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How to Become a Film Maker Without a University Degree

Who is a Film Maker?

A filmmaker, or a film director, is someone who has the responsibility of producing, managing, and creating movie productions. It is a profession that requires a person to use his or her leadership as well as innovative thinking abilities to guide and direct big motion pictures or made-for-television films.

What Filmmakers Do

A film maker or director spends many long hours, making sure that the movie is filmed in a manner that can thrill the viewer and showcase the talents of actors and actresses. They can see the video, from when the video is shot, how the screenplay should be handled, what actors and actresses better suit the roles of the characters. The filmmaker also handles the financial aspect of the production process.

If you’re dreaming of being a filmmaker, you’re possibly curious about what the artist is doing. The filmmaker is responsible for determining which elements of an actor or actress’s depiction of the scene ought to be changed from the script. They have the artistic spark and the edge that distinguishes the picture. It is also necessary to offer guidance to actors and actresses, and sometimes the director is responsible for the mood that the film takes.

Getting Skilled in Film Making – what it entails

Beginning your path towards being a filmmaker is simple; developing the skills required to make a suitable break in the film business involves a lot of time and effort. While everyone might need different skill sets depending on the position they would like to have on the game, for filmmakers, there are several skills that everyone–from directors to editors–should have.

To produce top-notch motion pictures individual skills are required; below are what they entail;

  • Technical knowledge

For a director, it is important to get a technical understanding of every aspect of the filming process, including camera function, lighting, music, special effects, architecture, post-production methods, and more.

  • You must be flexible enough for creativity

It’s hard to produce films without creativity, so you can’t pretend to be a creative filmmaker if you haven’t invested your time knowing the spectrum of filmmaking areas of expertise.

  • Must be able to write and visual storytelling

Though filmmakers will invest hours, months, even years physically producing a film, there is no way to create a movie–or at least a good movie–without the expertise required for both visual even written storytelling.

  • Being decisive and problem-solving leadership

Whichever position you perform as a filmmaker, you would have to be willing to be accountable for any project that your position demands, and you should be able to relate to the work of others by knowing how your work influences and affects the work of those around you.

  • Ability to communicate

Communication is essential to every industry and position. But when you’re a director working on location alongside numerous other teams and cast members, strong communication skills are utterly necessary.

Here is Why You Can Become a Film Maker Without a University Degree

Going to school to earn a university degree so that you can become a filmmaker is entirely a choice anyone who wishes to pursue this career makes. There are many top filmmakers today who have a university degree. Meanwhile, there are even many more filmmakers who have gone on to make a name for themselves without a university degree.

So will a university degree make you a successful filmmaker? Well, it’s an argument that results can make futile. Let’s examine below ten reasons why you can become a filmmaker without a university degree;

  • Going to school for a degree is quite expensive, and it has never been easier to make a movie
  • So many top filmmakers today did not have a university degree, filmmakers like; Robert Rodriquez, Quentin Tarantino, Richard Linklater, Steven Soderbergh, and Paul Thomas Anderson.
  • You do not require any access to expensive celluloid equipment
  • Every movie and book you need for filmmaking knowledge is already at your fingertips
  • A film degree is entirely option
  • Not everyone learns their best in a formal classroom
  • The experience, lessons, and answers you require to become a professional filmmaker can easily be found on forums, DVD special features, and websites
  • Opportunity to be a part of an online network
  • You will probably make it
  • The most instructive school is the school of hard knocks that takes place in the streets

If these reasons helped to prevent you from going to film school, awesome! However, if after reading these reasons, you somehow still feel the need to attend a film school, excellent too! You must understand that there is no reasonable answer that appeals to everyone.

Ten Necessary Steps to Become a Film Maker Without a University Degree

 The following are essential steps to take if you have chosen to become a professional filmmaker with ever going for a university degree

  1. Read Books

For a lot of people, they may not have picked up a book for years. It could be that the last book they read was Harry Potter. However, if you are going to be a pro filmmaker, it’s time to start reading some books on filmmaking. And there are a ton of them out there. Books like Mastershots and the filmmakers’ Handbook.

