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Career as a Film Maker

Who is a film maker?

A filmmaker, or film director, is someone who is in charge of making, leading, and developing movie productions. It is a career that allows an individual to use their leadership as well as creative thinking skills to lead and direct major motion pictures or made-for-television films.

A filmmaker spends very long hours making sure the film is being shot in a way that will provide entertainment for the audience and will highlight the actors and actresses' strengths. They will see each film through, from where the film is shot, to how the script will be played out, to what actors and actresses best fit the roles of the characters. The filmmaker also manages the financial end of the production.

What does a filmmaker do?

A filmmaker is in charge of deciding what aspects of an actor or actresses' portrayal of the scene need to be altered from the script. They provide the creative flair and edge that sets the movie apart. Giving directions to the actors and actresses is very important because often, the filmmaker is responsible for the tone that the movie takes.

Not only is the film director in charge of the actors and actresses, he/she also plays a role in the technical direction of the movie. Filmmakers work with the behind-the-scenes lighting and filming crew to ensure that the shots taken are of the highest quality and provide the most dramatic backdrop.

Being able to lead a large group of actors and actresses, as well as background staff, is definitely a very challenging aspect of the job. There is a huge amount of responsibility and stress placed on the filmmaker to make the production successful.

Work place of filmmaker

On the job, many filmmakers put in long hours that extend beyond the eight-hour typical work day. They travel often and must be prepared to work on weekends or alter filming plans based on the weather or locale.

Many new filmmakers are unsure of whether or not there will be jobs available once they complete their coursework. Sometimes, there are opportunities to find work through contracts negotiated locally with filming companies that might be staging small productions or commercial shoots. This is a great way to gain a foot in the door and start building a resume. For filmmakers, a resume is an extremely important part of the job.

Many film directors will find themselves working extremely long hours over very short length films or TV shows just to perfect the work they have created. It really is a self-motivating job in that your production will be a true reflection on how much effort you put into the filming. If the film turns out to be a success, another company might hire you on, or you could move into a larger contractual position. However, if the film is a flop or the TV show becomes unpopular due to lack of creativity, it may be much harder to find a job.


Beginning your journey toward becoming a filmmaker is simple; building the skills necessary to make a successful break into the film industry takes much more time and commitment. While everyone will need different skill sets based on the position they’d like to have on set, for filmmakers, there are several skills that everyone – from directors to editors – must have. By fostering these 5 skills every filmmaker needs to succeed, you’ll be able to play a vital role in making films, no matter what that role may be.


One of the ways you can ensure you’re always wanted is to make yourself invaluable. As a filmmaker, that means having the technical experience required to do the job right and do it well. While you don’t have to be an expert on every element of filmmaking, it’s important to at least know what a good shot looks like and how to achieve it, including framing, staging, lighting, and the actual technology that should be used. As long as you know what you should be doing, you’ll have an easy time learning how to do it – especially when you’re learning by doing!

As a filmmaker, having some technical understanding of every piece of the filmmaking process is imperative; this includes camerawork, lighting, sound, special effects, design, post-production processes, and more. All of this is nearly impossible to learn on your own, but with the right resources and enough hands-on experience, you can prepare yourself for all of the technical aspects of filmmaking.


It’s impossible to make films without creativity, and you can’t claim to be a creative filmmaker if you haven’t invested your time in understanding the range of filmmaking specialties. As a filmmaker, whether you’re hoping to work as a director, producer, post-production coordinator, or otherwise, you need the creative talent to be able to visualize the production of a film. From start to finish, filmmaking requires vision from everyone involved in the process – everyone feeds into and off of the ideas for a film, and no matter what you hope to be specializing in as a filmmaker, you should be prepared to contribute to the creation of a film in any way that’s needed; that includes working in positions that may not be your dream job but still require you to use your creativity to contribute to a film as a whole. If you’re both creative and flexible, you can always find a way to contribute as a filmmaker, whether you’re just starting out, or you’re running the show.


Although filmmakers can spend hours, months, and even years physically making a film, there’s no way to make a film – or at least a successful film – without the skills needed for both visual and written storytelling. Although not everyone is a creative genius and not everyone will be able to write the best scripts and create the best storyboards, everyone can foster the skills needed to understand, draft, evaluate and analyze stories, including written scripts and wordless visual stories. Even if you’ll have no role in writing a script or creating the artistic visuals, as a filmmaker, you will need to understand the story you’re trying to portray so that you can create a film whose story is portrayed well throughout every element of production. If you’re working as a cinematographer, producer, director, or otherwise, you simply can’t be successful if you aren’t always aware of how the decisions you make affect the story – and vice versa.


