Tough Times for All Filmmakers — Let’s Make the Best of It

Member Stories Mar 19, 2020

The film industry, as the rest of our society, is shaking because of the coronavirus (COVID-19). For one-man-band filmmakers, freelancers, and small-to-medium-sized production companies there is a running battle of great intensity for survival within this context the event market has stopped, productions are on hold, clients are sparse.

The question is: how can a creator, in this painful period, make the best of it?

Below, we have gathered 7 concrete examples of how you can use time at its best while the creative industry is on hold. Get inspired, so you are ready for when society opens up again.

  1. Focus on your personal project
  2. Get paid for streaming
  3. Build your home studio
  4. Finalise your backlog of editing tasks
  5. Upgrade your knowledge as a filmmaker
  6. Upgrade your technical skills
  7. Make a plan for restarting at full speed after this is over

1. Focus on your personal project

It may never be a better moment to continue or start creating from scratch that personal project that you’ve been thinking about for a long time — but you’ve always had to postpone because of different jobs, lack of time, other priorities, or just life in general.

Keeping the current constraints in mind, there can still be various themes that you can start working on: projects of nature, architecture, or your personal showreel.

You can check below for inspiration and listen to different points of view about passion projects and how significant they are in a filmmaker’s career and skills development:

2. Get paid for streaming

Offer live streaming, online courses, or some form of online teaching support to your customers. These are already three ideas into one that can bring value to your activity.

Live transmission is a business in itself and if you’re not updated with that, you can start brushing up your skills by checking what equipment you need for live streaming — not only for now, but also as an investment in your future.

All businesses can see now the great importance of being able to provide online information, or some form of online indispensable service. Think about the fact that streaming within secondary schools is common practice already — and now think about all the businesses that during this period NEED to connect with their customers in real time.

3. Build your home studio

If you haven’t invested in building your personal home studio, now that you have time on your hands it would be the ideal moment to start that. You can find inspiration below to get things going faster.

However, if you’re already past that, you can think about other ways in which you can improve your work space, such as soundproofing your studio, or discover other sound-improvement tips.

4. Finalise your backlog of editing tasks

You’re probably not happy about dealing with your editing backlog, but getting rid of it will give you the feeling of “now I’m gonna break the clouds” type of creativity because you won’t feel it hanging over your head any more. The long hours spent doing it will pay off, and when everything is back to normal you’ll have all your energy available for the new projects. Care to go through some thoughts about how you can stay focused while dealing with your editing blog? Then you can see below some recommendations.

5. Upgrade your knowledge as a filmmaker

The online courses are at high demand right now, so why not consider them as well? If you’re not thinking about creating “tips and tricks” videos of your own to share your knowledge with your peers, then you can use this time to upgrade your own skills and keep ahead of the game. Platforms like Masterclass, Skillshare, and LinkedIn Learning help you learn from the best in the branch, and teach you all about, for example, pre-production and planning, production workflow, cinematography, and any other areas of interest, on all levels, from beginner to advanced.

6. Upgrade your technical skills

You can research different recording techniques on YouTube depending on what you’re working with — cinematography, branding videos, wedding montages, or anything else you’re into. Get to know how to best use your gimbal, or any other equipment that you haven’t got down to learn by heart until now. It’s always exciting to discover new tricks that can improve your videos — and now you’ll actually have the time to test over and over again.

You can for example watch Peter McKinnon or Gerald Undone for “how to” anything within professional filmmaking, editing, and everything that comes with it.

7. Make a plan for restarting at full speed after this is over

Time will pass and hopefully sooner, than later, you’ll start jumping from one video production to another.

“When society opens again, we will need shared stories and cultural experiences that we can gather, talk about, and be inspired by.  ” (Claus Ladegaard, manager of the Danish Film Institute).

You have to be prepared for producing all the needed content and stories that will rise when the society opens again. To be ready, you can consider the following questions:

  • How much do you have to earn to compensate for the losses during this period, and has your local government introduced any compensation packages that may help you?
  • Have you made a plan for your future productions, and what equipment do you need for them?
  • Do you need to reconsider strategic aspects of your company?

These are questions that may help you put things into perspective.

In a few words

No matter which of the projects above you decide to go ahead with, stay safe and follow your local guidelines. If interested, see how to share gear safely during the Coronavirus crisis.

Disclaimer*

The Wedio team is fully aware of the seriousness of this situation. Wedio follows all instructions and guidelines from national authorities and urge all members and readers to do the same. Read more about our recommendations when sharing gear.

Daniel Sand

Among with Sandra Păduroiu

Co-founder & CEO of Wedio, and on a mission to keep great stories alive. I am a data-driven and curious digital marketing nerd with a soft spot for great video storytelling.