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Plan your career: Entering the dream factory calls for prep

Bitten by the cinema bug, many want to make a mark as a director. However, this calls for meticulous preparation

Plan your career: Entering the dream factory calls for prep
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I am interested in becoming a film director. Can you kindly guide me? (Arun Vignesh)

The dream factory attracts hundreds of young people and there are opportunities abound for the real talents. If one is ready for hardships, creative vision and manufacturing ideas, then becoming a film director is a perfect job. Due to availability of technology filmmaking has become as easy as cooking. Yet it is highly competitive to stay on as a director. Here are the tips to follow.

Start watching films critically

Develop a habit of watching films of different genres in various languages. Construct and deconstruct each scene in the film. The film viewing itself becomes your first lesson to learn filmmaking. Every detail in every film accounts. Critical viewing enhances one’s knowledge.

Great stories emerge from those who tell them

Become aware of the story telling in the films that you watch. Go through the story in your mind to check how it unfolds with images. This way you will learn to narrate stories with images at the foreground. We all know that story telling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.

Make your own films

Tell your stories through short films even through Mega Pixel mobile cameras. But if you are passionate about quality right from the start, you have to invest on a good camera. Enter your short films in various competitions.

Technology is an added value

Today, there is no film department that could be done without knowing software and other technologies. One will have to be familiar with Adobe premiere to Auro Sound technologies.

Excel in all departments

It is the director who guides every one. Though it is a teamwork, the director has to have a knowledge of every aspect of filmmaking to get the end result that he wishes for. Even the best of technicians could do nothing to redeem a film if the director is unsure where he is heading. Hence, acting, writing scripts, dialogue writing are part of the traits.

Read a lot of scripts

Keep reading the scripts of the films that are made and also the books of the scripted versions. It will enhance your own script writing. It is also important to bring someone else’s story to life. Today, most of the directors write their own scripts.

Course in film school is an advantage

Before going to assist an established director, it is also good to follow basic course in direction. It exposes to experiences, access to form your crew and networking. The internships, workshops and industrial exposure with film personalities happen during the study. The courses will teach you all the nuances from story writing through budgeting to shooting spot intricacies.

Join a production crew

No matter how you hang around the shooting spot but be part of it as an errand or camera operator or even in catering. No job is too small. Get into Assistant Director’s position. You may have to stay on as AD anywhere between 2 to 5 years or even more. On the sidelines, start networking. More the people you know, more the chances of you getting what you want. Enroll yourself in the union as an AD.

A good portfolio with a prolific script

Before you knock at the door of the producers, keep ready your portfolio of short films and other works along with an impressive script. A director is a leader of the crew. He has to have a good rapport with everyone, literally everyone. Develop your skills on relating with people. But first, start reading a lot of books.

—The writer is a career counsellor and mentor

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