  1. YouTube

There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of fantastic channels on filmmaking that dive into the video, audio editing, color grading, and visual effects. There are great channels for aspiring cinematographers, channels like the BuffNerd, Crimson Engine, and Luke seerveld channel called the film Look.

  1. Practice! Practice!! Practice!!! (Start making those videos)

You ought to get out there and start practicing your craft. The best way to learn something is to get out there and do it because you’re going to learn what works and what doesn’t work, especially when you get back to the edit, you should also try to get on set with people that are better than you.

  1. Listen to Podcasts

It’s a good chance that you can be listening to podcasts commuting to work back and forth every single day. One podcast you can subscribe to right now is the Go Creative Show. They have so many great cinematographers and directors, production designers, all different types of people in the film industry, and they’re just freely giving away their knowledge.

  1. Study Filmmakers’ Websites

There are great websites out there that just don’t talk about filmmaking but teach it. Some fantastic ones are like the nofilmschool, videomaker, FILM-MAKER IQ, Video CoPilot, Cinema 5 D. There are tons and tons of web sets like this.

  1. Social Media

Believe it or not, you actually can learn something from Instagram and Facebook. Most of the great filmmakers, DPD and directors, and other people in the industry are on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and they’re posting behind the scenes shot, how-tos’ and a lot of excellent content on there.

  1. BINGE( watch movies)

Take the time to watch the great classics and films from the directors and DP that you adore. But don’t just sit back with popcorn and relax and get too deep into it. You need to be analyzing, analyze everything.

  1. Attend Free Film-making Classes

What we mean by that is for you to look up your local community colleges and maybe just sign up for a semester of photography or a video class or visual effects or graphic design. A lot of times, they’re available to you at your local community, and they are cheaper than the university or film school.

  1. Workshops and Online Courses

There are other much better online courses that you can invest in, like a master class. They have so many fantastic, you know, A-list directors and cinematographers on it. Of course, there are so many other ones like Udemy Linda, dot com, Coursera, and Hurlbut Academy. There are so many ways to learn filmmaking without wasting thousands and thousands of dollars on film school.

  1. Read Film-making Magazines

you can subscribe to the American cinematographer. Also, we highly recommend it because they break down so many of the most popular movies in Hollywood right now, how they tell you, how they shot it, what cameras they use, the lenses, all their techniques, just a lot of really amazing in-depth things in that magazine.

Benefits of a Filmmaking Skill

When you want to develop your creativity, the benefits of filmmaking are enormous. Soft skills, such as teamwork and communication, are also produced in the process of filmmaking. The various roles on a film set are significant at targeting some specific skill sets. Let’s take directing, for example, and it is a brilliant skill for leadership and decision making while listening skill is developed when handling the camera.

Filmmaking is more like literacy, in many ways, it’s not possible to teach writing without reading, so make the utilization of film watching in tandem with filmmaking, as this will aid you in extending your film vocabulary and make them more adventurous.

When looking at adaptation, a combination of the two can bring about improvement in writing and decoding skills because of a deeper understanding of narrative from having to think visually.

Filmmaking skill is essential in such a way that it helps practitioners in improving their organizational and planning skills.

 Job Opportunities for a Film Maker

Entertainment and filmmaking are famously cutthroat industries, and the amount of competition for a comparatively few jobs in the sector could be a daunting task for individuals searching for a break in the filmmaking industry.

Here are nine different Job opportunities that are available for filmmakers worldwide:

S/NJob OpportunityMedian Salary
1Director$65, 000
2Producer$70, 000
3Set Designer$70, 000
4Director of Photography$65, 000
5Costume Designer$40, 000
6Prop Master$60, 000
7Makeup Artist$85, 000
8Movie Editor$45, 000
9Composer$70, 000

It is expected that this summary is useful as you contemplate your preferred path within the filmmaking industry. 

Truth is there’s no one ‘true’ path that can lead you to filmmaking success, but there are certainly a lot of best practices that can make the road a lot less bumpy. If you’re at the beginning of what might feel like an impossible journey, don’t be overwhelmed by all that, because there’s Plenty of budding filmmakers that have in time past stood in the same place and gone on to great heights.

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