Whatever role you play as a filmmaker, you must be able to be responsible for every task your position requires, and you should be able to contribute to the work of others by understanding how your work affects and is affected by the work of everyone around you. That means that whether you’re leading production, directing, working behind the cameras, or otherwise, you’re acting as an effective leader whenever necessary – and in any way necessary.

Filmmaking is not simple; you’ll run into problems that you don’t know how to solve, have dilemmas that complicate your vision, or encounter obstacles that will require you to make difficult decisions before moving forward. When this happens, you’ll need to have quick and decisive problem-solving skills to avoid delays in production and ensure deadlines are met. Without the ability to decisively lead, even a filmmaker with creative vision and technical expertise could suffer under the difficulties of filmmaking.


In any industry and any position, communication is key. But when you’re a filmmaker working on set with countless other crew and cast members, good communication skills are absolutely necessary. Without the ability to effectively communicate, you’ll find that no amount of experience or filmmaking expertise can help you bring a vision to life and effectively communicate a story. You’ll be working with directors, producers, cinematographers, screenwriters, editors and other filmmaking experts who each need to have a solid understanding of their roles in a film, their individual instructions, a film’s creative vision, how the work of one team will affect that of another, and more. The only way to be sure everyone is on the same page on and off set is to make sure you’re communicating effectively at all times, whether you’re explaining your own artistic vision, or you’re clarifying your role in creating a film.

To foster each of these skills, you’ll need more than an insatiable desire to make films; you’ll need up-close and personal experience working on your trade. Whether you’re interested in traditional or digital filmmaking, you can gain the experience you need to thrive with the Los Angeles Film School. Through our filmmaking programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Film Production, an Associate of Science in Film, and a Bachelor of Science in Digital Filmmaking, you’ll work every day toward finding success in the film industry by nurturing these five filmmaking skills.

Work activities of a film maker


Filmmakers can get a script in a variety of ways. They can write one themselves based on an original idea, purchase one from a screenwriter, commission a writer to flesh out an idea, or use whatever tools are necessary to create an adaptation of another product, such as a book or play. Regardless of how they get the script, filmmakers decide on how to best convey a story or idea to a mass audience through the film medium.


Using the script and the basic ideas for the movie, filmmakers must come up with an estimated budget for the film. They need to be able to assess what it will take to turn the script into a movie, which can mean everything from renting equipment and studio space to paying actors and crews. When they have a detailed idea of the budget, they can look for financial backing from others or tap into their own coffers for the funding. Filmmakers ultimately are accountable to the entities that provide the funding.


Once the budget is in place, filmmakers go about the process of assembling everything they need, starting with the cast. Filmmakers put out ads or contact actors, hold auditions and ultimately decide who gets to play what role. They work closely with these actors throughout the making of the movie, giving them guidance on playing their roles.


It is also necessary to assemble the rest of the crew. Filmmakers are responsible for hiring a camera crew, makeup artists, choreographers, stunt people, editors, film scorers and anyone else needed in the process of making the film. The crew, like the cast, is under the direct supervision of the filmmaker.


During pre-production, filmmakers coordinate with all the other relevant parties to make sure that everything is in order for shooting. Shooting locations are selected, rehearsals are held, props are purchased, and the shooting schedule is established. The purpose of this stage is to prepare as thoroughly as possible for the actual shooting of the movie.


The production phase is when the film is actually shot. Filmmakers closely oversee this process, coaching the actors and the crew and making sure that everything is done according to budget, schedule and the intended style of the film. During production, filmmakers actively manage the set, ensuring that the shots are taken properly.


In post-production, filmmakers oversee the process of editing the raw footage into a coherent whole. The film gets touched up here in many ways, such as visual editing and the addition of music and other effects. The filmmakers essentially manage the technical crew during this stage and work with them to create the desired finished product.


Filmmakers also are responsible for managing the release of the finished product. Sometimes screenings will be held for limited audiences. It is the job of filmmakers to coordinate advertising and public relations for the movie, set a release date and establish a screening schedule once the film is released to the general public.

