Teaching young filmmakers can be a tricky business. It’s a huge discipline that requires knowledge of a wide range of mediums, and a combination of practical skills unlike anything else. Not only that, but the media industry, as a general rule, is a hard one to break into. What can you offer them now that will be most useful down the line?
Here are our top 5 suggestions to start you off:
1. Keep Creating
When it comes to applying for jobs in the industry, entering competitions, or just to see how far they’ve come, having an expansive showreel is only going to be a benefit for a young filmmaker.
Not only will it show that they have the work ethic to consistently make new things, it also acts as a constant learning process that will teach them practical lessons which can’t be taught in the classroom.
2. Don’t be afraid to experiment, and fail
As Chuck Jones once said “Every artist has thousands of byoung filmad drawings in them, and the only way to get rid of them is to draw them out.” and this is true for filmmakers too. No great director, whether it was Spielberg, Nolan, Hitchcock or any other you care to name, started great.
They spent years making bad films, and every time they failed they learned a little more. That’s why you should emphasise that experimentation is a good thing. Even if it doesn’t work, the lesson learned through that failure will be invaluable.
Whether you see it as a bad thing or not, the film industry operates just as much on a “who you know” basis as a “what you know”. Any young filmmaker should be encouraged to make as many contacts as they can, both inside and out of the industry.
You never know when that one good conversation a few months ago could result in a phone call from someone in desperate need to fill a position, and then you’re in.
4. Try not to specialise too much
Despite every aspiring filmmaker having a dream job within the industry, and also areas they are good at, that shouldn’t stop them trying to learn as many different positions in the production chain as possible.
Just as knowing people can help them get an in, so can being able to put their hand abley to many different positions. Once they’re in, then they can move towards their dream job, but sometimes it means going in though the side door.
5. Perseverance is everything
Ultimately, getting a start in filmmaking is going to be an uphill battle. Your pupils will get knocked back more times than they’ll care to count, and you need to tell them that not only should they keep going, but it’s also just part of the process.
No one working in the creative industries today got there because they gave up at the first rejection. They tried again and again, taking multiple setbacks along the way, to the point