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Making Your Mark: Tips for Budding Filmmakers

November 20, 2014

Bailey Corneal is a 2013 Advanced Television and Film program graduate who produced The Guest which was screened at the LA festival in September 2014. She brings many years of experience in front of the camera to her work as a filmmaker. Bailey is a stand-in, photo-double and secondary actor-double for Tatiana Maslany in the Canadian sci-fi series Orphan Black. The creators of the show have been extremely supportive of her filmmaking career. Previously, Bailey had a recurring role on Degrassi: The Next Generation in 2003 (Seasons 3 and 4), as Amy Peters-Hoffman. Here she offers some words of advice to aspiring filmmakers.

Filmmaking is one of, if not, the most, collaborative industry in the world. The dynamics and structure are like an intricate web of networks and communication channels. Sounds corny, but it’s true. Here are some lessons I have learned that have helped me develop and execute my vision as a filmmaker:

Find a support system. I am fortunate to have the support from people like Jean Desormeaux and Vladimir Kabelik at Sheridan, confirming that I am on the right path and that I have the potential to do great things. I enrolled at Sheridan because the teachers are talented, working filmmakers-not like those teachers you hear about that haven’t made a film in over a decade! Sheridan has a good track record, and especially because I have so many years of onset experience, I knew that I needed to go somewhere that would foster my evolution as a filmmaker.

Rules are made to be broken. No one ever made a name for him/herself by always following the rules. Be bold, take risks, and trust your gut! Be original, not safe.

Surround yourself with people who are invested in your story and are willing to bust their butt to do the job. Respect everyone on your crew, regardless of his or her title.

Have an outstanding work ethic. It’s too competitive out there. When you have great work ethic and a real passion, a lot of the competition is automatically eliminated. Many people like the idea of working in film, but actually lack the passion and intrinsic desire. These people burn out quickly. When you love it, the adrenaline rush keeps you moving forward, especially when you are working 15 hr. + days.

Ask for things! There is a good chance that with hard work and the right approach, you will get them. Putting in work and getting good grades - along with producing quality material - was my job, and getting academic awards and bursaries was my payment.

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