10 Best Things To Do To Stay Productive In Between Filmmaking Jobs

Stay Productive In Between Filmmaking Jobs Highlight – Keep a positive attitude and look for inspiration in the films and videos of other filmmakers. 

If you’ve ever worked on a film set, you know that eventually the production will wrap and you’ll have to look for the next opportunity to work on a new production. 

Many of us who are self-employed or work in the creative industry faces many uncertainties, with many filmmakers and photographers struggling to find consistent work. 

I recently found myself in a situation where the 10-month Netflix production on which I was working was coming to an end, and I had no idea what to do next. Not knowing what to do next is one of the most common problems in filmmaking that everyone faces.

If you’ve ever been in this situation, or if you’re currently in it, where you don’t know what to do in between gigs, I’ve got some ideas to keep you busy. 

In this post, I’ll make some suggestions that may be able to help you continue to earn money from your creativity, or at the very least keep you productive while filmmaking jobs become harder to come by. Are you ready to learn how to keep yourself occupied when you’re between filmmaking jobs? Then let’s get started…

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10 Best Things To Do To Stay Productive In Between Filmmaking Jobs

Sell your video footage on a stock website

Things To Do To Stay Productive In Between Filmmaking Jobs

If you are an inspiring director or cinematographer who is working your way up the ranks from production assistant to 1st AD or Director, one of the best ways to keep busy is to practice your photography or videography skills.

As a result, you will begin to accumulate a large amount of footage on your hard drive. With all of this footage you’ve accumulated, you can put it to use by selling it on a stock footage website. If you don’t currently have any paying projects lined up, this is a great way to try to make some money.

Examine your footage, trim it to the relevant shots, color grade it, and export it in Log and graded formats.

Ideally, you should upload current trending footage, such as hyperlapses, lifestyle, aerial shots, and medical footage, which is understandably in high demand these days. 

When you’ve decided on a stock footage site, upload your footage and make sure it’s properly tagged. You want potential clients to be able to find your footage when they use keywords to search for it. 

Also, make sure you have all of the necessary releases signed in order for your footage to be used commercially.

Check out these sites that you can sell your stock footage to:

Organize Your Video Footage

Things To Do To Stay Productive In Between Filmmaking Jobs

Your first order of business should be to organize all of your footage before uploading it to a stock site. You will always be able to find what you need if your projects are properly labeled and backed up on hard drives or on a server, and if your computer malfunctions, you will have at least one copy in reserve.

Ultimate Guide to Creating Eye-Catching Travel Videos (That People Actually Want to Watch)

Filmmaker Pro tip: keeping an Excel document with an inventory of your projects and where they are backed up can be extremely helpful in the future. 

You may already have a system that works for you, which means you can catch up on archiving and organizing everything. If you don’t have a system yet or are dissatisfied with the one you have, now is the time to consider what will work best for you. 

There are numerous methods for backing up and archiving your footage, but some factors to consider include date, subject, theme, location, and client. It is extremely beneficial to be able to cross-reference your work. 

The standard recommendation is to keep at least three copies of each project.

Inspiration can be found in films

Things To Do To Stay Productive In Between Filmmaking Jobs

Anyone who practices a craft, such as filmmaking, photography, writing, or art, should always seek inspiration and examples from the best in their field. For a filmmaker, this entails watching films or Youtube clips of their favorite filmmakers. 

David Fincher, Paul Thomas Anderson, Christopher Nolan, Kathryn Bigelow, Martin Scorcese, Stanley Kubrick, and Steven Speilberg are among the iconic filmmakers whose work you should binge-watch and study.

Consider the color grading, pacing, tones, and style of their films, the composition of their frames, and their use of angles and movement as you watch their films. Keep track of what you like, what you don’t like so much, and what you might want to try for yourself. 

Make your binge-watch list using IMDBLetterboxdMetacritic, and Rotten Tomatoes.

Learn New Techniques and Skills

Things To Do To Stay Productive In Between Filmmaking Jobs

If you are stuck at home waiting and trying to Stay Productive In Between Filmmaking Jobs, this would be an ideal time to teach yourself new skills and techniques. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of online tutorials available to teach you anything from lighting techniques to After Effects.

If you want to take it to the next level, consider taking an online filmmaking course. 

Masterclass, for example, has a wide range of filmmaking-related courses taught by celebrities such as Martin Scorsese, Aaron Sorkin, Ron Howard, Jodie Foster, James Cameron, and many more. 

UdemyCourseraLynda, and Skillshare are some other sites where you can find high-quality courses to help you learn new skills. Take advantage of the discounts offered by websites on many of the courses.

