If you work in the film industry join the Cinema Jam community Click here!

Categories: Features

Start creating… create something every day.

Have you ever felt like you were falling in the void just because you didn’t know what to do with your skills? Yes, I’ve had that problem, too. I graduated with a 3.77 GPA from a university, and jobs for filmmakers were scarce (and are scarce). I was feeling depressed; I didn’t know what to do. Then, I started painting. I started taking pictures of flowers, nature, moved on to filming. Then, I got a part time job and did that even more seriously. In three years, I cannot express how many simple things I’ve done that I am proud of. I have progressed, developed into a filmmaker, writer, painter and a photographer who loves nature, birds, and loves to hang out outside. This makes me move my skills up and start experimenting with the things I have available at hand. So, my personal advice is – don’t let the corporations tell you that you need to have a set of skills for a whole marketing team because they simply don’t want to afford one. Be yourself, create what you love, and you will end up in the places where you are supposed to be, and you will find the people that will fit in your life as artists and creators.

Micheal Mcintosh, Detroit filmmaker says: “Stay out of people who want to take advantage of you

I’ve had that happen to me many times. I am a very nice person and I love helping people, and I don’t like contracts because a word is a word! But sometimes, people just can’t hold on to their words, or simply they will start breaking rules, or negate that they’ve said things before. So when dealing with strangers, better have a contract for a deal. If they don’t want to sign it, ask them why and how can be modified for their purposes. If the contract doesn’t look pleasant to both parties at the end of the negotiation, just move on. Also, a good advice is to stay out of charities who use you for their own profit, unless you have some kind of a stipend from a recognizable charity, or you are a close friend of someone. I have done a little bit of work for them but only if they pay me from my job. I’ve also had people calling me from private businesses asking if I can come and film for free! And my answer always is “We do not provide services for private businesses, we are a government entity. I do offer my private services for a charge outside of my office.”

Serge Levin, producer of “Paragon Algorithm” says: “For me the most paramount element at every stage of the film production process is the underlying EMOTIONAL core. When so many filmmakers are chasing bankable names as opposed to specific talent that would bring out the emotional impact of their story, or editing: when every cut or transition is like a lyrical ensemble in an emotional composition. A script with no emotional backbone would translate into a flat and two-dimensional film. And finally the music: an emotionally rich score makes such a difference. Emotion, emotion, emotion!” 

Add a lot of spirit to your characters, add depth to your script, get to know who you are writing about by knowing yourself deeper. When you have an idea what you want, cast the characters specifically to their look, voice and movement.

Goce Cvetanovski, animation director and owner of “Komik Brew” says: Revise. No one is perfect. Revise your story, your script, and your editing. It can do only good. 

But do not overthink, and do not overdo it! Instead, I’ve been asking for opinions from different people that I truly value and are filmmakers or writers about staged readings. When we sit down and read the stories, we decide whether this will make a good script, and we are throwing suggestions to each other while being careful on the budget and execution. When you have the complete story outlined along with your dialogue, the script is easy to write!

The three most important things in filmmaking are: Collaboration, Collaboration, Collaboration!

People who collaborate have a great sense of unity, sharing, helping each other, while being assertive on payment for their work. I’ve been collaborating with some artists for a few years already, and we exchange services with each other. The product is very positive – you are more productive, and while you are doing things for free for each other, you are growing into unique professionals. This doesn’t mean that I have never been paid for work, because paid gigs are coming when my friend needs crew. That’s also collaboration.

Micheal Mcintosh says: Are your friends your competition? They should be your network.

Negative people have to be always out of your way if you want success in this business. It is a very demanding one, with long hours, and we need to have a positive crew and a positive cast in order to get the projects done.

Dylan Sides, Detroit filmmaker says: Paint your picture with your light.

Lighting casts the mood, the emotion, the goal of the scene, the overall film. For any film to succeed artistically, it must be lit properly. Always have smaller and bigger lights, spotlights, soft lights, and other light equipment. It is better to have more than less.

Micheal Mcintosh says: Never stop learning!

Even if you make the great pictures and you’ve been here for a long while, always be aware that some young kids can be much better. I always ask them how they do things and they are usually opened to teach me. Or, I research Youtube and find even better ways to do the same thing.


Marija Makeska is a writer, poet, filmmaker and a visual artist living in Detroit, USA. She enjoys spending her time with people from different cultures while working on various projects with pagan, or gothic themes.

Posted on Jun 6, 2014

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked by *.

Recent Comments

  • […] Ray Harryhausen: The Father of Stop-Motion Animation – The ...
  • Avatar What about the 1934 American operetta ROSE OF THE DANUBE by Arthur A. Penn ...
  • […] LEXX Appeal: An Interview with Eva Habermann – The Spread [...