Become A Filmmaker Without Film School

Your name is on the director’s chair.

If Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino didn’t go to film school, you can certainly become a filmmaker without going to film school. Quite a few Hollywood filmmakers did not attend any of the prestigious film schools, such as the University of Southern California or New York University. Through hard work and making their films their way, aspiring filmmakers can make films and have them seen by fans around the world.


1. Borrow, beg or buy your own digital camera. Film cameras and film stock are expensive, but many high definition digital cameras are within most people’s reach. Practice shooting scenes around your real life. Try to recreate scenes from your favorite movies.

2. Watch all the movies you can. When you read biographies from filmmakers, many have a favorite film that made them choose a life behind the camera. Expand your film vocabulary by renting all types of movies. You can learn from bad movies also.

3. Work in a film-related job. Look in local and national classified ads for jobs, such as “client assistant” at a film production company or bartending at a film festival headquarters. Find anything that relates in some way to filmmaking. Interning is another option. These jobs educate you about the film industry.

4. Read filmmaker biographies and filmmaking books. Syd Field’s “Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting” is still considered a must-read for aspiring writers and read “On Film-Making: An Introduction to the Craft of the Director” by Alexander Mackendrick , who was nominated for a screenwriting award for “The Man in the White Suit.”

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5. Write a short film that uses your friends, relatives and colleagues. Find other aspiring filmmakers in your hometown and shoot your film. Edit it with digital video editing software on your computer.

6. Enter national and international film festivals with your completed film. Put a few clips of it online. Start a website or blog about the film and email everyone you know to view it online.