|How To Get Started|
|Wednesday, 30 July 2008 07:32|
As you are probably aware the world of wildlife and conservation film-making is a very competitive one and traditional production jobs are few and far between. One the flip side, there are growing opportunities in the emerging online and new media arenas. There are a lot of people around the world trying to break into the industry and, like those who publish books or become actors, there are probably one hundred different stories for one hundred different filmmakers, producers and cameramen. So there are no hard and fast rules to follow but a couple of crucial things to remember: persevere and don't give up and recognize that the industry is constantly changing and there may be opportunities you hadn't even thought about when you decided you wanted to make films!
One good way to get your foot into the door and make industry contacts is to get involved with any film festivals in your area. Get in touch with organisers and find out if you can volunteer or be involved in the festival in some way. As a volunteer you are often allowed access to many of the seminars and talks being held at the festival. These are invaluable to learn about the industry and current programming and technology trends and also to meet people and make contacts. Visit our Film Festivals page for links to all of the major festivals or our News and Events page for information about some of the smaller festivals.
Most film festivals produce a handbook. They usually contain some feature articles but also lists of all of the conference/festival delegates and all of the films that were entered. These are extremely useful resources and whilst they normally cost around USD70 they are good value considering the information they contain.
There are also a couple of sites full of useful information. You may wish to visit:
There is also the option of just grabbing a camera and walking out the door to film something that you are passionate about. With cameras becoming cheaper and laptop editing systems easy to obtain you can quite easily create your own film. But, don't forget, it is still the story that counts! Once you've made a film, there is also nothing to stop you entering your film in any of the festivals.
An example of what you could achieve is seen with FFC member, Patrick Rouxel's, film Tears of Wood. A few years ago he picked up his camera, headed to Indonesia and made a film on rampant deforestation and its impact on orang-utans. The film wasn't polished or blue chip natural history. It was fresh and had a strong message. Tears of Wood won a prestigious Panda award at the Wildscreen festival in Bristol. Patrick's story serves as an inspiration to every first time filmmaker (and many season ones too!) that if a film is good/different/inspiring then it can make an impact. To purchase Tears of Wood: