up your day job’ when talking about pursuing creative careers. Your students need to know that, despite their passion and talent, what will most bring them success is dedication and experience. Filmmakers need to learn the tools of the trade and with that comes dedicating one’s time. However, your students are probably not in a position to dedicate all waking hours of their days to filmmaking. Encourage them to spend as much time as they can with film: writing; directing; watching; reading. All the time spent in the trenches of film knowledge will help set them on the path to achieve their ambitions.
2 – Embrace any film job
Encourage students to accept any job on a film set, whether it coincides with their immediate passions or not. In film, you’re constantly learning on the job and whether that’s as a production runner, costume assistant or gaffer, the experience and knowledge your students will gain through hands-on work will make all the difference in their careers. The best filmmakers are well-rounded, and the knowledge you accumulate from different facets of filmmaking will only help.
3 – Network, network, network
We’ve discussed the importance of networking before but it’s as crucial an aspect as any of an aspiring filmmaker’s future. By encouraging students to attend networking events, you’re only helping them make the connections they need for a future in the industry.
4 – Study your options
Filmmaking is a tough career and it’s nearly impossible for students to understand how much is required of them on a day-to-day basis. By encouraging students to learn about every aspect of filmmaking: from finance to production and distribution, your students will feel more confident to voice their visions and push themselves to be the best filmmakers they can be, in a huge variety of roles in the industry.
5 – Get excited
Studying classic cinema and what has paved the way for generations of filmmakers will help your students better understand the medium but their true passion will spark when they find excitement in film. Encourage your students to read and watch films that excite them! Try to find local film festivals and screenings of films, commercial and independent, that will give your students a wider understanding of film diversity as well as helping them find the films and stories that make them want to jump out of bed in the morning!
With these five encouragements, your students will feel better equipped to go out in the world and pursue their dreams. Well-rounded students are the key to a flourishing and engaging film future.