From the early days of the silent film era to the modern-day digital revolution, motion pictures have captured the hearts and minds of everyone on the planet. Movies offer us an escape from the everyday sights, sounds, and stresses of our existence, allowing us to meet ordinary and extraordinary characters and visit places we could never have dreamed of. Arguably the most innovative and exciting industry in the world, filmmaking has a potential artistic and commercial value that is staggering. Each year, billions of dollars are pumped into the film industry, with everyone from studio executives to directors and production assistants working hard to develop, film, and promote new motion pictures.
If you sat down and counted how many movies you've seen in your lifetime you'd probably be shocked. As a kid you no doubt saw everything from Snow White to Star Wars, and by adulthood you probably sat through at least two or more films a week, either in the theater or on television. All those marvelous creations, from film noir to romance and from westerns to science fiction, have at some point or another provoked an emotional response. Movies make us laugh, cry, scream, ponder, and, on occasion, just shake our heads in bewilderment. That's the beauty of film. The variety is endless and there's something for everyone.
As an aspiring moviemaker, you're no doubt a fan of all things celluloid related. What you might not be aware of is just how complex and difficult it can be to make a film, regardless of whether you're on a shoestring budget or have Titanic-sized financing. Filmmaking is all about having a concept, we hope a winning one, that can be nurtured into a work of art that ultimately is universally understood and enjoyed. In order to do that, you need to immerse yourself in the filmmaking process, and not just the technical aspects. While all phases of preproduction, production, and postproduction are crucial, none of it can be accomplished until you've got a polished script in hand and a strategy for pitching your film to potential production companies, studios, or investors. You also need to familiarize yourself with all the Tinseltown players.
Then, of course, there are the truly fun production phases when actual shooting begins, where you finally get the chance to direct or produce a story that you've only envisioned through the written word. The power of seeing your dreams enter reality is overwhelming to any filmmaker, and it's what moviemaking is all about. This is when your unique style and talents can really shine, especially if you've created an atmosphere that encourages freedom and innovation among your cast and crew. If you lead well, they will surely follow, and your film will be a direct reflection of your patience, tenacity, and humanity.
With the right tools and rules you can film anything you can dream up, and do it with a style and panache all your own. It doesn't matter if the entire world or just your grandmother sees it onscreen — the beauty is that you made a movie. Don't let a small budget keep you from realizing your filmmaking potential. Even filmmakers like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas had to start small and work their way through the ranks.
The more you know about Hollywood and the worldwide filmmaking industry, the better off you'll be as a filmmaker. The Everything