by Michael Chasin


Before you realize your ultimate filmmaking dream of being a screenwriter or director or producer or DP—you will likely first—be a hyphenate:

  • Writer-Director-Producer-Prop Master
  • DP-Editor-Set Designer-Production Assistant
  • Writer-Director-DP-Editor-Producer-Prop Master-Set Designer
  • And possibly even—Actor

This is because at the zero or micro budget level—where you will probably start—you will be compelled to perform multiple filmmaking functions.

And while doing-it-all in film school is a great way to learn—and a great way to learn which area of filmmaking you love—doing-it-all for too long after film school—could actually hurt your career.

Because reaching your goal of being a writer or director or DP requires excellence—in writing or directing or cinematography.

And excellence—in just one discipline—requires singular dedication, such as:

  • Reading beyond the recommended list
  • Analyzing the best—for insights into what worked
  • Analyzing the worst—for insights into what didn’t work
  • Starting early—leaving late
  • And understanding that your first twenty efforts will not be great—but are needed—to become great

Doing-it-all will not allow you to:

  • Write the needed ten drafts—of just one script
  • Shoot the one hundred hours of diverse footage—as practice
  • Rehearse the pitch one hundred times—before meeting with an investor

So as difficult it may be—resist the temptation—to do-it-all.

Instead, bring in collaborators—in their fields of excellence—so that you may develop excellence in your core talent.

That excellence in your core talent of writing, directing, or producing—will lead to fulfilling your filmmaking dreams.

Michael Chasin
Author: Michael Chasin

Michael Chasin is an award-winning filmmaker with experience ranging from writing, directing, editing, and producing to screenplay consulting.  He founded and currently serves as Director of the ArtServe Film Maker Festival Series.  He’s also been a valued contributor to other festivals where he has presented screenwriting seminars and served as a Best Screenplay judge.  Michael has a boundless passion for filmmaking that he communicates avidly to his IAFT students in his classes on screenwriting, film finance, marketing, and distribution, film festival success, and career development. In addition to his Diploma in Filmmaking, he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, a Masters in Human Resources Management, and a Masters in Business Administration. It's just been announced that Jordan Wall of The Glades will be making his directorial debut with Michael's short script, Greater Goode.