When just starting out in film and video production, it’s so easy to slip up here and there. There are so many moving parts and variables throughout the entire process and many actually get so overwhelmed that they give up before they’ve ever really given themselves a chance.
But before you call it quits, know that every film and video maker, even the best, were once first-timers who had to figure out how to come to terms with the fact that completing their film or video was not going to be the easiest nor most pleasant process.
No one’s born knowing how to do anything, you need to be taught, and success in this industry, like any other, only comes with experience. Luckily, as a longtime NY / NJ film and video production company, we have plenty of that, so check out these 3 tips we put together for first-timer film and video makers to help them avoid the classic rookie mistakes.
1. Give budgeting and scheduling the focus it deserves.
Most film and video production novices put all their focus and energy into the parts of the process that are more fun and creatively rewarding. Many underestimate the importance of the pre-production phase altogether, which you can read more about in this recent post, Film and Video Pre-Production Tips for Creating a Better Production and Better Project.
The point is, beginners tend to overlook some of the seemingly less exciting parts of the process, namely budgeting and scheduling when, in reality, they’re some of the most important aspects of any project.
It’s rare that a disorganized production is even completed much less finds success. Quality comes not just from creative people with inventive ideas but from hard work, smart planning, and efficient production as well.
You need to plan to use the money and the time of everyone involved as wisely as possible right from the get go. If the shooting schedule isn’t manageable for the entire cast & crew, you’ll have to make compromises and changes simply for a lack of time and that’s the last thing you want to do.
So, even though some of the other processes associated with film and video production are more fun and satisfying, remember that the most creative, inventive decisions in the world won’t mean much if you fail to properly handle the project’s budget and the schedules of all those involved.
2. Get the right film or video production people to help.
No matter what kind or project you’re working on, chances are that you’ll need some help with your film or video production along the way, whether it’s just for one phase or throughout the entire the process, and you’d think that finding the right people is all about choosing those with the most experience, but that’s not always the best approach.
Yes, you want people with some experience being that you’re a first-timer yourself, but if you recruit people with too much experience in one specific area or with a certain style which doesn’t directly correlate with your project, you’ll likely find that they’re just not right for it.
And you don’t just want to find film or video people with some experience producing the kind of project you’re trying to make, but people who also genuinely want to work on it and can inject real passion into it. The last thing you want is to bring people in who would rather be working on another kind of project and are just going through the motions.
Then, once you find the right people to help you, make sure to let them know you appreciate their efforts every day. It’s easy to get caught up and forget how hard they’re working and how much they may be sacrificing, and it is your first project, so they’re probably not making much money. And if you treat them with respect, then perhaps the project you’re working on with them will turn out to be the first of many.
Take it from us as veteran NY and NJ film and video production pros, ongoing relationships in this business will only lead to better results over time, and to learn more about what to keep in mind when seeking help with a film or video project from a business standpoint, check out this post, 5 Tips to Find the Best Video Production Company For Your Business.
3. Stay open to constructive criticism.
Possibly the mistake first-time film and video makers make most often is closing themselves off to all criticism, including the good kind, which rarely yields successful results.
No one’s saying you need to ignore or avoid your instincts simply because someone else has a different idea, but just that you need to be willing to consider other ideas and stay mindful of the fact that this is your first project.
If you’ve done a good job of surrounding yourself with the right people, then you should be able to trust their experience and what they have to say. Remember, film and video is a highly collaborative process.
When the writer completes the script, it doesn’t go straight to the intended audience, it goes to a director to serve as a blueprint for another process, and after that process is complete, the project goes through yet another process with the editor(s).
So, no matter what kind of film or video you’re trying to make, it won’t just be you telling the story in the end, which is why you have to trust that you have the right people around you, and to be willing to listen to what they have to say and make adjustments that will ultimately serve the project best.
Every film or video maker was a first-timer once.
First-time film and video makers need to be willing to adjust and adapt on the fly, but perhaps the most important thing to remember as a novice is to let the story guide the project rather than letting logistics guide the story.
Now, there’s plenty more that film and video production rookies need to be mindful of on their maiden voyage into the process. So, when starting out, just try to remember that there are a ton of moving parts and even the most savvy industry veterans are still confronted with the same or similar issues to the ones they dealt with as beginners.
You’re not alone and as long as you give the necessary time and thought to every aspect of the process, find the right people and treat them well, and stay open to criticism and new ideas, then you’re off to a good start.
To learn more about being a first-time film or video maker, check out the latest episode of Kvibe TV as our founder and Walt Before Mickey director, Khoa Le, along with head editor, Lauren Young, discuss their experiences working on their first full-length feature film.
About KVibe Productions: A full-service film & video production company in NJ / NY, KVibe can handle every aspect of the production process. Whether it’s a corporate video production, a commercial, a feature film, etc., KVibe creates to inspire.