One of the primary reasons to move to a city for film is to find filmmaking collaborators. I worked on a film shoot recently that did a really great job of bringing many collaborators together.

1. Directors

Marina as director on our film set

Elena (left) and Marina (right)

Marina Barham (find her on Instagram: @marinaelisee) is a great friend and the director of a fashion film shoot that I was cinematographer on recently. Directors are the center of any film production and carry the film through to its completion. If you become friends with a great director, chances are they’ll keep hiring you for future projects.

2. Producers

Marina (left) and Lauren (right)

Lauren was a producer on the film shoot. Producers can be anyone with great organizational skills who know how to keep a team on track and meeting objectives. Without a producer, your film project will be harder to manage. Think of them as the scheduling glue that holds the set together.

3. Writers

There’s a lot of emphasis on filmmakers being able to write these days. However, you don’t necessarily need to write all of your films if you can find writers to collaborate with. A good writer is the front line of offense in making a great film.

4. Cinematographers

Marina (left) and myself (right) working on the fashion film

Marina (left) and myself (right) working on the fashion film

That’s me! Cinematographers bring together art and science to deliver great-looking images. You might ask, “Why do I need a cinematographer if I can already make great films on my own?” Having a person who’s dedicated just to making the film look great can help you focus on doing your best in your role and bring a higher level of polish to the film production.

5. Editors

If you usually edit all of your footage yourself, it can be really helpful to bring new eyes to the film production. As filmmakers, we often become attached to our own ideas during production and a good editor can be a mediating party that tells us what should stay and what should go.

6. Set Designers

Our set designer, Meg

Meg was our set designer and a producer on this fashion film production. She helped bring life to a set that we shot on. It’s not that the director couldn’t have made the set herself, Meg just helped her focus on directing by putting the set together. This is the importance of collaborators.

7. Hair & Makeup

Elena (left) with Emma, our makeup artist (right)

Elena (left) with Emma, our makeup artist (right)

A lot of small productions neglect to hire hair and makeup (HMU) artists for their productions. Good HMU can make talent look better and more convincing on screen.

This is important since you don’t want your talent looking a ghost in the bright lights. You also want that zombie to look like a zombie and not a poorly-made Halloween costume.

8. Photographers

Dezi was the set photographer for this shoot and shot all the photos on this blog post. She helped give everyone something for their personal networking efforts and helped document the film shoot.

Photographers are everywhere and it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll become friends with some stellar ones in a city.

9. Publicists

After your film is made, you need to get it out in front of an audience! Publicists have built networks and have the know-how to get your film into festivals. Some are also willing to use guerrilla marketing like walking the streets and getting people into the theater to watch your film.

10. Influencers

Elena (left), an influencer and Jonathan (right)

Elena (left), an influencer and Jonathan (right)

Another way of making sure that people see your film is by collaborating with influencers. If you’re positive that the film will look great and have a fantastic demo reel, reach out to some people with large followings online.

11. Small Businesses

Marina reached out to several high-end thrift shops for this fashion film and they provided outfits that the production budget would not have been able to get. If you can collaborate with businesses, make sure to offer them something in return like good publicity!

Happy filming!


Categories: Networking


comeonin · November 12, 2018 at 9:43 pm

Awesome post! It’s clear you know your stuff. The photos are really cool, too. And having 11 things on your list is awesome for SEO! I hope the film turns out great.

oldthingsmadenew · November 12, 2018 at 9:48 pm

First of all… I loved following along with this film shoot! I also like that you are able to collaborate with your friends, and use your skills in that way! I can’t wait to see the final product!

homeinashoebox · November 19, 2018 at 9:36 pm

Great post! I loved how you walked us through the film shoot when writing this post. You are extremely talented and have a lot of talent! I can’t wait for future posts!

Applying For Film Grants - NYCinematographer · November 26, 2018 at 9:16 pm

[…] READ: 11 Filmmaking Collaborators You Need […]

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