Your First Film…

Friends and Family

Filmmaking is a collaborative event. The credits at the end of a film are a roster of every person or entity that has contributed to the making of that film.

And yet sometimes filmmaking seems more like a solitary adventure. There are plenty of opportunities for you to reach out so be sure to take advantage of them.

Go to film festivals, go to the movies, watch TV. While it’s true that there are few original ideas out there, it helps to know what your competition is so you’re not just replicating something that already exists. There’s a reason why you will not see two BlackKlansman movies released by two different directors. The market will not bear it up and distributors will just be competing against each other.

Do not think that someone will “steal your idea.” Ideas are not copyrightable. It is hard enough to have an idea and pursue your dream, no one is going to want to take on your idea. They have their own. But on the other hand, if you’re working with copyrighted materials, be sure to move to get the rights before someone else gets them.

Collaborate. Find some mentors. Is there someone you know and admire who might be willing to help you, to join your team? Find a way to meet them, pitch your project and ask if you can attach them to it, if even as a consultant. You can send a query to someone’s agent. If you have IMDB pro, that information is often available. If you’re a screenwriter, enter your screenplay in competitions. Industry experts will give you their critiques and you will benefit from professional advice.

Attend filmmaking how-to events such as the Independent Feature Film Market in NY. You will hear success stories, you will hear stories of woe, and you will begin to think of your film as a real entity competing in the world of films.

If you can move ahead and start filming, go for it. Don’t think of the film as your big chance – think of it as your first step in a long career.

Good luck in the world of filmmaking!

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