Borders have closed and flights are canceled. The economy is shrinking with jobs and opportunities becoming scarce. Right now, being a filmmaker is a bit of a tough gig. There’s no question about it: the pandemic has brought normal life grinding to a halt. So, what can you, as a creator, do right now to keep yourself going during these strange times? Lots, actually!
Watch series and movies
Yep, you read that right. This might actually be the perfect time to binge-watch Netflix – without feeling guilty about it. You might feel lazy or unproductive, but there are different angles to look at this from. Why not start considering it as work?
Start analyzing what you’re watching. Learn from it. Why did you enjoy a particular scene so much? What was the lighting like? How did they frame it? What camera do you think they used? Once allowed back out to shoot, you can use all of the things you’ve learned in your new project – and shine!
Get creative and shoot… anything!
Just because you’re stuck indoors doesn’t mean you can’t shoot. Challenge yourself to think ‘outside the box.’ Maybe you can start a vlog or make a documentary about life in isolation? How about start putting together a sequence that shows off all the local wildlife in your garden? Or why not make an interesting feature of your local neighborhood? There are still plenty of opportunities for us to shoot, we just have to get creative and find them.
Revamp old work
Now might be a great time to revisit old footage. Is there an old project you could re-cut and share across your social channels to drum up business and show potential clients what you can do?
A lot of your past clients might need a helping hand in challenging times, so perhaps you can offer some new edits to them? And how about going through your old work to see if there’s anything you can upload to stock footage sites? This could earn you some much needed extra income.
Spend time on your secret pet project
How many times have you struggled to find the time to complete that passion project? Whether it’s other client work or just life in general, there is always something else that needs doing. With the world being on pause: why not use this opportunity wisely to get that project completed? It may just lead to fun, exciting new projects further down the line.
Set up a structure for files and folders
Let’s be honest: organization is a job that’s gotten far too comfortable on the back burner, hasn’t it? None of us want to do it, but there will never be a better time to do it than now. Take a few hours to really sort out all your files and folders. Your future self will thank you again and again and again.
Prepare for the return to normality
Despite all the fears and concerns, one day (hopefully soon!) we will be out of this. With that being said, it’d be a good idea to prepare for that, right? Get yourself ready for an inevitable surge in demand for videos.
Take this time to build or update your website. Put some new showreels together. Analyze your finances for the past year and look at what new opportunities you can chase when the doors are open once more.
Network, network, network
Talking of new opportunities, it’s time to network. With the whole world spending their days at home, it may just be that the people you want to reach now manage to find the time for a 15-minute chat on Zoom. Reach out to people you want to work with and others in your industry. Find out how they’re doing and how you can help. Building a strong network is the key to success for any filmmaker.
Learn something new and useful
Now that you’ve got all that spare time handy, why not take the time to learn something new? What’s the one new thing you wanted to learn how to do on your editing software? Perhaps you’ve felt you lack in the motion graphics department? Now’s the time to brush up on these things and sharpen your skill set.
Start listening to podcasts, do a course on Skillshare, watch YouTube tutorials, take some notes, and get smart!
Lean into forgotten skills
Finally, while all of this is going on, it’s hard to avoid the fact that ultimately, we can’t get ‘out there’ and make new films and videos. It’s just not possible.
So right now, it may be a good time to analyze your skillset and have a look at other ways you can earn an income. Perhaps you’re a savvy writer? Plenty of brands and websites all over the internet are in need of new blogs, articles, and content. Naturally, you may be a great photographer? Can you identify a brand that could send some of its products to your house for a shoot?
Whatever you get up to during this time, we hope you take care and stay safe. We can’t wait to get back out there with you soon!
Video Collective is a FREE UK Film & TV Job board. Whether you need professional freelance crew for a shoot or are looking for Film & TV jobs then check out our website. Made by freelancers, for freelancers.