As technology continues to progress, the barrier of entry into filmmaking continues to gradually disappear. Getting a job in the actual Hollywood film industry is still a tall task without the right connections, the right internship, the right geographic convenience, but to be a filmmaker these days you simply need a smartphone and a basic understanding of editing software and how to hit the upload button on your YouTube page.
If you’re lucky and more than a little social media savvy your video will go viral and you’ll follow in the footsteps of David Sandberg (Lights Out) and Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane), both of whom turned viral short films into blossoming careers as film directors. Heck, even if all you do with your DIY video work is sit in front of a camera and talk about shit in an entertaining way you can still end up with a new career, like Danika Massey (aka ComicBookGirl19) who parlayed YouTube stardom into a hosting gig for Marvel’s Off the Rack and Tyler Oakley who has moved from YouTube to a development deal with Ellen Degeneres.
Yeah, but how? When I was growing up, the only solid example out there for DIY filmmaking was Kevin Smith’s Clerks, which he filmed in convenience stores he worked at and was funded entirely through maxed out credit cards, insurance money, college tuition savings and sold-off comic book collections. Cut to today and he’s now made a career out of being a geek, more known for talking about comic books and films than actually making films (e.g., how many people have seen Yoga Hosiers, Tusk, and Red State?). However, if not for Clerks he wouldn’t be in this position. In fact, if Clerks had failed he would have been financially ruined and forced into bankruptcy, and that is sadly the fate which was waiting for many who tried to imitate Smith’s success throughout the 90s.
These days, just start a Kickstarter or GoFundMe campaign. Practice with your smart phone. Watch Tangerine and notice how they filmed it entirely with an iPhone. Watch The Nerve and try to figure out how much of it was filmed with smartphones and/or GoPro cameras and how much was made to trick you into thinking it was filmed that way. Learn the difference. Also…
I’m talking too much and probably getting a bit off topic. The whole point of this article was to share the following infographic, which was itself shared with me by Natalie Playfair on behalf of PowerToolWorld.Co.Uk. As she explained in an email to me:
Just to let you know that I’ve created a piece entitled “Making Movies – DIY Guide”, which could be of interest to your readers. It demonstrates how to make a professional looking movie by only using cheap, modern day technology and some very basic DIY skills.
Some of this technology includes using a camera phone to shoot your film, with the added aid of different accessories such as lenses, dollies and tripods, which are all very inexpensive. Not forgetting a few fantastic apps that will allow you to edit your footage like a pro.
Without further adieu, here is that infographic: