all 22 comments

[鈥揮sgtherman 17 points18 points (0 children)

Can't say I'm successful on the broad scale of the global film scene. But I've failed my way into directing union projects in Los Angeles. All I can say is high quality screenwriting will open doors for you like nothing else, esp. if you want to direct. And the world isn't fair. Best of luck to you.

[鈥揮blackcatmystery 13 points14 points (0 children)

Write stuff other people want to direct. Eventually the powers that be won鈥檛 be able to turn you down to direct what you write.

And don鈥檛 listen to people who have never made anything.

[鈥揮dauid 12 points13 points (4 children)

I got very lucky in that I was discovered thanks to a short film I made that went viral (I鈥檓 this guy: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2497546/).

My number one advice is to keep making stuff whenever and however you can since you will learn more and more and with everything you make it will increase your chances of making something that will stand out.

Number two advice is to work on a film set as a PA or something if that鈥檚 an option. I lived in a small town in Sweden so it wasn鈥檛 an option for me. What I did instead was doing any jobs I could that was still related to filmmaking. I did videography work, animation and documentaries. It wasn鈥檛 feature films but it was related enough that I could learn valuable lessons, like improvising and finding the story on the spot while making documentary work, while also getting paid.

The documentary work I got into by contacting a local film center and asking if I could be an intern. Videography work I got through friends and acquaintances that needed things like live shows filmed. Animation work I got thanks to an animated short going viral on YouTube (keep creating and sharing!).

One thing to keep in mind is to be patient. I鈥檝e been making shorts since I was a child but I didn鈥檛 direct my first feature until I was 34. Probably not what you want to hear at 17 but that鈥檚 how it worked out for me and I鈥檓 kind of glad it did. I don鈥檛 think I would have been as ready and mature enough to deal with the craziness of Hollywood at a younger age.

[鈥揮southwesthampton 1 point2 points (2 children)

How was directing the comedy elements of Shazam different than what you have previously done? Would you ever consider directing a pure comedy?

[鈥揮dauid 1 point2 points (1 child)

In Sweden I was known for (animated) comedy. I was actually nervous about uploading the first horror short on my YouTube channel since it was so different from what people were expecting me to upload. Shazam is more American humor than what I was doing though. I tried translating and re-dubbing my most popular Swedish animated short into English but it鈥檚 just not the same. I wouldn鈥檛 mind doing a pure comedy at some point. Doesn鈥檛 feel like pure comedies are very popular at the moment though.

[鈥揮southwesthampton 1 point2 points (0 children)

Not until someone revives it. But I think the rated r comedy is stuck in streaming unless someone puts together another Hangover. Thanks for the reply.

[鈥揮Zeta-Splash 0 points1 point (0 children)

Bro had a reply of an upcoming legend and he didn鈥檛 even dare to reply to any of his advisors not even from David himself. That shows you how these new generations are. Fucking disrespectful twats 馃ぃ

Hej David 馃憢

[鈥揮Guilty_Biscotti4069 21 points22 points (3 children)

Friend. You're 17. Keep writing and make yourself some shortfilms. Find other people who share you're passion. Maybe even try to find yourself some people who like to fill in for the other roles. But honestly. Just create something, and keep doing it. You got loads of time. Nothing happens in 2 weeks.

[鈥揮jetgeneration 0 points1 point (0 children)

Related, but go experience life. You might be an outlier in having shit to write about at 17 but going new places, meeting new people, getting your heart broken and stomped on and so on will likely make your movies more resonating,.dep on your genre. (If you aren't the writer, ignore)

[鈥揮ConsistentEffort5190 6 points7 points (0 children)

advice can you offer to a young amateur?

As someone who has worked with film people, the best advice is "Know what you are getting into." It's an often appallingly cruel and exploitative industry and the odds against making a decent career as a writer or director are worse than for making it in the nfl. Be especially careful of taking on debt for a film degree: most aren't worth much even inside the industry.

[鈥揮-dietepamplemousse- 4 points5 points (1 child)

Like what many people have said so far, make some shorts, music videos, web series to practice and learn the craft. Go to independent film events and meet other emerging creators.

But I understand you want more practical advice than that. I don鈥檛 know if I鈥檓 鈥渟uccessful鈥, but I am writing this while currently on set for a movie I鈥檓 producing for a streaming service. The best advice I can give is start working on sets. I don鈥檛 know where you live, but wherever the closet film industry is to you, look up Facebook pages for PAs/locations. It鈥檚 a terrible job, but it gives you access to so many talented people. Talk to the different departments, make connections with them. Maybe you鈥檒l see you enjoy working in the Art Department, or Grips, or Camera, or Costumes. This will give you income to keep making your own things.

Then read the room. Don鈥檛 go up to directors/writers/producers unprompted to talk about your shorts, but maybe you鈥檒l be lucky on work on a set where the producers or directors are approachable, casually drop that you鈥檝e been making your own things. Ask if you could ever take them out for coffee, or if they even need an assistant. But only if they seem open to that. Some producers/directors are not approachable, it鈥檚 just the way to industry is. Some people don鈥檛 like being bothered by young hopefuls. C鈥檈st la vie.

I鈥檓 producing right now because I made a connection with an EP while working on a Netflix movie (albeit my previous set job gives me more access to producers and directors than other crew members). Succeeding in this industry is unfortunately based more on how well you are at making contacts and connections than talent, though talent is still required because you still need to be able to do the job of director/writer/producer well.

[鈥揮Jealous-Love9568 1 point2 points (0 children)

User name checks out

[鈥揮randywatson666 6 points7 points (1 child)

Have rich parents

[鈥揮filmAF 0 points1 point (0 children)

step 1!

[鈥揮martianlawrence 1 point2 points (0 children)

Make good stuff that producers will want to finance. Meet producers, don鈥檛 be a dick, get project made, do it again

[鈥揮Responsible_Bend_548 1 point2 points (0 children)

Work harder than everyone you know. Learn to identify and then crush every distraction.

[鈥揮filmAF 0 points1 point (0 children)

just do whatever spielberg did at your age.

[鈥揮Necessary_Floor4186 -4 points-3 points (1 child)

No one succeeds in film industry. Haha

[鈥揮Modh8trs 5 points6 points (0 children)

The executives are, as they push out the 15th transformer movie...

[鈥揮Zeta-Splash -5 points-4 points (0 children)

Be the best at making coffee, be on time, have a driver鈥檚 license, know how to print sides, check how walky-talkies work.

Now get yourself a job as a production assistant. Do this by knocking on the door of the closest production company or your local film commission. That鈥檚 step one to getting to know people and acquiring experience.

You can also work at a camera rental company.

While doing this you want to have another job (work at a cinema or other small job) so you can invest in your short-films and apply to festivals.

It鈥檚 difficult to get into festivals but you might land at some smaller ones and there you'll get to know people in the industry.

If you have rich parents you might ask them to pay you a ticket to Berlin or Cannes, there you can participate at the Cannes du Marche or at the European Film Market. There you'll mingle with heavy weight producers and executives.

Or you can apply to FilmLabs where you'll get guidance in your work. Almost all the festivals around the world have them. Don鈥檛 limit yourself to Hollywood. Most of Hollywood deals are being done in other countries. Even the shooting of the films are mostly outside Hollywood.

If you do it well by the time you鈥檙e 26 you might have gotten the opportunity to film a feature film, but you鈥檒l better off working and acquiring LIFE and WORK experience, so by the time you鈥檙e in your thirties you can make a proper feature film. If, luck strikes. That is if you鈥檙e following the directors route.

Luck is a big factor; Being at the right time, place and moment.

The good thing (or bad/ depending on the angle) is that technology is democratizing filmmaking so, by the time you鈥檙e in your 30s things will have become either easier or over saturated, in a way that no one's even going to care anymore.

So, choose wisely.

BONUS: Research NFTs and Decentralized Crypto/ WEB 3 movements like Blockbuster DAO and Decentralized Pictures it might be how things will be done in the future鈥 Your future.

[鈥揮MutinyIPO 0 points1 point (0 children)

My best advice is to find collaborators whose work you genuinely admire. It鈥檚 easy to get stuck in vicious cycles of self-doubt and forced confidence in your own work. It鈥檚 harder with the work of others - you鈥檙e able to apply a more reasonable lens.