Those Old Filmmaking Myths
The filmmaking myths that hold us back!
In filmmaking, our main job is to create stories and myths. But what about the myths that we perceive for ourselves and our careers? Today, I’d like to spend some time dispelling a series of old filmmaking myths. There are plenty. Most of these myths are promoted by film school programs and film festivals that are still operating in a pre video-on-demand (VOD) era.
Most of these filmmaking myths point to the outdated idea that your career as a “filmmaker” can only be valued if you have a major film festival accolade, win gold trophies or are acquired at a Hollywood level. Now surely those things wouldn’t hurt to have, but let me be very clear; you don’t need any of it to make your movies, or to find commercial success as a filmmaker. Let’s explore a few more of these old ways of thinking.
Here are some of the biggest filmmaking myths out there:
- Filmmakers need to move to Hollywood to make movies;
- You need a film festival accolade to get distribution;
- Getting into a major festival with your film is the only way to guarantee distribution;
- Movies always need movie stars and famous people if you want to sell your movies;
- To produce a quality product you need to spend a million dollars;
- Creatives can’t do things themselves. You need to hire seasoned professionals in every department;
- Film producers should only go union;
- Feature films are the only types of movies that sell commercially;
- Your movie needs a film distributor to distribute your film;
- Once you find a distributor your job is done. They will do everything else;
- Just make a great movie and you’ll be rich and famous;
How to separate the BS
With each of these filmmaking falsehoods, there are areas of some reality, which make it very difficult to separate the (BS) from what is actually helpful. Moreover, film festivals, trade unions, equipment companies, sales agents and film schools benefit from some of these myths. It is important to note that the movie business is absolutely no different than any other industrial business. It is about supply and demand, and creating a product that can appeal to a broad demographic. By reprogramming your thinking, you will find much more freedom and less constraints. However, it is true that you need certain things to make your movie and be successful, but you don’t need everything that the industry claims you do.
As I digress, I ask you to discard all old ways of thinking when it comes to filmmaking, and be open to the possibility of some new theories, perspectives and directions that will better service you as a creative person. Don’t allow yourself to get caught into the “trap” of the filmmaking dream, but rather look at your career as a life journey. It won’t always be easy, but if you take one baby step at a time, you will find a long and rewarding career ahead of you.
If you like to read more on the topic, be sure to check out my last book “What Film Schools Don’t Tell You” Available on Amazon.
-Kelly Schwarze | Indie Film Factory, LLC ©