May 8, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

Lights, camera, action!

Hitchcock, Spielberg, Scorsese, Kubrick, Lucas. Coppola, Denis, DuVernay, Campion.

Want to see your name among these famous filmmakers?

You need to be a standout. You need vision. You need flair. You need an edge.

How do you do it?

You write a lot.

You sacrifice a lot.

You stick with it.

Let’s take a closer look at four ways to make your mark as a filmmaker.

1.  With a company unrelated to film

Want to get into film and make an impact? Work for a company that has nothing to do with it.

TeenVogue recently ran an article that highlighted internships for creative types. They profiled a cycling company looking for an amateur videographer looking to learn the art of storytelling—by filming a cycling event.

The application? A video bio. Do well in a project like this and stick a feather in our cap—and add a great experience to your resume.

Where else should you look? Travel agencies. Marketing companies.

Internships like that—those looking for amateur videographers—that have nothing ostensibly to do with film are perfect places to begin your journey to filmmaker.

Titanic director James Cameron said he watched a lot of movies, studied physics, read and traveled a lot for his preparation.

2. With an international movie festival

Make a movie and show it abroad. France, the birthplace of film, offers a great place to start. Intern in France, check out the Cannes Film Festival and get yourself known by the big production companies like EuropaCorp, Gaumont, and Pathé.

Mexico is a great choice too. Home to Latin America’s Guadalajara International Film Festival, you can carve out a name for yourself and shine. Mexico also boasts innumerable local film societies and production companies.

Italy, a country with the most Academy Awards, isn’t a bad place to intern either. The Venice International Film Festival is a must, as is just hanging out at local production studios.

South Korea also boasts a blossoming domestic film industry. In fact, many South. Korean films draw international attention and international production companies acquire them for remakes. The Busan International Film Festival is a great place to look.

Ever see Lord of the Rings? New Zealand is an incredibly popular destination for filmmakers. With its dramatic scenery, New Zealand boasts a small but vibrant film scene—and a growing desire among producers and directors to work there. Check out the New Zealand International Film Festival for ideas.

3. With a production company

Interning with a production company at any level is another great way to get some experience. Project Casting’s website offers resources for spring internships around the country.

Work your connections on LinkedIn and don’t be afraid to ask for introductions.

Working for a production company can be intimidating, but there’s no need to get worked up.

Check out the big ones, too: Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, and Dreamworks all offer internships—they’re competitive, but if you can compete, go for it!

4.  With a foundation

Getting some experience in the film world by doing foundation work.

While competitive, foundation internships offer you the best of all worlds: film experience and a taste of the nonprofit world.

Think about it: the film industry has a lot of money and supports many causes. Understanding how this dynamic works—and your role in it as a filmmaker will not only prepare you for making films, but for navigating a complex industry.

Looking for other ways to make your mark in the film world? Apply to work as a set production assistant, office production assistant, a grip, a script supervisor, or any other “assistant” roles. You can often find these small, paying positions for the summer at local production studios and learn the nitty-gritty of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into filmmaking

Learn more about film studies.

 

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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