It’s a well-known fact that media is a difficult industry to get into. Aspiring filmmakers can face a myriad of challenges: investing in the right equipment and making the buzz-worthy film to jump-start your career. But with revolutionary DSLR video cameras, the Internet, and great web resources, anyone can start making awesome films in no time.
Cameras used to be expensive, but you can start building a good rig for less than $6,000. Real filmmakers know that the rig doesn’t just consist of the camera body itself, but accessories (audio, lighting, lens, support systems, power, etc) too. How do you get started in finding the right equipment and make sure that it’s reliable? There’s a great resource for all filmmakers out there, and it’s called nofilmschool.com. It’s the ultimate go-to resource for all your DLSR needs, and gives you a pretty good idea of the latest breakthroughs. They’ve even released a great DLSR Cinematography Guide that explains the pros and cons of cameras and other equipment you need to build a successful rig.
Now that you’ve invested in your rig, you’ve got to learn how to shoot and frame shots like a pro. You don’t have to go to expensive film or broadcasting schools to learn the craft (although it really, really helps) if you can learn from a pro yourself. Vincent Laforet is the DLSR-guru who offers a whole training course on DSLRs for just $150. I’ll be honest with you: this course will teach you everything you need to know about how to put a successful indie-film production better than a lot of universities out there. There are few universities that offer great in-depth courses on DSLR cinema, and even if they do, they’re pretty expensive. The DSLR scene is relatively new, and I’ve yet to hear about DSLR-specific course offerings. Laforet’s crash-course on DSLRs is a good deal for anyone who doesn’t have the time or resources to spend in school.
After you’ve bought the equipment, learned the technique, and made the film, distribute it! We live in an age where anyone can engage in shameless self-promotion that works. Start signing up for an account on vimeo.com, network with other DSLR filmmakers, and your film will make it into the DSLR community’s websites.
Take a page from Koo’s book by using Kickstarter. He’s got a great campaign going for his first feature, “Man-child.” Who says you need a big production company to fund your project? Filmmakers can raise money with Kickstarter if they can meet their financial goals within a given time frame.
Those resources should be enough to get you started in DLSR cinematography. If you start learning things from the right sources at the very beginning, it can save you time and money and you’ll be on your way to making high-quality indie films in no time.