There are about Three Billion types of jobs in this world, and here I am, dreaming of becoming a Filmmaker. This has developed in me since my childhood. In the very beginning, everything went so well. But the more I grew, the more I realized the many problems and obstacles that opposed me and prevented me from achieving this goal of becoming a great filmmaker.
Motivated to Become a Filmmaker
My parents couldn’t afford a film school, so I started getting information on YouTube. Like you, I’ve read thousands of articles on the internet and stayed up late at night watching tutorials and consumed almost all of Peter McKinnon’s videos. I still remember the day I dreamed about his slug “PPPWWWHHAT’SSS UP EVERYBODY” No joke. I started writing short films even if it was boring. I spent years consuming content on social media. I also read tons of books on filmmaking. A die-hard passionate!
The years pass, and I come to say that It’s time to get into the business.
The Calm Before Storm
I started doing my research on how to become a filmmaker. I have watched hundreds of videos on the subject. I also read a few books about it. I already saw myself on a film set. I saw myself behind a camera, talking to my actors, and directing my first film. Winning Oscars for the best cinematography… Then I realized that;
I had no equipment, no computer to do my editing, no camera to film, I looked in my wallet, but there was nothing. it was probably because I didn’t have a wallet… Nothing. I had absolutely nothing that could help me to achieve this dream that I had. I didn’t even try to ask my parents to help me because I knew they wouldn’t be able to afford it. Do the math, a powerful graphics card for editing, just that, it costs about $400, just the graphics card. Then there are the screens, the motherboard, the power supply, cameras over $1000, Lenses, and the accessories that go with them; in short, I was utterly lost because I had nothing to start with, and I was influenced by what I saw on social networks. How am I going to achieve this with no budget?
And that’s how I became friends with depression.
As the days passed, I saw my dreams of becoming a great filmmaker moving away from me. Sometimes I cried lying on my bed. It hurts me a lot. Why is it so hard to become a Filmmaker? I had no idea how I would achieve my goal with… nothing. I was so close to giving it all up, leaving it all behind, and moving on, when one day… I got a notification.
This Phrase changed everything
I was on my bed scrolling through social media when a notification came to me. It is written How to become a director? Interview with James Cameron. Curious, I clicked to see, and this is the first sentence I heard:
“Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director. Everything after that, you’re just negotiating your budget and your fee….”
This sentence was like a click to me. It was as if my eyes had been opened. What if he was right? All I have to do is to film something, create something and put my name on it and voila I’m a director; I’m a filmmaker. I spent the rest of the day watching and re-watching the video over and over. And that’s how I realized that becoming a director is not a destination. It’s about the process. I realized that I don’t need all those costly things I see on social media. All I had to do was to create something with what I had. And what do I have in my possession? My smartphone.
Miraculously, I was motivated again. I started shooting short films with my friends; they weren’t well done and horrible, but I was still proud to see my name at the end. I realized the tremendous opportunity that I have. I did everything with my phone, filming, editing, and sound mixing. The more time passes, the more I gain confidence. That’s being a filmmaker. You become a filmmaker the moment you get up to create something. We become a filmmaker on set and not scrolling on our phones.
And then I created Ci-Lovers, aka Cinematography Lovers. I started opening a Facebook group where I shared behind-the-scenes photos and bits of articles I read here and there. I began making diagrams to teach myself and also to share my passion with those who are like me. I create almost 80% of the content you find on Ci-Lovers with my phone.
And it worked. Now, I am proud to tell you that it was thanks to Ci-Lovers that I could have my material. I have cameras and lighting equipment I’ve always dreamed of, thanks to Ci-Lovers. It is thanks to this community that I am currently living my dreams. And remember, I started with what I had—my phone.
I hope you got the message.