Of Humble Beginnings…
“I want to blow…if only I can find someone to help me… “It’s as if the more I try, the harder it becomes” Acting is the only profitable thing in the film industry” “I want to be the most popular person in Nollywood”
The quest for fame has taken over the desire to acquire enviable substance in the form of skills. You may wonder why this is the status quo, the reason is not farfetched – money, popularity, and respect!
Most people especially the budding generation of young adults venture on some career path without personal interest. When closely examined, you’ll discover that this interest is usually spun out of the desire to earn social proof that validates them in society.
The truth is, skill is learned. It is the reward for learning and learning in itself is no easy task, it demands effort, time, interest, sacrifice, humility, and an end goal in mind. The determinant for your result will be dependent on your motivation i.e what do you intend to do with the knowledge you get and the skill you learn? Why did you decide you have/want to learn the said skill or acquire the knowledge in question?
If you find yourself picking interest in the art of filmmaking, you should do the following to make your new career interest easy and approachable.
HOW TO APPROACH ANY CAREER IN FILMMAKING
- Be Curious: Curiosity they say kills the cat but in all honesty, it only makes the cat smarter. Seek to know about the career path you’ve chosen, be curious about what goes on behind the scene, what happens before the behind the scene, the processes of filmmaking; pre-production, production and post-production. Follow filmmakers that inspire you on social media, understudy them with all the available information you can get, ask yourself a bunch of questions about why you want to be in this career path, what value you can offer and what you enjoy or like about it. Write these things down and begin to find answers to them.
- Be Inspired, Stay Inspired: While you do number one, an undeniable desire to achieve your goal will engulf you, it’ll become more than just a desire to you, it’ll become a mission. The energy that will keep you going in your journey will be drawn from here. Don’t get comfortable with what you already know, plunge deeper to know more. Don’t follow the crowd, because everyone says it gives the impression that acting is the most profitable art in filmmaking doesn’t mean it is true, there are tons of arts in filmmaking, find the one that piques your interest and go for it!
- Educate Yourself: Start with YouTube videos and free film content you can find on the internet. Familiarize yourself with filmmaking afterwards, enroll in a film school. By the time you enroll, if you have followed through with Steps 1 and 2, you’ll already know what your interest is and go for it without fear and uncertainty. Be it directing or scriptwriting, editing or set design, you’ll be sure of what you want and be willing to put in the work.
- Create Value: With what you’ve learned, consistently practice and test your knowledge. Challenge yourself to do what seems difficult, know your limits and stretch them.
- Network: Attend filmmakers events. Attend with the mind to learn, attend with humility, when you meet your faves, engage them in meaningful conversations, don’t just ask for an autograph,value their time and talk to them. Steps 1-4 would have had you loaded with knowledge for this moment and if you can hold your own, who knows, you might end up catching the eye of your fave.
- Work your way to learning real time on set, as an intern, an assistant, as a volunteer, as anything you can work as, in the capacity of the art of filmmaking you’ve chosen. Learn, unlearn and relearn as you go, kill pride and always be ready to learn.
- Finally, water yourself. Don’t go redundant, keep up with Step 6 and in good time, you’ll find yourself fulfilling those dreams you have about being a filmmaker. Mind you, if your primary motive for choosing this career path is fame, best believe you’ll most likely not get what you want and when you eventually do, you’ll struggle to be relevant and get involved in unethical behaviors in your workplace.
One thing these steps for sure establish is that filmmaking is no child’s play and it is not magic. It takes dedication, focus, grit, a purpose-driven mind and a heart of service. If you don’t have any of these, first work on yourself before pursuing a career in filmmaking.
As you step up and out to chase your dreams, may the odds be in your favor.
See you at the top.