David Lynch. Steven Spielberg. Martin Scorsese. With so many directors these days being made famous, it can be confusing and overwhelming to figure out how to actually become famous.
It’s hard to be an artist in the society we live in. There’s just too much noise, too many people vying for attention and we just want to be taken seriously.
Fortunately, there’s a shortcut to success in Hollywood. Anyone can become a director. The only thing that’s necessary is persistence, a belief in your talents, your hard work, and a little bit of promotion!
You can’t just aim for world domination, no matter how badly you want to. Sure, it would be great to just push a button and become famous, but given there isn’t that button this is the next best thing.
Here are 10 tips that’ll get you on the road to fame, but you can’t expect instant fame.
A mentor is a respected person or a knowledgeable person who inspires you to pursue your dreams.
Hint: Find someone who’s had success in your chosen field and become their friend! Read their work, study their films, and reach out to them.
This may not even be a film director, think bigger—who are the producers or the casting agents who make things work behind the scenes? Take them into account and develop a respect for everyone’s job.
While a mentor can’t give you all the answers, they can provide you with the encouragement and belief you need to find your own answers.
Before you can shoot a movie, you need to know your subject. Knowledge in this realm comes from lived experience. If you direct a movie about sports, crime or superheroes, you should have read a vast amount in all those subjects.
Most directors start out with a concept, which can be loosely based on a famous movie. But if you want to become a legend, you need to know your subject. The only way to do that is to immerse yourself in it. You’ll need to dig deep and uncover the heart and soul of the subject matter.
The great directors know this and they devote their lives to these projects.
As one of the few paths to fame in Hollywood, most of your peers won’t support your filmmaking goals.
You’re going to get rejected by those around you. It’s going to hurt. So prepare yourself to take it in stride. Keep your chin up and embrace the rejection and persevere. You have to be your own advocate.
The next part of being a famous director is being humble.
You can’t brag about your accomplishments. And you can’t show off. The public isn’t interested in how well you’ve done. It wants to know what you’re doing next.
That being said, you do need to keep an eye on your public image and stand up for yourself when you can. Don’t hide whenever someone asks you a question, be bold and proud while still knowing you have a lot to learn.
If you have a reputation for being negative, it’s going to take a toll on your career. Don’t be that guy that no one wants to work with!
The public will despise you, and although that makes for a good news article, you’ll never get hired.
Again. Trust me. Don’t try to fight with others in the industry. We’ve all seen the videos of actors and directors screaming at one another.
Although this is a juicy piece of trivia to know which directors are the hardest to work with but still make brilliant art—you don’t want to be one of those.
Sending cover letters and emailing producers for meetings is only the first step. If you have work to show people why not build an audience around yourself now? Producers will be much more interested in a director that already has a buzz built around them since it makes their job infinitely easier.
You can start getting real digital magazine to take interest in the work you’ve done right now! Try Promo Panda to get featured articles or interviews about yourself and start building a buzz around yourself.
There’s so much to learn.
There’s no end to what you can learn about the craft of filmmaking. You don’t have to study at the NYU Film School. It’s better to learn about the business and entertainment side of things from mentors.
You also can’t learn enough about acting, directing, producing, cinematography, and editing. You need to learn about all of the facets of film and to stay on top of the latest trends.
With a clear vision, you can make your vision a reality. You need to have a clear understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish.
You need to be an entrepreneur. You’re going to have to be a pioneer. You need to think big and create your own formula for success.
No one wants to hire an actor who only goes through the motions. No one wants to hire an actor who tries to please other people. People won’t respect you. You’ll be a prop.
If you want to be a famous director, then stay true to yourself. Your unique sensibilities will win you the respect of your peers.
You also don’t need to be like anyone else. There are some great artists that people want to be like. Don’t copy their styles. Just be you.