Making movies as a young filmmaker with limited experience and resources

Author: Bisera Gjurovska

In 2021 Bisera Gjurovska interviewed Leona Jarikj, at the time an up-and-coming young Macedonian filmmaker, as well as the rest of the crew engaged in one of the first Leona’s short films, called “Jinx.” With this interview, Bisera wanted to show how young people can make a successful short film, promote the crew for their endeavors as well as support young people in their aspirations. 

This blog post is focused on the challenges that young filmmakers have to face when starting a new project. The video clip is the first part of the interview.

Many young people do not have the equipment and contacts to organize a small team and shoot a film, nor do they have the funds to buy equipment, hire contacts or procure props they may need for a film, such as costumes, makeup, armor, etc. Young people tend not to have much experience in this field and would find it more difficult to put their ideas down on paper as a script. Filmmaking is not something you come across every day, you do not need it for schoolwork, nor is it something you can work on by yourself like singing or dancing. Filmmaking might be used in some academic instances, but often in a minimal way. In other words, a young person would need to find more time in their schedule and put in more effort in order to gain all the knowledge, confidence and tools necessary to make a film. 

In Leona’s opinion, one of the most important things for a young filmmaker, and for any filmmaker, is to start with a story. It’s easy to get caught up in the details of how to make a film, but not really ask yourself why you’re making it in the first place. Filmmaking takes a lot of time, and it shouldn’t just be based on an idea, but on the development of that idea, on a story. She continues to say that this idea should be put into the format of a script. 

Luckily, if you’re stuck creating the script, here are some resources on how to do it well: 

The next step is to find a team, particularly one who will cooperate with you and understand your vision. When you’ve done this, you can start to develop the story further, along with the team’s help. Leona’s group was comprised of only the essential roles: a cameraperson, actors, an editor, and a producer necessary during production, and a musician for post-production. You can organize these team members through social media such as Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp or Viber groups. 

Here are some resources on how to find a team and sustain in throughout your creative endeavors:

You can find time by filming on summer or winter vacations or on holidays when everyone’s free, which is what Leona did for her film. You have to find a time that works for everyone, as it’s difficult to shoot if some of the members aren’t there, especially when a crew is made up of only the essential roles, where everyone’s role is vital. 

To combat potential time-related hurdles, here are some articles about time management: 

Finally, Leona talked about her own film’s funding and how they initially had an unsuccessful campaign to finance it, which prolonged the filming process. This can very easily happen to a film crew, you might have a great story and team, but the funds can make or break it if you need a specific location, equipment or props. Despite setbacks, they kept trekking along and decided to film without a budget, just using whatever they had on hand. A big budget isn’t necessary to create an effective film, though of course, it’s welcome. 

According to Leona, usually the way to get funding is through contacting a production house and pitching the idea, or if you can film one of the scenes beforehand, you can exhibit that at a festival or send it into a production house and see if you can get a budget to complete the full thing. 

As this can be a challenging step, here are some articles on other ways to find funds for your project:

Go to other parts of this blog post :

Intro: How to Make a Film According to a Young Filmmaker

Part 2: How do young people get into the film industry?

Part 3: What does a young person need to know to edit a movie?

About the author:

Bisera Gjurovska

Age: 18

Country: North Macedonia

City: Skopje

School: Orce Nikolov

Juror in Giffoni Macedonia: 2022, 2021, 2020

Giffoni Experience Italy 2022

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