How to Make Money After Film School

You’ve finished film school… now you’re wondering what’s next? Here are six ways to make money in film after school.

How to Make Money After Film School

By Kennedy Randall

Though the next chapter of your life may be nerve-racking, it is also an incredibly exciting time to be a filmmaker! The film industry is growing alongside society’s need for content, meaning there are more opportunities for filmmakers. There are many different career paths or side hustles that will bring in the income after film school. From traditional positions in the film industry, freelance filmmaking, social media, and more, you can make money in film or as a filmmaker in many different ways. 

InFocus Film School Film Program

Click here to learn more about InFocus Film School’s Film Production Program!

1. Make Money in Film by Finding a Job on a Set

 

The traditional film industry is what likely most of your training in film school revolved around. Whether you want to be a director or behind the camera or even a lighting expert, there are many different paths you could take on set.

 

Reflect on your time at film school. What skills did you develop the most? Were you stronger on set or in post production? Interest in audio? Think about what roles you enjoyed the most at school and which you want to focus on post-graduation. 

 

Because of streaming services like Netflix, Apple TV, Amazon Prime, and more, the need for content is on the rise. More productions = more jobs = people make more money in film. More skills and interests means more opportunities. 

 

In your community and online, there are many ways to find a job on set. Your peers at film school are a great built-in network. Not only could they mention opportunities they hear of, but you could gain experience working on a friend’s film set. Your teachers may also get wind of a production coming to your city and tell their students about the opportunity. 

 

Online, join local Facebook groups based around film. Some of these groups are for networking but often people post job opportunities. As well, Craigslist is a common place for indie filmmakers to post call-outs. Some jobs will pay more than others, but it will give you the experience needed to make money in film and land bigger gigs in the future. 

How to Make Money in Film

2. Create Content for Social Media

 

Businesses in this digital age are always on the lookout for video editors, content creators, and other film-based positions that can help them engage clients. The content could be anything from posts for social media, advertisement videos, articles, and more. Having experience behind the lens is very advantageous for creating engaging visual content. Editing skills are also very valuable.

 

Using your demo reel from film school, choose your best shots, spruce it up a bit to attract clients. Don’t be afraid to cold call or email businesses in your area. Offer your skills, a bit about you and how you would create good personalized content. This career can be quite lucrative if you work hard. You could always offer an influencer or a small business your services for cheap, or even pro-bono to start building up your portfolio before taking on bigger clients. 

How to Make Money in Film

3. Become a Freelancer

 

If you aren’t ready to choose a permanent gig, you could always try to become a freelancer. Freelancers can specialize in anything from videography to sound. They hire themselves out to production companies or businesses at a daily rate. 

 

Using your skills from film school, build a portfolio you can showcase to potential clients. Ensure that both the videography and the editing is seamless in your portfolio to show that the clients will only need to hire one person for the job. Being a jack of all trades in the freelance game will give you an edge on the competition. 

 

You will also have to secure your own equipment and software, which can be expensive. Creating a plan outlining your spending and potential return before you take the plunge is very important. 

 

Though, as a pro-tip, some freelance videographers will take a day-job at film rental studios. This oftentimes allows them to rent the necessary gear at a discounted rate. 

 

Being a freelancer can offer you so much freedom and flexibility. With potentially a new location every day, filled with new people, your job will always be fresh and new. This is also a great way to network and meet other film professionals, which one day may lead to another film industry job.

4. Submit to Film Festivals and Streaming Services

 

After 12 months at film school, you leave with 12 films. This means you have twelve films that could be pitched to producers. Pick the project you are most proud of and start submitting it to festivals. If you feel like there’s still more you can add, feel free to edit it, shoot more scenes, and polish it to get it big-screen ready. 

 

A good tip would be to enter as many film festivals as possible, both before and after school. This will get your name and your film out there. As well, network with your teachers. They could one day recommend your work to a producer or distributor that could pick up your film.

