How do i get better at making films ?
Hello again @brwn-girl (shoutout to you for putting so many great asks in my inbox!)
The short answer to your question is to make lots of films. Long, short, fancy camera, crappy camera, classic story structure, experimential… doesn’t matter. Just make films that mean something to you. Even if you have a bad camera and your actors are unwilling or reluctant friends and family, make something because that is the only way you will improve.
But don’t just make films. Make films that challenge you in some way. Question yourself, the world around you, your ideology, life… Challenge yourself technologically. Use new equipment, new cinematography styles, new storytelling methods, new editing techniques, new sound design…
There is a book called Outliers that discusses success. In it, the author claims it takes 10,000 hours for someone to become an expert at anything. This is just as applicable to filmmaking as it is to any other job. You have to have experience and learn from mistakes if you want to get better at anything.
The second part of this answer is to study other works of art. Don’t just watch mainstream Hollywood films or rewatch the same television show for the fifth time. Watch a foreign film, an indie film, an experimental film, a short film, an innovative film. Ask yourself why you like a film. Ask why you don’t like a film.
Read books and essays that discuss philosophy or psychology (in regards to art or to life in general). Apply what you learn to the stories you want to tell. Read or watch interviews with accomplished filmmakers to learn why they make certain films or why they have certain styles. (Better yet, conduct interviews yourself.) Mimic filmmakers you admire, but then find your own unique style. Learn about the world, about life, about people, and about yourself. If you want to make great films (or great art) it should say something about reality. So explore and question life as much as you can so you can do the same in your films.