Filmmaking styles

1. Filmmaking style. It’s not about repeating content.

If you are looking to develop as a director who gets offered lots of different paid work then mix up the content: shorts, corporate, music videos, webisodes, the cinematic sequences in a computer game…whatever.

Don’t stick to short films about ‘boy meets girl’, spread yourself across the different types of content a filmmaker can produce. Show that your talent and your filmmaking style is multifaceted and diverse – it’s a very employable quality.

2. Filmmaking style. Try and connect your output toward a human response, building your work around it.

This is hypothetical but could be for anything…

“Every-time I watch this person’s work I feel a massive sense of isolation, in everything they do. They really capture what it means to feel alone in the world. Which is why I think this film director is perfect for directing this next……”

Some which instantly spring to mind:-

The next Radiohead Music Video.

A ‘One-man vs Zombies’ Computer Game.

A Horror Feature Film set in an abandoned cottage on Dartmoor.

A Land Rover advert located on the moon.

A silly and extreme example, it’s Christmas, but one which clearly demonstrates what I mean.

We have filmmakers on the Lift-Off network today, whom their work would suggest that they need to emphasize a certain feeling more over others. It’s usually because they do it better than anyone else, we’ve seen. They are two, maybe three projects away from having a portfolio with strong enough content to be able to go out there and make a living from doing what they love to do — they’re on the right path and we’re helping them all we can.

If you can be clever enough to evoke a similar emotional response in all of your work, through your filmmaking style, which either highlights a positive or negative feeling among your audience then you are on the right track to building a quality portfolio for yourself and a clear and sellable filmmaking style.

3. Filmmaking style. Visualize your future pitches.

Nowadays most artistic-based jobs are won at the pitching stage. Film, sculpture, architecture, art-commissioning, everything…

Seriously take a second to imagine what your pitch would be like for the work you want to do. The greater the visualization, the clearer your understanding of your capabilities, and the more effective you’ll be in engaging with current projects geared toward manufacturing that moment in your not too distant future, where you are selling your own, most treasured, filmmaking style for the big bucks.

The most determined people on this earth have a moment at some point in their journey where they decide to take stock, and change direction – resulting in the upgrade from working hard, to working smart. For many, this comes directly from the point they visualize the above moment. Not the Academy Award acceptance speech, or the colour of the ink in the signature of the million-dollar record deal. It is inside the moment where they visualize what they need to be, as an outputting creative source, which will be unique enough and capable enough to get every-single-project they plan/want to undertake – which will be done on time, on budget and in the most artistic way possible.

By visualizing how you want to pitch, seeing the development of your filmmaking style, realizing what you feel stands you apart from others — you may look at what you have now, and plan your future projects to enable you to be that person then.

4. Filmmaking style. Work with different people.

A unique selling point is the professional who can slot into any team at any point and still deliver the visualized/imagined response for the client. The client might be a producer, a band, a company, whatever, they are all still people, people with expectations and limitations.

Like your crew. Like any crew.

Using the same crew on every project seems an obvious way to go. You have the team atmosphere and the personality management down, but it can also be limiting.

A professional who can use any crew and get the same result, produce the same filmmaking style, is always desired over others. There might be budget restrictions, calendar and geography issues – anything like that.

What we find impressive is when a director submits two separate films they’ve directed over a period of time, but where the cinematographer is different, yet the filmmaking style and the creative brand of both films are the same.

Remember, your brand isn’t the “cinematographers-look”, it’s your artistic depth and delivery. Pretty pictures are easy to achieve, a linear narrative told through expert emotional sharing and execution of immense storytelling – isn’t.

5. Filmmaking style. Look for work to do today, that will help you on the journey tomorrow.

Music videos are made in their thousands all over the world each year. A filmmaker with an impressive collection of narrative-based music videos have easily identifiable talent.

If you’re a filmmaker and you want to get paid to direct films, start by building your content, and brand with three or four sexy music videos.

Finding that sort of work is easy. SoundCloud has tons of artists listed, the entire communication and delivery can be done from email, which gives this sort of opportunity a global reach. You may have to do a couple for nothing, or you could land on your feet and be given a budget.

Frequently asked questions

1.“What advice would you give to a first time for maker?”