 

If you have an idea for a unique film festival, gather a couple friends and start your own! You can include your own film and other films that complement its narrative. In your community you can also host local screenings as well as virtual screenings with Q&A periods. The more people that see your film, your chances of making money in film increase.

 

Finally, you can submit your film to streaming services. The ins and outs of getting your film distributed is sometimes confusing, but many streaming services allow you to submit your film for free (including Amazon!). There are also some indie short-film streaming sites like SOFY, which you can submit for free and earn revenue if your film is streamed. Not only do opportunities like this increase visibility for your work, but if your film makes an impression, you could find your financier for your next project! 

How to Make Money in Film

5. Work On Commercials

 

Though working on commercials may not fulfill your professional filmmaker dream, it may be a stepping stone to get you there. Gaining practical experience, whether it be shooting, editing, lighting etc, is always helpful for your career.

 

It may not be the blockbuster feature film you wanted to shoot, but gaining experience behind the camera is always valuable. By working with other professionals in your field, you will be able to learn technical and creative skills from them. Constantly learning, practicing and improving will help your filmmaking career tenfold while ensuring you have income. 

 

Many successful filmmakers like David Fincher, Michael Bay, and entire animation studios like Pixar spent their early years making commercials. Many famous filmmakers like Sofia Coppola, Martin Scorsese, and Wes Anderson continue to make cinematic commercials. Read more about the pros of doing commercials here

 

6. Make Your Own Film and Market It For Sale

 

Paranormal Activity (2009) has a success story that will forever inspire young filmmakers. Made on a budget of only $15,000 by first time director Oren Peli, the film was bought by Paramount Pictures. The first Paranormal Activity ended up grossing around $195 million dollars worldwide. It was followed by five sequels and a multi-million dollar franchise.

 

Though this is a rare occurrence, The Blair Witch Project is another low-budget independent film that brought in millions of dollars. Writing and producing your own is not only a good experience but it could pay off! 

 

Decide on a budget that you could feasibly create a short or feature length film with. Brainstorm some resources that you already have at your disposal. For example, don’t waste money on renting a location. Consider using your house, your old school, or any outdoor spaces near you.

 

Find friends that would be interested in the idea. If you found a co-director, you could split the production costs. As well, many filmmakers starting out offer their services for free in exchange for experience.

 

After submitting your independent film to festivals, you can try submitting it to streaming services. As well, best case scenario, you could pitch your idea and show your film to producers or distributors. Continually be reaching out, cold-calling, emailing and networking within your community to find these meetings and make money in film. A successful pitch may lead to it getting a higher budget for you to reshoot and extend. Eventually, you could get your self-made film into theatres or supported by Netflix!

How to Make Money in Film

Having side hustles is always important when you are starting your career. You can choose one of these paths to focus on or try doing multiple at once. Work hard, stay determined, and you can make it big! These six opportunities are ways you can ensure that you will make money in film while achieving your dreams. 

 

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Five Ways to Fund Your Film Project!

How to Pick the Best Screenwriting School

Want to be a screenwriter? Check out these five things to consider when picking which screenwriting school is best for you.

How To Pick The Best Screenwriting School

By Kennedy Randall

Say you have a passion for writing or a natural way with words. Maybe you are a film buff and want to see your imagination play out from the page to the screen. Choosing the right screenwriting school may not only help you tune up your writing skills, but teach you a handful of other skills that can aid your professional growth. 

During screenwriting school, you will develop your storytelling skills, understand the inner workings of the film industry, and make connections that will help your personal and professional goals. Here are five things to consider when choosing what screenwriting school will be the best fit for you. 

InFocus Film School Writing Program

Click here to learn more about InFocus Film School’s Writing for Film and Television Program!

Instruction During Screenwriting School

How to Pick the Best Screenwriting School

One of the most important things about any education is your instructors’ ability to make a creative impact on you. There are some online, prerecorded screenwriting workshops you could check out if you wanted to dip your feet in. 

