Through the eyes of an aspiring filmmaker

There’s a lot that happens behind the scenes of everyday classroom learning. Every so often, students band together to create something truly mesmerizing. For me, it was so much more than that. I discovered my love for filmmaking a long time ago but didn’t do anything about it until just recently. I’m sure you’ve been there too. 

I discovered my love for filmmaking a long time ago

— Austin Wagar
As a young kid, you used to dress up in costumes and pretend you were in a world far different from your own. I’m guilty of it too. The only difference is, I went out of my way to film it. Of course, I wasn’t experienced with cameras or high priced editing software, so I’m sure you can believe it was quite a hassle to film on an iPod.

Who thought that sitting around with some friends willing to act and ‘play pretend’, with a camera in your hand, and a vision in your head could lead to something so amazing? Not just a hobby, not just a dream, but something I actually wanted to do for the rest of my life. A career.

They say in order to be a filmmaker, you need to at least know every aspect of film at least a decent bit. I took this to heart and made sure I did everything in my power to pursue the different paths of filmmaking I could. Ever since I was about four years old, I always had a knack for writing. Whether it was short stories, poems, letters, etc. There was never a moment in my childhood where I resented writing.

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By the time I had reached middle school, I was given the chance to adapt the school play by writing my own scripts and directing my own scenes. This gave me the chance to learn how to format scripts the correct way, which led to formatting screenplays. This also provided me a way of learning how to direct. Because I was adding scenes to the play, I had to teach the characters how to move around in the scene, what to say, how to say it, and most importantly, how to make it believable all in the end.

Thanks to my drama class in middle school and high school, not only did I learn how to write scripts and direct actors on stage, I also learned how to act myself. Experts in the field of filmmaking believe that in order to have knowledge of what to say to your actors, you need to have a sense for acting yourself. Which I did. Now here is where things get technical. In my Sophomore year, I took a Video Productions class which led to my understanding of editing. Editing was and still is probably my favorite part of filmmaking. Learning and excelling at different software such as iMovie, Sony Vegas Pro, and the one I use the most, Adobe Premiere Pro. All different and all great in their own ways, this software helped me bring the clips I filmed to life. When it came to practicing video editing, it was a must to also learn the fundamentals of audio editing.

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Audio editing still is a big learning curve for me. There’s so much to it that there is literally no way of understanding it all in its entirety. Being that there are still new techniques being created and discovered every single day.

No one mentions this last step, but I’ll go ahead and give it to you anyway. It’s probably one of the biggest steps to becoming successful in ANY career you are interested in. Not just filmmaking. And that is to “Just Be Confident.” I cannot stress enough how if you don’t have faith in your own work, why would anyone else? Why should people hire you? Why should you be chosen over everyone else in your field? What makes you stand out from every single person who has ever had a dream like yours? Confidence. That’s all it takes. Be confident in what you do, how you do it, and the reasoning behind why you do it. Because if you can’t handle those three simple rules, then everything else becomes meaningless. Everything you’ve trained for, everything you’ve done to get where you are now, will mean nothing. Unless you have the confidence to keep moving forward with everything you do.

Editor’s note: Austin’s short film “Morals” can be viewed on his Youtube channel.
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About Austin Wagar 5 Articles
I am an aspiring filmmaker and author with experience in many fields pertaining to the two. While also being a senior at Inland Lakes, I am very passionate about many of the Arts.

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