5 ways to improve Your filmmaking. Avoid these mistakes
Posted on November 08 2018
5 ways to improve Your filmmaking:
Every Filmmaker who's serious about his business will always aspire to improve his filmmaking-skills. Be it in participating in time-consuming courses or watching a bunch of tutorials for new techniques or spending a small fortune on the newest gear. But doing all that does not guaranty that we become better videographers. Sometimes it is not about spending a lot of time and money. Sometimes changing just small things or even trying something new will really make the difference. Read the following if you are looking for some inspiration and new insights.
1. Try something new. People tend to stick to their routine.
Everybody has their way of doing certain things in a certain way, and that is perfectly fine. In this way you will create your own style, build your reputation in the film business and get projects done faster. But on the downside you might work yourself into a (creative) dead-end. You might feel like you are doing the same thing all over again and again. In the worst case you will become bored out of your mind. Furthermore you will probably have trouble in finding a new approach because you already used every possibility to make a particular kind of video. So why not try something completely different. For example if you are only doing no-nonsense corporate projects, why not try and create something more artsy in your free time. Or learn how to do simple animations. If you are only known for comedy try thriller or horror genre. This way you can let your creativity flow again and define a new way of filming for yourself. Maybe you will need to work with different people so you can build up your network and find new inspiration for your general field of work. Challenge yourself! Who knows what special talent you may discover?
2. The downside of improved gear
We are living in a fast-changing world where work equipment becomes better and cheaper every year. For example today Filmmakers and Photographers are lucky to benefit from how much data is storable on devices compared to former times. But this way a single shot or image is losing its value. They become inflationary because filming and photographing is not as expensive as it has been. Being able to store all your material digital certainly has its perks, but on the other hand it can lead to piling up unused or unusable data. So why don't you try to pretend that every picture of your next project is really valuable again? This way you are forced to plan every step along the way more carefully to avoid extra costs. This might be more time-consuming at the planning stage, but when it comes to postproduction you will save a lot of time, nerves and space when every picture you took was well planned and your composition will be on point. By the way this reminder of how precious a single picture can be was given to me at the wedding of a dear friend. He was handing out two polaroid cameras to his wedding guests. Long story short, although the guests could have taken way more photos of better quality with their own devices, everyone preferred a polaroid as a keepsake.
While I am at it. The point about appreciating the worth of a single shot or picture again also applies to equipment. A stunning film does not always need excessive usage of drone-shots, sliders or five different lenses. Sometimes using to much gadgets can get in the way of your creativity and the process of filming. For example if you catch yourself taking more time in building up your set and installing all your equipment than actually shooting you might rethink on how necessary all of those gadgets really are for your project. Sometimes less is more and leads to better results or great ideas while you try to replace parts of equipment. Being limited can help you think more creative again and save money which would otherwise be spend on renting or buying stuff you do not really need. Try to declutter and monitor which equipment is really needed. Who knows, maybe you can even sell some now useless stuff and save the money for a better camera instead.
A very common problem for a lot of artists is comparing themselves to their idols. Don't get me wrong, of course its always good to find inspiration in other peoples work. Be it a well known Filmmaker or just somebody from uni whose work you admire. Nevertheless this can lead to you feeling depressed and ultimately stall your own development. Watching other peoples work may influence your work, even if you are not aware of it. So if you ever feel demotivated because of other peoples great work or you feel like a copycat, maybe you should desist from watching their work for some time and focus on your own projects. This way you won't get awestruck or copy someone else by accident. Instead you can focus on your own assets and ideas. Following your own way, maybe somebody will admire your work as you did someone else's one day. And the less you try to be like someone else the more you find your own style and language of filmmaking.
5. Last but not least
For some of you, my last point might be a given, but it regards especially the rookies. Please make sure to finish your projects. I know your minds are full of ideas and new projects and you sometimes bite off more than you can chew. That's relatable. A director once told me something very important, which helped me a lot. He told me that he has great respect for every aspiring filmmaker, who actually finished a whole movie. No matter if the video is good or a mess. But finishing a project gives you so much experience. It shows your endurance and passion about filming. You can use it to get feedback from your friends or people working in the film biz. And most important, you will have something to show to people, when applying for a job. Read the following article: How to create an immersive showreel. So never start a project if you don't plan on finishing it. Lastly you will have something to be proud of and that at least has to be worth the work, right? See. So just get it done and win experience and receive useful critique.