Having the opportunity to learn storytelling skills directly from an industry professional in screenwriting school is invaluable. You will learn how to screen write side by side with your teacher. This teaches the accountability needed to create great first drafts on time. With face to face instruction, you get carefully crafted workshops and exercises, as well as always having a professional to turn to with questions or ask for creative advice. 

You can always look up the teachers on IMDB or Linkedin while researching programs. Researching to see if they have industry connections and experience that will help you with your goals is always a good idea. Having an experienced instructor give you feedback and constructive criticism will undoubtably make you a better writer. 

Variety of Skills Learned

Who you are learning from matters. Your instructors are the ones who know the field, therefore, they know what makes a successful portfolio or pitch. When picking your screenwriting school, make sure that you will learn a variety of skills. Some basic online screenwriting programs may only teach you writing, only one out of many important aspects of becoming a professional screenwriter.

For example, learning how to pitch your idea is a valuable skill that may not be found on an online screen-writing school. Your ability to pitch your great idea is what is going to bring home the money in the long run.

In screenwriting school, you also get the opportunity to network with other top industry screenwriters. Teachers often bring guest lectures from their professional network to chat with students. Meeting more professional screenwriters means learning more skills from talented individuals. In an online program, you miss this opportunity to network and learn from various people in the field. 

 

Connecting With Peers

How to Pick the Best Screenwriting School

During screenwriting school, your peers become your team and your instructors are your mentors. With an online program, you may not even get to meet anyone. This may be good if you are an introvert and enjoy working by yourself. 

Working with your peers is an important aspect of developing your talent. Your peers in screenwriting school allow you to grow as an artist. Sharing your work with each other and providing feedback is great way to learn more. This peer editing process gives you a unique opportunity to meet students that you could befriend. They could even become future co-workers or business partners! 

When choosing your program, look for team based exercises, as they allow you to connect with your peers. These kinds of exercises are seen throughout in-person screenwriting school, giving you an opportunity to connect with students throughout the writing process. These relationships you build will help propel you into strong creative and professional relationships. 

 

Building Your Portfolio

Having a portfolio to show future business ventures after you finish your program is essential. Some programs will focus solely on getting one script written from start to finish. This can result in a very strong end product that you can take to a producer. This is fast and efficient, but in reality, screenwriting does not finish on the last page of the script. 

Some screenwriting schools however, will leave you with a diverse portfolio containing many different projects including TV pilots, feature screenplays, and short film scripts. Learning the fundamentals of all aspects screenwriting prepares you to work in many different companies and jobs. 

Though you don’t need film school to get your script picked up, having a variety within your writing samples is useful. As well, learning how to multitask by writing multiple scripts at once is a great skill to have later on in your career. Ending your screenwriting course with a diverse body of work opens up your career to multiple opportunities.

 

Career Paths

How to Pick the Best Screenwriting School

If you already have a passion for writing, you may be surprised about the paths you can take within screenwriting. In any screenwriting school, you will be learning the most fundamental skill of all, storytelling. This not only opens up your writing opportunities in the film industry, but the skills you learn can be applied to other industries like journalism, advertising, and literary writing. By learning professional screenwriting skills your ability to tell a captivating story will set yourself up for success.

Networking is also a great way to see what opportunities are out there. You can always do this through platforms like Linkedin, but your teachers are a great resource for networking. They can share opportunities they may have heard about from their professional circle or even pass along your name to other industries. As well, a good tip would be looking at the ‘student success’ page on film school’s websites. You can often see what films or companies their students worked on after graduating from school. This can give you an idea of where your career and education take you. 

 

Kennedy Randall is a Content Writer for InFocus Film School

 

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InFocus Writing for Film and TV Program

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How to Be A Freelance Graphic Designer

Do you want to become a freelance graphic designer? Here is how to jump start a successful freelance career.

