So You’ve Decided to Pursue Film

Written by: Charles Matthau

Summary: Before you decide to take filmmaking seriously, think about the life choices you’ll need to make.

A user on Quora asked for help on something more than one parent has had to struggle with: “My son has left school to pursue a career in filmmaking. We are supportive, but don’t have advice. Please help.” If you are this child, or these parents, there are some things you should know before you make the career leap.

Step 1: Save

Even the most generous of parents can’t afford to support a lifestyle for very long without work coming in. Save all the money you can now because there will be dry spells where work is either difficult or impossible to find. Though it’s best to work at what you think your value is, the reality is some will do underpaid work on promise of exposure. Right or wrong, these decisions cost money. Save and prepare so you’re not shocked when it happens. That also means budgeting for a certain amount of time you want to spend trying to make the career work for you.

Step 2: Be Passionate

Working really hard isn’t going to get you anywhere, sad to say, if you don’t have the passion to match the hard work. Hard work makes you able to endure long hours, passion makes you hunger for them. When you’re working in the editing room or on-set, you don’t want to be in the mindset of “let’s just get this done.” You need to be passionate about your craft and understanding of exactly what it will demand of you.

Once you have all that, and a good day job, you’re ready to pursue a career in filmmaking.


Bio: Charles Matthau is a director and producer with a passion for storytelling. The Charles Matthau Company will produce the upcoming Lisa Monroy story “Mexican High.”