I was watching some interviews on the web from Steve Weiss, Vincent Laforet, and others on the web and it seems that every interview, they all have something to say about certain “filmmakers”. In my opinion, yes, anyone can become a filmmaker, but I think those who try to do it “professionally” should take responsibility. Just because you bought a camera, a few lenses, tripod, and etc, does not mean you are a Director of Photography / Cinematographer. You have to do your homework and understand how photography works. You have to understand what certain filters do, why we use shutter speeds of 1/50 for at 23.976 fps (the 180 rule), and color temperature.
What happens is that, those ignorants charge far less than the professionals and takes the job away from those who are qualified to do the work “professionally”. Yes, I can understand a filmmaker on a budget. Yes I can understand some DP’s may “overprice” themselves. But those who just jumped right in, didn’t do their homework, and think they can make any money from it got it all wrong. If you don’t know how to give texture to an HD footage, or achieve a certain look that the director wants, then that’s not the job for you. It just means that you need to do more homework and practice more.
As a Director / Producer / Writer / Cinematographer, I’ve put in thousands of hours worth of studying and work and I still feel I’m not quite there yet to the high end pros. But I know I am much better than I was a year ago in filmmaking. Yes, winning awards help with encouragement, but it doesn’t stop me from becoming even better and challenging myself.
If you want to be good at something, you better put the time and practice and invest into it. If I hire someone and I’m doing the job of the cinematographer, I can bet you that he/she will not be on my set the next time around if the price was unreasonable.
Anyways, that was just my thoughts of what I think when someone ask the question, “Can anyone become a filmmaker?”.
It’s hard enough to get a script done, rather to get a good “concept” done. Now that you have a script all completed, what’s next? Pre-production to make the film? Say you got the money to make the film. What will you do after that? Are you going to sell it? Submit to film festivals and hope they play it? And then once they play it? What’s next?
My point is that just like life, you need to plan your projects. Buying expensive equipment without knowing what you’re going to do with it besides the understanding that you are going to “try” to make a movie is not logical thinking at all. It just means you dream to become one without the hard work involved. Many filmmakers are like that, more so just overall entertainers, and at the end of the day lose out on time and money.
Having a successful project is a simple concept. Make the film, sell the film, make lots of money, and win awards. How to get to that point is the challenge!
I’ve been in entertainment for over 10 years and I’ve met very very successful people. They all have similar stories of how they made their dreams come true. They worked hard and were extremely strategic with their plans. They all say to me and this is what I’ve always known since I was a kid….”if you have something valuable that others want, then you will have a successful project.”
Interpret it however you like, but if you as a person holds no value in a particular profession, nobody will want to hire you. So with film, if you don’t have a valuable product, nobody will want to buy it. So plan carefully and ensure that your projects hold value and you know how to sell it once it’s completed.