Connecting with like minded people is a must in filmmaking than any other art form. Painter and writers can go to a shop and buy the raw materials they need to make their art. But a filmmaker needs people, with a variety of skills.
A Film Crew
A film absolutely needs people who can do the following:
- Come up with interesting characters and narrate an engaging story that happens to those characters, usually called a writer
- Bring those characters into life, in flesh and blood, usually called actors
- Capture what those actors are performing, usually called a cameraman
- Capture the actor’s voices, and the sounds around, usually called a sound technician
With the advent of technology a lot of these roles have become easier to do, that one person may in fact do it all. But those kind of movies are limited in scope. And if you are reading this, probably not the kind of films you want to do.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” —Helen Keller
Your friends, cannot act; unless they are studying acting and are into it. Your friend who takes pretty pictures on SnapChat is not a Cinematographer. You might be able to bring some of them together and pull together a short film. But that will be an amateur work. But if that is all that you can do right now, then by all means please do that. I did that too.
When you want to take your work to the next level, you are going to need professionals in all of these departments. And when you are starting out, you are not going to be able to hire them. You either need to have friends who are professionals, or you need to become friends with professionals.
Connecting With Professionals
Never go to a professional, shake their hands, and ask them to work in your film, that too for free. Most probably they’d politely say no and back away.
Instead invest in people who are going to be professionals in the future. Ask your friends if they have friends who are studying in film schools. Ask your family members if they know someone who knows someone who acts. Go to film workshops. Meet people.
Make friends with people who are like you, starting out and some day will be professionals. So when that day comes when you are going to make your first feature, you would have friends who are then professionals to help you out.
Yes it takes time. Patience.
Connecting a Network of People
What you are building, is a network. Give it time. Give it a year, give it ten. Check in with them in between. See if you can be of any help to them. Send them books, tutorials, contests, any information that might help them get ahead in their journey. Bring them value first, through your skills, and connections.
“Networking is not about just connecting people. It’s about connecting people with people, people with ideas, and people with opportunities.” ―
Whatever your journey might be, if there is one thing that might make you feel less alone, it is to share the walk with like minded people.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” — African Proverb
PS: Are you wondering why there was no Director in the list of people absolutely necessary to make a film? If there is a solid script, if the actors know what to do, if the cameraman knows where to best place the camera, and there is a sound technician who knows to do his job, does a film really need a director? Let me know in the comments.
Hey Aspiring Filmmaker,
I debuted my film career making a feature film for ₹5 lakhs ($7,000) on an iPhone. I’d like to help you do the same. So I wrote everything I learned into a book. It is now available on Amazon, called The Indian Indie Film (or Make Your Film for rest of the world). Enjoy!