By Kennedy Randall 

 

Becoming your own boss in the graphic design game can be nerve racking. Yet, freelancing gives you the freedom to attract the kinds of jobs or projects you care about on your own schedule. All your hard work is devoted to yourself and your own business, which makes freelancing a very fulfilling career path. If you are wondering how you can be a freelance graphic designer, here are six tips that will lead you to success.

1. Focus On Self-Branding As A Freelance Graphic Designer

Branding yourself and your business is one of the most important aspects of freelancing because an appealing brand will attract potential clients. Creating and growing a strong website will lead you to the jobs you want.

As a graphic designer, you have a leg up on the competition. Use your skills to create a website that showcases your beautiful design work while being user friendly. Showcase a few diverse examples of your best work, your contact information, and some information about yourself. This way, your customers can get to know you and your artistry.

Adding some touches like personal logos or icons is also a good idea. Try to make your site look as professional and eye-catching as possible.

How To Be A Successful Freelance Graphic Designer

2. Smooth Transactions

As a freelancer, you will have to work with a wide range of clients, some good and some bad. It is important to ensure that you are getting paid on time, receiving a fair price, and delivering what the client is looking for.

Draw up a couple contracts to have on hand. You can outline payment terms, payment stages, deadlines, and a plan of the work you will be creating for them. Having clear payment stages allows you to receive payment at a fair and consistent time. As well, a rough plan for designs will ensure that the client is happy with the final product. Asking specific questions and showing potential ideas up-front will be a lot quicker in the long run. The last thing you want is polishing a product that the client is going to ask you to redo.

When working with clients remotely and lines of communication may not be readily available, a cohesive contract with deadlines for both you and the clients is essential.

How to be a successful graphic designer

3. Have Multiple Income Streams 

Having multiple income streams as a freelance graphic designer is a wise idea, as freelance work is more unpredictable than your typical 9-5. A freelance graphic designer might be slammed for several months and then struggle to find gigs. 

A good way to insure steady income is creating templates for purchase. As a graphic designer, you know what works, and you can create quick and easy templates that other designers or clients can utilize. Templates could be anything from infographics, brochures, business cards, and so on. 

Creating logos for businesses is also a great revenue stream to tap into. It can be fun and engaging, check out our article on how to design the perfect logo.

4. Create Strong Connections With Your First Clients

The outcome of your design and your client’s response is the most important aspect of the exchange. When you are first starting out as a freelance graphic designer, devote extra time and attention to your first clients. Creating a strong connection and delivering a good result will lead to repeat design work. The goal is to have them come back to you for the next time they need a graphic designer. 

As well, if a client is impressed with your work and business skills, they may refer you to their friends or other companies. If your first client has a good experience, not only only would they most likely come back to you, but they may bring five more gigs with them. Word of mouth, especially early on in your career, is extremely valuable. 

5. Spread The Word

Now that you’ve got a website, contracts, multiple income streams, and connections, it is time to find more clients. Bringing traffic to your site through SEO (search engine optimization) is a good place to start. SEO will make your website garner higher standings in the search engine results. You can add keywords for graphic design on the “about” page of your website to improve your SEO.

As well, with social media rapidly growing in popularity, sharing your business and work on Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest is a great way for people to discover you. You can create a captivating Instagram account, make TikTok videos about your work, and share your designs on Pinterest. Many successful freelance graphic designers spread their work across various platforms to increase the likelihood of somebody discovering your page.

Networking is also a good way to reach clients. You can reach out to other designers, clients, or people on social media. Getting to know people in the industry is always advantageous. 

6. Work Hard And Never Give Up!

Freelancing can be tiring and frustrating, but if you are a passionate, hard-working graphic designer, there’s no reason you can’t do it. If becoming a graphic designer is your dream, make sure you are constantly improving and innovating your work. By always keeping your work fresh and exciting, you will continually attract more clients and jobs.

Your personal success is not far away. Work hard everyday, nurture your creativity, and grow your business to find success. It won’t happen overnight, but by following some of these tips will help you become a successful freelance graphic designer. 

 

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