A cool camera and talent is a good start, but if you really want to take your filmmaking career to another level you’ll need a few other things.
When you first start out in filmmaking, the skills that you decide to hone first are—what—the essentials: how to shoot a film, how to use different pieces of gear, how to edit, and hopefully how to write a decent story. The skills you’ll need beyond that point are things you typically don’t know about until you’ve experienced years and years of mistakes and failure. In hopes of helping you avoid countless missed opportunities and a lifetime of regret, Darious Britt of D4Darious lists eight essential skills you’ll want to develop if you want to have a successful filmmaking career.
The world is a big, beautiful place that is full of opportunities to discover, grow, and completely crash and burn until you’re a heaping pile of ash and broken dreams. This is why it’s nice when those who have experienced the pang of failure, or at least narrowly escaped it, share with you want to expect and what to avoid while on your journey.
Quickly, here are the eight skills Britt mentions in the video:
- Business savvy
- Know how to learn
- Story analysis
- Film grammar
- Critical thinking
- Talent and hustle
Britt’s list touches on many different aspects of a filmmaking career, including dealing with the realities of breaking into the industry, having some sense when it comes to selling your ideas, and how your level of success and failure often depends on how hard you hustle. These are the things you may not learn by going to film school, reading a text book, or watching a ton of great movies. This kind of advice that comes from filmmakers who have hit the pavement and gone home with fewer wins than they thought they would and more losses than they might like to admit.
Which leads me to the most important skill you’ll need as a filmmaker—one that wasn’t on the list—and that’s tenacity. You’re going to fail. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to get told “no” a billion times, but don’t let let self-doubt creep in and tell you to give up. Because you’ll absolutely want to give up. But don’t. Keep at it. Stick to the script; keep making movies, learn from your mistakes, and give yourself room to grow.