Lancie logo
ExploreJob BoardBlog

Six tips for building a successful filmmaking career

by Alexandra Karadzhova

Aug 22, 2022

In this article, I want to share with you some tips that have helped me develop a successful film production company in the last 6 months.

A lot of beginner filmmakers tend to give up even before their career has started as they are unable to sustain their business mainly because they can’t find clients. Putting your name out there in an industry so competitive can be a bit harder, but not impossible. In this article, I want to share with you some tips that have helped me develop a successful film production company in the last 6 months. It doesn’t matter if you’re a freelance filmmaker; a content creator or want to start a company from scratch, I believe you’ll find some valuable information that will help you propel your career in the long run.

1. Mindset

Having the right mindset when stepping into this industry is key. Even if you’ve been working for a while now and stress has taken over, always remind yourself what your core values are and why you started in the first place - when it wasn’t a job yet. Don’t allow your work to consume you, find a safe haven - an activity; a place; a distraction from everything else that will keep you grounded. Know that you control your thoughts and not vice versa. If you come from a place of peace when it will reflect in your work by making it deeper and more connected.

2. Passion projects/spec work

I really can’t stress this enough. As artists, we often start creating something because of the passion burning inside us. It can be a passion for telling stories or capturing a certain vision we have in our heads. So put everything else aside - clients, money, stress, deadlines; and think about the ideas inside your head that you want to make happen. Find some friends, get them excited, and create. It’s that simple and I know time is never enough, but if executed correctly passion projects have the power of becoming the most valuable and important pieces that will get you work and recognition. 

3. Don’t buy all the new gear

A lot of creatives out there start buying all the new gear that comes out even if it won’t up to their production quality by a lot. I know it can be tempting to see all of those video reviews of your favorite YouTubers that are saying how amazing your videos are going to be if you buy all of this stuff. - Don’t! Stop watching that, take a step back and ask yourself: Is the camera that you have right now good enough to create the type of work that you’re doing?; If you invest a couple of thousand dollars into new gear right now, how long will it take you to earn that same amount back? From there how long will it take you to be making a profit?; See what I mean here? I know that every project requires some new gadget or a specific camera setting that you don’t have, but that’s why rental shops exist. My point is – to get a decent camera that does the job and from there on focus solely on your vision and ideas. My best decision while running a production company was working with a crew of talented people to help me bring my ideas to life and not buying a new camera and sitting by myself with it. This brings me to my next point.

4. Outsourcing

Making films is a collaborative effort. Think about all the credits you see after watching a brand new feature film. Minutes go by until those end credits are over. I know it’s not the same, but in parts it actually is. It’s very helpful to understand the whole process and to have the skills to do everything from start to finish, but if you start hiring people for every individual aspect of the production and you focus on the directing part, for example, you’ll see much much greater results. If you have tighter budgets, collaborate with other creatives who like you are just starting, but they must be focused on different niches than yours. For example, if you’re filming, work with a beginner grip who will ensure that your lighting is on point. 

5. Networking

When you work with different people on your projects, you’ll slowly start building a list of talented people whom you can trust. This list is going to be your “guiding light”. At some point, you’ll realize that the people made it count. As you grow in the industry don’t be afraid to approach some of the bigger names there. If you feel like you can add some adequate value to what they are doing - go for it. Having the right contacts in your arsenal will open doors you never thought possible.

6. Enjoy the process

Last but not least don’t forget to enjoy the process. It can be tempting to dream of success, but if you actually want to get there, be ready to put in a lot of hard work. Be patient as it takes some time, usually more than you might have accounted for. Be kind to the people you work with, while also knowing when to set boundaries. You’ll make new friends, you’ll lose some old ones; you’ll learn whom you can trust. In the end that’s part of life - keep going and make it count.

Lancie logo

Contact Us

We’re working hard to make Lancie as good as possible for you. If you have any questions or feedback, we’re happy to help. Just get in touch and we’ll quickly come back to you.

© 2022 Lancie. All rights reserved.