As a filmmaker, I’ve always had to hustle. The work has never been steady, and the paychecks are small. You’ll often hear people say, “You have to love it,” and that’s true for any profession that involves making art—but in filmmaking, it’s especially true because you know you’re going to be spending most of your time doing something else than making films: pitching ideas, trying to secure funding from investors or companies, networking at festivals and meetups, etc. But these days, there are one-way filmmakers like me can make money while working on projects that we care about: freelancing!
Make Money by Being a Freelancer!
- Freelancing is a great way to make money as a filmmaker.
- You can work from anywhere in the world, on your schedule and at your own pace.
- You can set your rates and choose who you want to work with.
Step 2: Start being a freelancer.
Now that you have planned what kind of film you want to make and how much money you’d like to make doing it, it’s time to start getting paid.
- Create a portfolio of your work. Try making as many short films as possible before approaching potential clients; this will help when they ask about your previous work experience in film production! Your portfolio can take many forms—you could post it’ll Vimeo or YouTube or send them you’re to articles about the projects in which you’ve been involved.
If clients are going to spend their money, they’ll want proof that you know what you’re doing.
One of the things you can also do is to have a professional account on social media where you share your works and experiences. For example, you can share some shots from your recent project with lighting plans. Not only does it show that you know what you’re doing, but it also shows how organized you are at work. In other words, it shows that you are professional and this is one of your biggest advantages.
If you want to share your lighting plans on social networks, remember to use the Lighting Diagram Toolkit from Ci-Lovers. It is also thanks to this Kit that I was able to build my community on Instagram. Give it a try!
- Once again: be specific! Find clients who need filmmakers with particular skill sets (i.e., “I need someone who knows how to shoot underwater” or “I’m looking for two visual effects artists”. A client may not care that much if they’re getting only one visual effects artist if they want someone who can do both graphics and sound design…but if all they need is an animator OR illustrator but not both? They might get frustrated when they realize there aren’t any openings available now unless one person could do both jobs at once instead of just one aren’t ask at hand.”
Step 3: Go Out and Find Freelance Work!
Once you have the tools and experience, it’s time to go out and find freelance work.
There are several ways you can do this:
- Look for freelance work online
- Contact local businesses about potential projects
- Look for projects on websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr
- Ask friends and family if they have any work for you
When you’re a filmmaker and want to make money as a freelancer, you must understand your market and you’re types of jobs available. The good idea is to specialize your skill set or project, then find clients who need that type of work done. For example, if you have a background in documentary making and want to do more work on that front, then focus on finding clients who need documentaries made!