The late 1970s and early eighties continued to reassert the negation of the West in the form of angry heroes fighting against government and societal corruption, and trying to adjust India’s role in the changing dynamics of global politics. Industry in the ‘90s saw a string of big budget melodramas aimed at both the burgeoning Indian middle class and the diasporic Indian audiences, who the producers quickly recognized held the potential to make the film
industry bigger than it already was.

Filmmakers differ from directors in that they are responsible for every aspect of a film production. As a filmmaker, you might come up with the idea, write the script, raise money, find filming locations, audition actors, and direct the piece. In the process of doing your job, you may have to handle the stress of trying to meet deadlines. You’ll usually work an irregular schedule, and possibly encounter rough weather conditions when filming on location.

While there are no formal requirements to become a filmmaker, a bachelor’s degree in film and television production is recommended as it will provide you with an opportunity to acquire many of the skills necessary to work in the field, as well as gain experience with projects and establish industry contacts.

Key skills for filmmakers include creativity, attention to detail, organizational skills, leadership skills, and technological skills, including proficiency with editing software, such as Final Cut Pro or Avid, and knowledge on how to operate camera equipment.

The second step toward becoming a filmmaker is to create a short film. Many bachelor’s degree programs offer students an opportunity to create a short film during their senior year. Creating a short film offers students a chance to apply on the set what they’ve learned in the classroom. After students write the script, they will learn how to lead a crew, manage a budget, secure locations, audition and direct actors, set up a schedule and edit footage.

Here’s a success tip: send your short to film festivals. Exposure at film festivals is a good way to connect with professionals in the industry, and interact with filmmakers participating in the event. Some festivals highlight or have special sections for student work.

The third step toward becoming a filmmaker is to gain experience. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree, individuals may not be ready to become filmmakers. However, it’s important to continue to gain experience. While recent grads may work as production assistants, they may also be able to find work as camera operators, editing assistants, or writers on low-budget independent films. Working on films is also an opportunity to begin networking and meet other professionals in the industry.

Here’s a success tip: continue creating your own work. With the advent of digital production and film making, creating independent films has become much more accessible and inexpensive. Learning how to complete a film from start to finish will prepare you for larger and more professional productions.

The steps toward becoming a filmmaker include earning a bachelor’s degree, creating a short film, and gaining experience.