As your filmmaking career starts to grow, it’s crucial that your actions don’t strangle it in its infancy.
By avoiding the mistakes that so many filmmakers make you have a far greater chance of succeeding well beyond the first 2 years of the launch date of your career.
1. Doing Too Much Yourself
Business owners as well as filmmakers fall into this trap as they attempt to minimize costs. It can mean that you will get bogged down in the day-to-day nitty gritty, keeping you from Film Producer stepping back and taking a good hard look at the future. Future planning, and with it, the ability to anticipate problems, are two important areas successful filmmakers have to keep control of. Doing too much can mean that the fire-fighting cycle just keeps repeating over and over again.
Coupled with that is the guilt associated with neglecting family and personal relationships. This often leads to exhaustion and collapse.
Why not call for extra help before you need it, and not after the cracks have begun to show, and usually, it is too late.
2. You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
Most filmmakers start their career because they are really good at something. Some are really good at directing action, others have a flair for working with actors, and others are just good solid all-rounders.
What many filmmakers forget is that it is a business which involves a host of different skill sets. They forget that filmmaking requires the basic business management skills such as: sourcing new clients and work, marketing and publicity, recruiting new crew and staff, and managing the cash flow questions that any small business has. Add into this the creative mix and you have the potential for a meltdown.
Running and more importantly, developing and expanding your movie career is like growing and developing any type of business. It is unlikely that you will have the expertise to do everything needed yourself.
Successful filmmakers learn to recognize their own skills and knowledge and take action to fill the gaps in their career plan.
3. Quitting The Day Job Too Quickly
A filmmaker or screenwriter’s passion in what they are doing is usually so high that they enjoy some initial successes and revenues. They then quit their day jobs and hire premises and staff – only to face psychological and financial ruin when their early successes have been a minor blip on the long hard haul to a successful career.
Everyone needs money in order to survive. Make sure you are able to cover your monthly expenses before you ditch your day job.
Done correctly, you might be able to apply for funding or enjoy certain strategic tax benefits depending on your personal profile and the geographical territory you live in.
4. You Haven’t Got Anyone To Talk To
Filmmakers have career issues which often require discussion and debate. The difficulty facing most filmmakers is that they find it very difficult to find anyone they can relate to.
Certain legal and technical challenges can be discussed with an accountant or lawyer. But issues of creativity are not the issues you want to discuss with inappropriate people.
Having no network is potentially very damaging. Discussion with a trusted adviser or friend is where one finds new ideas and perspectives. Having your project and ideas endorsed is also nourishing for one’s ego. Lukewarm receptions can indicate that your ideas are not developed enough.