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1 Tip I Would Give Someone Who Wanted To Get Started Working In Filmmaking (Today & With No Budget)

Do you want to get started in film (today & without a budget)?

In my 15+ years in film: researching, educating, creating, & collaborating…

One thing has always stood out to me from the creators I’ve studied and met.

Here’s the 1 tip I would give you if you wanted to pursue a career in film (today & with no money)👇🏼

➡️ Make watching films a part of your schedule.

Why not just create?

Let me share an example from a high-profile filmmaker:

Martin Scorsese has been known to watch one film every day, and sometimes two on Saturdays.

He’s said that watching films has helped him to stay inspired and informed about the art of filmmaking.

Martin Scorsese & his films have earned the highest acclaim, including:

  • an Academy Award,

  • Directors Guild of America Awards,

  • and an AFI Life Achievement Award,

… to name a few.

Mr. Scorsese is an industry leader. And, an example of one who learns from others in their field.

How can you make watching films a part of your schedule?

Each of us have different schedules and requirements in our lives.

So, while you don’t need to watch a film every single day yourself…

You can add “watch a new film” as an event in your calendar.

Creating a new habit can be hard. So, how do you begin?

Let’s borrow from James Clear’s Atomic Habits

  • Make the habit small (at first)

  • Focus on consistency (rather than perfection)

  • Create a system or environment that supports your new habit

  • Reward yourself (with positive reinforcement)

What does that look like in practice?

  • Small: watch the opening sequence of a film

  • Consistent: once per week

  • Environment: your couch at 9pm

  • Reward: grab a snack

Focus on progress, not perfection. Be patient and persistent in your efforts to establish this new habit.

I love the saying “Create more than you consume.”

But, it’s not good enough on its own.

To get started, get inspired, and study the art of filmmaking:

You need to continue exposing yourself to other films, stories, and their creators.

Here’s a list of ways that you can start watching films without spending any money:

  • Go to the library (or school library)

  • Free OTA Digital TV

  • Existing movie collection (yours or friends)

  • Free streaming services

Ask for a ride. Share a computer.

Have more ideas? Please share them with us.

Here’s how you can expand on your new habit of watching films:

Watch a wide variety of films from different:

  • genres,

  • time periods,

  • cultures,

  • and directors.


  • Analyze & learn from them.

  • Take & save your notes.

  • Reflect & discuss with others.

This new habit will help you gain a comprehensive understanding of the medium.

And, it’ll help you develop your own unique style as a filmmaker.

Watch a film recently? Let’s chat. I’d love to learn with you.

See you tomorrow. Matt Cici

Follow the journey here or on:

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