There are so many factors out of our control in show business that it’s always best to take control of as much of your destiny as possible. When it comes to booking jobs not only does your audition have to be on point but all other factors must also align. There are so many outside factors that can affect getting an acting job that we should also create other avenues of success for ourselves. One of the best ways to do this is creating your own work.
The idea of creating your own project can be daunting and well….it is. If you have never done your own project this will be scary, but once you get your feet wet things will start to fall into place.
What Kind Of Project Do I Want To Do?
Decide on what route you want to take creatively first and then pick a simple first project to work on. Don’t overwhelm yourself on the first attempt.
If you want to make a film, make a short film first. Get your feet wet with an easier production and make a lot of mistakes. Not to say you can’t make a feature your first time, it’s just more difficult and more costly. You want to make your mistakes on a less expensive project. Making a film requires a team and many moving parts. This will teach you how to put together a crew, find locations, work with budgets and a lot more. This experience is priceless.
Decide on what role you want to take on this new project. Would you like to write? act? direct? Maybe all three. That’s the beauty of creating your own work, you can do anything you like. You are only bound by yourself.
Be Creative – Get Personal
Try to come up with ideas that are important to you for your first project. Pick a topic that is personal and motivating to you. Making a film is hard work and you should be inspired to tell the story the best way you can. Pick a topic that you have a lot of knowledge and experience with. Most writers will write a story about themselves or about similar experiences for their first scripts because the knowledge is already there. Writing a script is difficult enough without having to research and take on unfamiliar topics.
Focus On A Message
What are you trying to tell the audience with your work? If you are going to make a short you only have a few minutes to tell an entire story and captivate an audience. Your message must be very clear. If you know what your story is about you will have a much easier time telling it. I know this sounds obvious but many films fail to convey a clear message. Take the audience on a journey and make them feel something.
What To Do With Your Project
Once your project is complete there are many things your can do. First off, you don’t have to do anything with it. Yep, you heard me correctly. How freeing is that? Make a film just to make a film? YES! No one said you have to do anything with it. You can keep it for yourself and never show it to anyone if you want. It can be for the sake of getting up and creating art for yourselves. This mindset will free you of the pressure of “making a good film”. Just work on a project you care about and do you best. If the film comes out amazing then there are many things you can do with it, but don’t put that pressure on yourself.
If you wish to share you work with the world then you have many avenues to do so. If you wrote a script there are a ton of script writing competitions you can enter. If you wrote a film there are film festivals and other competitions you can submit to as well. The reason I left this portion last is because I think this should be thought of after the fact. When the work is done and you have sat with it for a while, then decide on what you do. Making a film just to submit to film festivals is not a good mindset to have. Make a film to tell a story, the rest will work itself out.
Creating your own work is super important and can help your career in so many ways. It adds another avenue, another road for success that wouldn’t be available to you other wise. It is so difficult to make it in this industry that we should create as many opportunities for ourselves as possible. What ever you do, do it with passion and do it with intent. Now let’s get out there and make it happen!