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Filmmaking Is Like Training For the Marathon

Filmmaking takes time, and I’m not only talking about the time it takes to make a film, from start to finish. I’m also talking about the time it takes to establish yourself in the industry.

When I graduated from film school in 2004, the Internet was around but wasn’t dominating our lives or the creative landscape. I still believed that to be able to make a feature film; I needed to make shit lots of shorts to learn the craft and to be noticed at film festivals by agents, distributors, and producers. 

I knew it was going to take a long time before my career could and would take off in the right direction.

Then, all of a sudden, at least from my perspective, the Internet was taken over by social media and that, my friends, have changed everything in the creative industries almost overnight. From the moment I discovered YouTube, I knew that the Internet was able to offer endless opportunities to independent filmmakers.

I realise that a lot of us think that the YouTubers or bloggers become overnight sensations literary overnight. No, they don’t; they still need to work their asses off for years before anything takes off for them. The road to success is still a marathon, not a sprint. Like it was for us, the filmmakers from the era before the Internet and social media. We knew that we were in it for a long run before we could “make it”. The road to becoming a successful filmmaker, however you perceive that, is still the same.

So, my lovely, talented colleagues and fellow filmmakers; get ready for the marathon, not the sprint, if you want to be successful. Working on projects for years is the norm, promoting projects for years is the norm. You still need to work your butt off, just like any athlete would have; you must be committed, open-minded, flexible, hungry to learn, willing to listen and to follow others’ advice if you feel it’s right for you, and most importantly be patient.

Most of the times you will be making invisible progress but the progress nevertheless. And it slowly but surely will lead you to the success you always wanted and dreamt of, so make sure your mindset is for tearing up for the marathon, not a sprint. At the end of the day, a filmmaking career is like training for the marathon.

While you are here, you might also be interested in Creative Distribution.

Filed under: filmmakers, filmmaking

About the Author

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Magda Olchawska is an award-winning independent filmmaker, writer and screenwriter. She writes not only about making films and writing but also about financially independent and sustainable lifestyle. Her current projects include Ecotopia Universe and School Runs.

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