In film, we completely understand how tough it is to get your feet on the first rungs of the ladder. It’s a choice between using all your filmmaking tips and tricks in a masterfully done, well written and well produced short film- which everyone believes they can do, but fewer truly can- or finding a low paid or unpaid position right at the bottom of the food chain, where you’ll spend more time running coffee than using all the filmmaking tips you’ve learned for years. It’s demoralising to say the least.
But what if we told you that there’s a third way? That you could find a decently paid job where your skills are useful and- gasp!- maybe even appreciated? We think that teaching may be that that direction to consider. Here is a brief rundown of why we think that independent filmmakers make excellent teachers.
You can still develop your skills while you teach
First and foremost, this doesn’t just have to be about your students. At the end of the day you want to work in a position where you can improve yourself, improve your skills, and maybe one day move upwards. Believe it or not, teaching gives you that opportunity to work on yourself and keep learning filmmaking tips, while you get paid for doing it.
As you work on putting together lesson plans, it can feel like studying- because it is. You constantly have to learn all sorts of new things about the technicalities of shooting film, and get real world practice shooting film with your students. And as you pass on all of your filmmaking tips and tricks to your class, you learn how to talk film: how to put into words exactly what you want out of a particular shot, for instance. This is a vital skill in your own filmmaking career.
Your talent and enthusiasm are infectious
People who genuinely care about what they do make the best teachers, and you wouldn’t have become a filmmaker if you weren’t passionate about it! If you cast your mind back and think of your favourite teacher, it wouldn’t be unusual if they were somebody intelligent, quick witted and who had a real passion for whatever it was they taught you. Somebody who thought that what they did was the best job on Earth!
You could be that person: the one teacher who lights a spark in somebody’s heart and gives them a lifelong interest or passion. It’s not just about filmmaking tips, it’s about passing on your love for what you do, and students crave teachers who show them why something is worth learning. Not only that, but having actually been there and got the T-shirt, your experience and filmmaking tips are sought after. If you are a genuinely talented filmmaker- and if you’re reading this newsletter, we believe you must be- then it won’t be hard for you to find a school that will take you on. It might be a horrible old saying, but ‘those that can’t do, teach’ can many cases prove to be depressingly true. The talent you personally bring to the table could make all the difference in a student’s life.