Is it too late to pursue a Film Career? When it comes to filmmaking, the perception in the film industry is a young person’s game.
But with anything in life, if you want something bad enough, you can always find a way to achieve it. This is especially true about a film career.
Do you have a vision and want to share it with the world? It doesn’t matter how old you are, you can do it.
I am an independent filmmaker who has been working on the craft of filmmaking for the past 5 years.
Am I successful? It’s tough to gauge this question at this point. I haven’t achieved the ranks of great filmmakers like Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, and Steven Spielberg.
But, the experience I am gaining day by day on the set is heading me towards the goal of a respected filmmaker.
If you are thinking it’s too late to start a film career, this post will cover ways to become a successful filmmaker and show you that it’s never too late to start a film career.
5 GREAT REASONS WHY IT’S NEVER TOO LATE FOR A FILM CAREER
Should I Become A Filmmaker?
To start this all off, it’s never too late to start a film career. But, at the beginning of your filmmaking journey is that making a comfortable living is a different story altogether.
What you have to keep in mind is the film industry is full of freelancers all vying for the same types of position in the film industry that you are.
When a film project is completed, your contract is over, and you are looking for the next project to keep you learning and making money.
If you are starting your film career, many of the jobs that you will be taking are low paying jobs as you get your feet wet in building your experience.
Even with the experience you gain from one project to the next, it can be tough to be singed on for large projects with high budgets.
If you are thinking about the film industry as your next career, one skill that you must have in your back pocket already is the ability to network.
Once you are on a film set, the more people you meet and establish trust in a film set, you will begin to land larger projects.
You Don’t Need Film School
Are you thinking that at your age that it’s too late to learn the art of filmmaking by going to film school? I have news for you and that you don’t need to go to film school to enter the world of filmmaking.
Why am I saying you don’t need film school? Well, several incredible directors have established themselves as the pioneers of filmmaking and never went to film school to do it.
Did you know that directors like James Cameron, Ridley Scott, Peter Jackson, David Fincher, and Quintin Tarantino never attended film school?
James Cameron once said.“I think the most important thing if you’re an aspiring filmmaker is to get rid of the ‘aspiring’… You shoot it, you put your name on it, you’re a filmmaker. Everything after that, you’re just negotiating your budget.”
The internet has changed the world in regards to learning the craft of filmmaking. Everything you need to learn in terms of filmmaking can be found online, and most of the time can be free.
Want to learn from the masters of filmmaking at the comfort of your own home? Check Out This Link On Masterclass.
Several filmmaking books that can be found on Amazon, are great educational pieces that you can rely on to guide you in the right direction.
Also, visit your local film offices in your city and find out how to volunteer your time on film sets in the area.
Check out the film schools in your area, and find out if there are any student films you can volunteer on. Just make sure they know that you have limited experience, but have the willingness to learn on the fly.
Just make sure that when you are allowed to work on a set, show that you are solutions-oriented and a positive attitude in getting the job done.
What I have to tell you about my experience of volunteering onset is it is hard work You will be putting in long hours that will take a toll on you mentally and physically.
This is where you will begin to separate yourself from the rest.
This is because many have a perception that the art of filmmaking is glamorous but is unprepared for the hard work it is.
Create Your Project
Film Set experience is a must for any filmmaker young or old as you get to witness what works on a film set good or bad.
But, if you really to get the ball rolling in jumpstarting your film career, you should begin filming your projects.
If you are the director of the project, just remember you don’t need to know everything about what is going on in the set.
Have a team of qualified filmmakers like the director of photography and the first assistant director to rely on.
If you want to make a passion project you need determination and passion to succeed.
Do you have a screenplay that you have been working on and want to share it with the world? Do you have a friend that has written an incredible script that only you can direct? Now is the time to get out there and start filming.
Here are just a few things that you will need to make a great film, whether it is a short form or a long-form feature.
What you need to do right at the start is throw the ego away and be able to roll with the punches. Every filmmaker, new or established, make mistakes. It is all part of the process of filmmaking.
If you are directing or producing a film project, show to your cast and crew positive and fun energy that everyone will feed off of. This goes a long way during the film making process, especially when things don’t go as planned.
When you are directing, you are the captain of the ship. Be understanding to your crew and learn to let go of things in an instant. This means to learn how to pick your battles and know which fights to fight for.
One piece of advice I can give to aspiring directors is If you are thinking about directing take acting classes.
Just by understanding the craft of acting first-hand makes it easier to share your vision with your actors on the set and get them on the same page as you.
And last but not least, make lots of films. It doesn’t matter how weird or how bad they are, it’s the only way to learn how to be a better filmmaker.
Side note: Filmmaking is a collaborative process, and you will want to surround yourself with the best crew behind you. Don’t hire friends that have no experience and hire a crew with experience as they will be your new friends going forward.
Directors Who Started Late In His/Her Film Career
What I love about filmmaking is that it is a collaborative process with high energy that makes you feel like a kid every day on a set.
If you are still wondering if it is too late to start a film career, here are some examples of the best directors who didn’t make his/her feature until their 30s and 40s.
So never say never in making your film masterpiece.
- Akira Kurosawa – Japanese film director and screenwriter, who directed 30 films in a career spanning 57 years. He is regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. At the age of 33, he directed his first feature, “Judo Saga“, and his breakthrough film, “Rashomon” came at the age of 40.
- Ridley Scott – The English filmmaker regarded as a master in the visual art of filmmaking, directed his first feature, “The Duellists” at the age of 40. His breakthrough film, “Alien“, came at the age of 42.
- Michael Haneke – Austrian film director and screenwriter. His work often examines social issues and depicts the feelings of estrangement experienced by individuals in modern society. His first feature film, “The Seventh Continent“, was directed when he was at the age of 47. Michael Haneke’s breakthrough feature film, “The Piano Teacher“, came at the age of 59.
- Ang Lee – Acclaimed Filmmaker who almost gave up his career in film making due to rejection from Hollywood, directed his first feature “Pushing Hands” at the age of 38. His breakthrough feature film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” came at the age of 45.
- Andrea Arnold – A former actress who decided to start a new career path in filmmaking started her first feature “Red Road” at the age of 45, and her breakthrough feature film “Fish Tank” came at the and age of 48.
When it comes to a film career, you can see it’s never too late to start.
When I gave it a go originally in the film industry, I was 25, and I wasn’t happy with the progress I was making.
I gave up on my dreams and started a sales career. Now that I’m getting close to 50, the past 5 years of film set experience has put me into a comfortable place.
But, every individual’s story is different, some will think this journey will be tough at a certain age, and others won’t.
The great thing about filmmaking today is it’s so much easier than it was years ago. Technology has made the ability to make movies on incredibly cheap equipment, that you can start right now.
The industry has changed for the best I think. There are so many ways to showcase your talent. Platforms like Youtube are helping filmmakers reach a broader audience.
Whatever you end up deciding, I wish you the best of opportunity and chance.