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Turn Your Hobby into Cash: How to Make Money as a Freelance Filmmaker

By admin / March 22, 2019
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If you’re reading this, chances are you’re the kind of person who soaks movies in.

You spend hours dissecting scenes and studying your favorite filmmakers. You annoy friends and family by going on hour-long rants about why the French New Wave movement was more significant than the Italian Neorealism movement.

But most importantly, you’re the kind of person doesn’t want to sit back and experience movies — you want to make them.

You can, in fact, turn your hobbies into a living, as the median salary for freelance filmmakers is $81,456 per year.

Get ready to see your name in lights! Here’s how you can make money as a freelance filmmaker.

Commit to the Lifestyle of a Freelance Filmmaker

Freelancing offers far more freedom than working in a production house. But that freedom will only take you so far.

The most important skill in freelance film production isn’t editing, directing, or lighting. It’s discipline.

You’ll only get out of your new career what you put in, so it’s best to treat it like a full-time job. You’re facing a lot of competition out there, so the more time you dedicate to refining your skills, the better.

Learn as Much as You Can

If you’re passionate about filmmaking, you’re already halfway there. Keep doing what you’re doing and never stop learning.

Technology, especially in the film and television industries, moves at a remarkable pace. Staying up to date on current software can give you a competitive advantage when it comes time to apply for gigs.

Often, the best way to learn is by doing.

Grab your camera and head outside to shoot some footage. Experiment with different angles, shot compositions, and camera movements.

Then come back in, load your footage, and spend time messing around in your favorite editing software. See what stories you can tell. You’ll be amazed at how creative you can get, even with limited resources.

Don’t Shy Away From “Boring” Gigs

Your first freelance film jobs won’t be as exciting as you may hope. Instead, you’ll need to cut your teeth on smaller projects that may not pay much. Still, this experience is invaluable.

Don’t be afraid to take smaller, less exciting gigs. You’d be surprised at how much money you can make in certain niches.

Corporate filmmaking, for instance, is a huge industry. Visit the site to learn how creating video cases for businesses is every bit as creative as narrative-driven filmmaking.

Craft a Reel

With a few jobs under your belt, you’ll have enough clout and experience to start applying for more jobs and marketing your business.

But clients will want to see what you can do. In addition to a standard application, you’ll need to send them a copy of your reel.

Your reel is a short, two or three-minute video displaying your skills. Think of it as a visual resume.

Generally, it’s a good idea to have several variations of your reel. One general one for your portfolio website and several smaller reels that show off specific skills. For instance, if you’re applying for an editing gig, show off your editing.

Make Your Dreams Come True

Since cameras and editing software are more accessible than ever, it’s entirely possible to turn your hobbies into a fulfilling career. To make it as a freelance filmmaker, you’ll need grit, determination, and a whole lot of creativity.

Always keep learning and gain as much experience as possible. You never know how those connections could help you.

Ready to discover more passions? Read up on how you can discover new hobbies and lead a fulfilling life.

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