• Viknesh Silvalingam

You don't have to go to film school to make a film

Updated: 4 days ago


"When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them. No, I went to films, "

these are famous words from an even more famous filmmaker, Quentin Tarantino(1)*. It's true, you do not have to go to film school to make a film. Many of the legendary filmmakers past and present such as Steven Soderbergh(2)*, Stanley Kubrick(3)*, and Wong Kar-wai(4)* just to name a few have not attended (or completed) film school. However, on the flip side, we do have revered auteurs like Martin Scorcese(5)*, Francis Ford Coppola(6)*, and Satyajit Ray(7)* graduating from renowned film colleges.


In this day and age, there is an abundance of material for any aspiring filmmaker to gain knowledge from. Lessons on a particular topic can easily be found on websites, forums, and social media. You can easily go to a relevant forum page and type a question like, " What is the benefit of Kino Flos light?", and there will be a decent list of responses for you. Social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo are filled with 'expert' critics providing their thoughts on why a particular film did (or didn't) do well or narrating the rationale of a director's choice of shot composition.


Having a network of filmmakers to call upon for is the most important need. Capable and collaborative mates are concrete benefits you would need as compared to a Youtuber. Even the best filmmakers have a solid network they can trust for help when needed.


In my previous blog, I had mentioned about using The Martini to improve your project's productivity. One of the ways, The Martini is assisting aspiring filmmakers without formal film education is by enabling (sort of) a software workflow on how to write a screenplay. There are a few steps to follow when developing (and writing) your screenplay. Although there are no real rules (or order of operations), the best rule of thumb involves:


1. Writing a logline

2. Writing the treatment

3. Developing the characters

4. Plotting the outlines

5. Writing the script

6. Gathering feedback

7. Rewrite, rewrite and rewrite


When you log in The Martini, it will automatically provide you 2 tabs in which you can write your synopsis and treatment before writing your screenplay. By starting with your synopsis and treatment you (and your writing partner, if you have one) will have general guidelines while writing your screenplay. Yes, sometimes while writing your screenplay, you may revise your story or need to update your logline and treatment. You can write up multiple versions of your synopses and treatments for future reference. Writing a solid synopsis will intrigue producers with a screenplay's subject matter before they dive into the full script. Demonstrating to these gatekeepers that your screenplay is worth their valuable time.


Our vision is to help not just aspiring writers but producers, directors, and cinematographers alike on the steps they would need to take their project to the next level. If you want to stay in the loop on what to expect from The Martini app, please do subscribe to my newsletter and my social medial accounts, Twitter, and Instagram.


Author’s Notes/References (1) Quentin Tarantino- Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quentin_Tarantino ; last viewed: 13 September 2020; last updated: 5 September 2020 (2) Steven Soderbergh - Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Soderbergh ; last viewed: 13 September 2020 ; last updated: 6 September 2020 (3) Stanley Kubrick - Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Kubrick ; last viewed: 13 September 2020 ; last updated: 8 September 2020 (4) Wong Kar-wai - Wikipedia: ; last viewed: 13 September 2020 ; last updated: (5) Martin Scorcese - Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Scorsese ; last viewed: 13 September 2020 ; last updated: 12 September 2020 (6) Francis Ford Coppola - Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Ford_Coppola ; last viewed: 13 September 2020 ; last updated: 12 September 2020 (7) Satyajit Ray- Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyajit_Ray ; last viewed: 13 September 2020 ; last updated: 9 September 2020


© 2020 by A Viknesh Island Production, California, USA

viknesh.silvalingam@gmail.com

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