21 Filmmaking Lessons You Don't Have to Learn by Yourself

You’ve heard this advice before: failures can be some of our most fruitful life experiences. And while the sentiment may seem trite, it hasn’t lost its luster.

It’s true. Owning up to a mistake gives us the opportunity to take stock of the situation and learn a valuable lesson

But let’s be entirely honest with ourselves: making a mistake isn’t the most enjoyable experience. And while we can’t avoid failure—nor should we fear it—it’s a good idea to learn from the mistakes of others who have gone before us. 

It’s not that other filmmakers have all the answers, but the lessons they’ve learned can give us all a healthier perspective on our own challenges. 

So, we turned to Twitter to ask one simple question: What’s one thing about filmmaking you wish you’d known sooner?

21 filmmaking lessons you don't have to learn by yourself:


1. “The main thing stopping you is you. Get out of your own way.”—Mike Collins ‏@Mikespins
2. “Don’t try to do everything yourself – even though you want to.”—Jessica Martin ‏@jessicaemartin
3. “It is more about listening than directing.”—Oliver Asis ‏@olasis
4. “Bad audio can potentially ruin the most beautiful/impactful shots.”—Brian Tetrault ‏@btetrault
5. “Start creating from what you know. You are an expert at your own life.”—Ryan Bouman ‏@ryanboumanfilm
6. “Don’t use gear as an excuse not to tell a story.”—Jeremy ‏@djisupertramp  
7. “The importance of a work and life balance. Shut off. Put your feet up. Spend time with your family and friends.”—Daniel Byrne ‏@PapertwinDan
8. “Filmmaking is about collaboration. Hire a crew that’s smarter than you.”—Scott David Martin ‏@scottmartinfilm
9. “Show. Don’t tell.”—Denton Pun-g ‏@Dentonyoung
10. “Your first idea is the pristine gem. Don’t over polish it.”—Artview ‏@ArtviewTweets
11. “Most people still have to do the crappy work in order to do the stuff they love.”—Ryan Bouman ‏@ryanboumanfilm
12. “Filmmaking is about journeys and people, not buttons and glitz.”—Chad Stembridge ‏@stembridgemill
13. “Get a rock ‘n' roller cart. If you have a bunch of equipment, you'll thank yourself every time you are rolling along snoothly.”—gnarly bay ‏@gnarlybay
14. “When giving quotes, ask for what you want and think you're worth. Don't shop with your own wallet. Clients ARE willing to pay.”—Josh Hardt ‏@JoshHardt  
15. “Save budget for digital marketing. Having every dollar on screen with no eyes on that screen means wasting time and money.”—Ryan Dunlap ‏@Dunlap
16. “It's about story and characters, not tech.”—Scott David Martin ‏@scottmartinfilm
17. “Don’t rely on, ‘I’ll fix it later.’ Its OK to plan, not rush and get the shot right.”—Sikora Film Co. ‏@SikoraFilmCo
18. “Being competitive is healthy, but celebrating the successes of others is more important.”—Matt Taylor ‏@matthewataylor
19.  “That I could have done this as a career way sooner.”—Mike Botkin ‏@theMikeBotkin
20. “That I was capable of doing it. I worried so much about gear and cameras, I held myself back from actually just doing it.”—Earl Studios ‏@earlstudios
21. “Stop dreaming it and do it. You'll figure it out along the way and it'll be glorious!”—Jason Bowdach ‏@JBowdacious
audio Block
Double-click here to upload or link to a .mp3. Learn more.

What's one thing about filmmaking that you wish you’d known sooner? Share your answer with us in the comment area below.