This is also an excellent time to broaden your horizons beyond filmmaking. Remember that subject you’ve always wanted to learn but never had the time because you were too busy? Now is the time to start learning. In addition to the sites mentioned above, sites like Coursera offer free Ivy League courses in subjects ranging from computer science and engineering to art and design.

Audiobooks are another excellent learning tool. Websites and apps such as AudibleGoogle Audiobooks, and Librivox have a large selection, many of which are free. If you prefer the physical feel of a book, many independent bookstores are still open for business and can accept orders via their websites or over the phone.

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Exercise Your Talents

Things To Do To Stay Productive In Between Filmmaking Jobs

Now is the ideal time to hone skills that you use on every project but could always improve on. 

Consider color grading. You can practice your trading skills by downloading Log footage from stock sites. You can also use the footage you download to practice compositing and visual effects. Sound design, basic editing, and photoshopping are all skills that can be honed by using video and audio stock sites.

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Make a Plan for Future Projects

Something to keep in mind when planning scheduled content is to keep your content timely.

Things To Do To Stay Productive In Between Filmmaking Jobs

After being inspired by the work of others and perfecting the techniques you’ve always wanted to learn, it’s time to plan your next project that will incorporate all of these ideas and skills. 

Write a short film or even a feature, create a storyboard, consider how each shot will work, choose a location, make a list of what you’ll need, and consider who else you’d like to be involved. Nothing should go unplanned. 

Sure, you might not be able to go shoot it for a while, but if you’ve thought of everything, you’ll be able to hit the ground running when you are able to resume shooting.

And if you have an unfinished script, now is the time to finish it. Check out the screenshot below of Final Draft, and click this link to learn more.

fd11 screencaptures MAC ImageSupport

Maintain Your Blog and Stay on Top of Social Media

Things To Do To Stay Productive In Between Filmmaking Jobs

When you’re busy at work, it’s easy to fall behind on your social media or blogging commitments. Now, when there is no work and you have plenty of free time, is the ideal time to catch up. You can write those blog posts about the technique experiments you tried and the out-of-the-ordinary shoot you did.

If you enjoy writing, look for opportunities to contribute to other blogs. There is always a need for writers who have firsthand knowledge of the subject they are writing about. 

You can rebuild your social media presence so that those who interact with you are ready to use your filmmaking services when they become available again. And if you get into a good routine with it, you should be able to keep it up when work picks up again and you’re back out there creating videos.

Complete your cuts and edit your showreel

Things To Do To Stay Productive In Between Filmmaking Jobs

Now is the time to finish that passion project you’ve been meaning to edit for a long time. Examine the footage you have while listening to inspiring music. If your project is missing some shots, stock footage sites are the ideal solution.

Every content creator requires a showreel, and now is the ideal time to create one in preparation for the resurgence of filmmaking jobs. Gather all of your best work and look for that banging song that will bring your showreel to life. 

Post it on your social media for all of your current and potential clients to see, so that when this is all over, they’ll be back to commission work from you.

Clean and organize your equipment, and perhaps try some DIY

Things To Do To Stay Productive In Between Filmmaking Jobs

Gear gets dirty, requires maintenance on a regular basis, and is easily misplaced. While you’re not filming, make a list of all your equipment, clean it thoroughly, and figure out how to store and transport it. You and your equipment will be ready to go as soon as work resumes!

Oh, and don’t forget that when you’re at home, it’s the ideal time to experiment with DIY projects, such as building overhead rigs for food photography shoots. When, if not now?

Maintain Your Creativity

10 Best Things To Do To Stay Productive In Between Filmmaking Jobs

Things To Do To Stay Productive In Between Filmmaking Jobs

One of the current issues in the film industry that many of us face, is filmmaking jobs being available. So, if you have exhausted all of the options mentioned above, think about creating viral TikTok videos. TikTok and YouTube Shorts is fertile ground for the filmmaker looking for their next creative idea for a film. Consider interesting, useful, and/or amusing takes and how you could create them. 

It’s difficult right now, but there’s no reason to give up hope. There’s plenty you can do while work is quiet, and we hope you’ve gained some inspiration from our suggestions. Dream big, but keep your social interactions to a minimum. And remember to wash your hands.

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About the author: Trent (IMDB Youtubehas spent 10+ years working on an assortment of film and television projects. He writes about his experiences to help (and amuse) others. If he’s not working, he’s either traveling, reading or writing about travel/film, or planning travel/film projects.

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