There are two parts to a freelancer: 1) a filmmaker as an individual and 2) a filmmaker as a client.
As an independent filmmaker you are free to do whatever you want with your time and in your own way. The problem is that most independent filmmakers don’t have a “career”. No client. No funding. No budget. And you don’t get paid to work. If you’re not making what you think you are supposed to be making, then you aren’t taking your talent seriously.
So what are the things you need to know about to be a freelance filmmaker?
1. Find a freelancer that you’ll buy your work with. You don’t have to have a huge collection of film scripts to find a freelancer who will buy your work for you. Just find a creative you like and trust your instincts.
2. Know your film’s story. Knowing your story is about 20% of starting a freelance career. You need an anchor. A core of information that connects you back to your film. So don’t be that guy that doesn’t know why their scene was set up in a certain way. You need to be able to explain why that was the best way it was set up. (I’ll explain this in next part.)
3. The most important tool in a freelance filmmaker’s toolkit is: communication. You can learn to talk to the editor or make up a scene because no one speaks your language. You have to speak yours—and others. But to make it work, you have to think of your scene, understand how it makes sense for the script and how to make it work for yourself to help explain why you need to act the way you do.
4. Understand the script. I guarantee you your film could be a hit if you were just following the direction of a great script. It is just as easy to start filming a script you don’t care about or even an ad for some magazine. What you need is the script. Your only tools are to write it, understand it and be able to communicate with the director.
5. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Do it for the art. There are no other tools to make a film. You don’t get to do what you want to do because that is not possible for some people. You also don’t get to do what you do because there is no other tool on the market than your own. You always have to be aware of what
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