I don't think of newbie filmmakers as “startups” or any other kind of business mostly because newbie films nearly always lose money. This is not normally the model to base a business on.

If I'm wrong and you really do want to make a business out of making films then you're starting with the wrong approach. Start by learning all the skills of filmmaking first, learn the ropes, pay your dues. Until you do you have no idea what you're getting into. I would give the same advice to someone asking about starting a restaurant - don't do it until you know what's involved.

OK, so the advice is as follows:

· Don't start a business until you understand that business. This goes double with filmmaking.

· Learn all the skills of filmmaking, even if you learn some of them a little and others a lot.

· Find people to work with that can augment the areas where you are weak. Remember filmmaking is a team effort.

· Cameras are important, but they aren't everything. Don't obsess about camera megapixels and f-stops when what matters is what happens in front of it. Work with your Cinematographer and pick the appropriate camera and lenses for both the film and the budget.

· Don't buy when you can rent.

· Learn accounting. The more of your money you control yourself the less likely you will be taken for a ride.

· Nothing makes your film feel cheaper than poor lighting and audio.

· Doing your homework in preproduction will save your ass in production and post. This includes getting all of your department heads (Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Gaffer, Casting, Transportation, Post Supervisor, etc.) involved as early as possible. The last thing you want, for example, is your Post Super telling you your footage is unusable and needs to be reshot.

· Remember you will be bad at this at first. You will make mistakes. Prepare to try again, try harder and do better.

· Running a production is like running any other organization - it takes leadership, vision and money and will involve a lot of compromise. YOU should be supplying all of that, and if not directly supplying, at least a conduit for it. You are the Producer, and you will be acquiring all the funds, either writing or securing the script, and either hiring or acting as the Director. You might also step in as any of the other leadership posts, especially Cinematographer, Gaffer and Post Super. The compromise comes into play whenever you have to hire someone to fill a leadership role you can’t do or they can do better (see Rule #2). This is not a bad thing; it is a good thing. You don’t want to wear too many hats as that takes you away from supplying the vision necessary to drive this ship forward (see Rule #3). Plus, they’re likely to do a better job than you in many cases (see Rule #7). Lean on your crew and trust them to do right by you and the project. If they fail you, use your leadership skills to inspire them, lead them, redirect them, and if necessary, replace them (see Rule #9).

2.What is the best beginner filmmaking book every filmmaker should read?

1.Syd field books on screen writing

When I first read these books I really very confident that I can write a script , it is both technical and have lots of insight on how to write characters and how certain scenes should be written

2. In the blink of an eye on editing

best book on editing which is very straight forward .Actually this book is not about the technical settings of a particular software but this book is about the psychology about editor . It shows both editor perspective and audience perspective how certain scene operates .Per example he says when you are in a film theater observe how many people are blinking at same time for a certain scene .If most of the people are blinking at same time means editor succeeded with bringing audience to the scene and feeling their emotion.

3.making movies - Sidney Lumet

This book is a must read for wannabe directors as it deals with all crafts. Every craft is explained with real time examples on sets with simple terms

4.Film directing shot by shot by Steve Katz

This book is part of many seminars in film schools as a graduation study. Discusses on all various shots and when to use which type of shots, blocking film scenes etc.

5.From reel to deal

this book is must to know the practical experience of this cut throat industry ,as many people won’t aware the business prospects and on set real time experiences it is a must read and it also deals with most of the crafts on filmmaking. I read it and lots of nice info

If you want to go advanced level

Story by Robert

5c’s of cinematography

The writer’s journey

Master shots series

David Bordwell books

3.What are the best film making college in India

There are many good film making schools in India at different cities. So, we need to contrive our search and focus on which city are we looking for then we can get the best results.

Some of the good film making schools in India are:

- Kolkata

Film and Television Institute of India - Pune

LV Prasad Film and Tv Academy - Chennai

National Institute of Film and Fine Arts - Kolkata

Digital Academy, The Film School - Mumbai


Film making courses include bachelor’s in film making, diploma in film making as well as certification and diploma courses in directing, producing or screenwriting. If you have no previous experience with film making, you can go for a bachelor’s in film making which will cover everything from the basics of cinematography to the intricacies of storytelling.

If you already know what area of film making you want to specialize in (cinematography, acting, soundtrack composition) you can find a short-term course focusing on that area.

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