Making the most out of college as a student filmmaker can set you up for life. Whether it’s finding the future partners that you’re going to collaborate with or getting noticed and financed for your first film, it’s a crucially important time in your career. While learning filmmaking tips and tricks, you’ll also need to balance your projects and new creations alongside your friends and maybe (occasionally) get some sleep. Here are some tips to help student filmmakers make their film school experience worth it:
- Work Together
You’ll often find yourself collaborating on short films or projects, after all most filmmaking can’t be done entirely on your own, but do try to work in bigger groups. Aside from making the project more interesting and intricate it can introduce you to a larger network of people you can draw on and these could be lasting friendships in the industry. They will help you get through the experience together, understanding the needs of a filmmaking career and may even lead to each other’s success in the future. Plus as a bare minimum, the more involved in the project, the more friends, family and wider network that it can be marketed to.
- Get Your Credit
You may be taking extra courses or projects to learn filmmaking online alongside your other curriculum or you’ve decided to create a project entirely by yourself according to your interests. Regardless of where or how, try to get this counted towards your overall scores and many institutions will. It may be that your outside project earns you a higher mark or qualifies towards coursework that will bump your grades up. Or it could be demonstrative towards an initial idea for your final exam or a piece to show your teacher what you’re capable of. But if it’s teaching filmmaking and you’re putting the time in, make it count academically, (every little helps.)
- Be An Intern
Teaching cinematography and filmmaking is a lengthy and elaborate process with complex elements that can only be understood properly when seen in action. Often, making mistakes yourself or watching how professionals operate in a true setting can give you more insight and inspiration for your own projects and makes learning interactive and fun.
Many internships are paid but even those that aren’t can offer value and teach you the skills you’ll need for your filmmaking career, so they]re worth looking into. Plus, working in a live setting can expose you to new filmmaking technology that may not be readily available at college yet, setting you apart from everyone else and giving you the edge (particularly if you’re given the chance to use it.) Just make sure that you’re able to balance your time and make it count towards your grades.
- Don’t Be Afraid To Market
Unfortunately, most films (regardless of their quality) are not going to become well known and award winning on their own. You need to tell people about them and the best way to do this is to tap into their platforms on social media and use it to market to them. With more people on smartphones and devices this is a cost-effective way to filter to your demographic as well as reach out and network to others (plus it’s an excellent place to put the call out for film extras.)
Student filmmakers have a lot to consider and do during their studies whilst at film school but hopefully these tips offer more insight into how to make the very most out of the experience.