How to get into Filmmaking?

Hello, welcome to my How To Blog post. I'm a DP Cinematographer based in Sydney Australia, and after a lot of request on Instagram, today I'll be talking to you about how to get into film making. 

So, you wanna get into film making? Great, that's awesome stuff. Now, film making is a very broad term. When someone ask me as a DP, "How do I get into film making?" I suppose they are asking how to be a camera operator, a DP, a cinematographer.

My focus, today, is going to be mainly on that.

Getting into Film Making - First Step!

If you want to get into film-making, meaning cinematography, DP work, the first thing you need to do is pick up a camera and film!

Are you actually, every night, sleeping late? Trust me, this is not some kind of late night commercial. This is talking about film making.

Are you sleeping late?..... Are you looking at others videos?..... Are you trying to look at films and figure out how it's done?..... Are you looking at other equipment and thinking, "I wish I had a camera"?

What camera to film with? For startups

Here's what I suggest. If you're trying to get into filmmaking, first, find any camera. Even if it's a phone, even if it's your DSLR. From Canon's to Sony's to anything that you can afford. I'm pretty sure you're asking the same question to yourself.

What to film?


What do I shoot? Look around you, like right now, look around you. What do you have around you? Do you have a couch? do you have a dining table? A wife? Girlfriend? Baby crawling somewhere? Dogs running around? Or you're probably sitting in an office right now, looking at some boring computers and people talking on the phone. Look in front of you, do you have a pen in front of you? Do you have a stapler in front of you? Maybe make a video on how to put a staple pin inside a stapler. 

I know it sounds stupid, but until you film something, you won't know what you're good at and what you're not good at.

Now, if you film something, you edit that, you review it, you will see what you are good at and what you're not good at, and once you figure out what you're not good at, you can research and get better at it. Simple as that.

Now, what's the easiest thing that you can film that's going to get you recognized? Well, there's many things. You can do films, you can do short films, you can do competitions, yet my suggestion will be music videos.

Music videos are great because, firstly, the artist will already pay a lot of attention to detail. The artist will make sure the music is great, the artist will make sure the set is great, so it makes it a little bit easier for you to kind of work in a team.

If you are not confident starting something yourself, what I suggest is to tag along. Find a DP, find a cinematographer, find a filmmaker, find a wedding person.

Learn the basics, join Facebook groups, look at videos on YouTube, join other subscription websites that actually teach you basics in sound, lighting, design, cinematography, lenses and all of those.

Getting exposure to your content

Now, the best one, I suppose, is enter a film competition. Why a film competition? A film competition doesn't really mean a feature film, a short film, could be a documentary, could be a music video, could be even a short clip that you shot about anything.

Now, this actually allows you to present your videos in front of other people. It actually motivates you to actually go one step further, and it allows you to win awards. Obviously, if you're going to win awards, it's going to give you next level encouragement to do something better. It's going to give you the spike that, "Hey, I've done it, let's do more."

There's hundreds and thousands of film festivals that are world-wide, as well. Even online film festivals, where you can submit your work and get it recognized.

I guess the way life works is if people feel appreciated, they feel better.

It's the same with your work as well. If your work is recognized, and there is compliments through it, and you'll feel recognized, you will feel better. That's why I recommend film festivals. 

By now, you've already figured out that my number one advice is pick up any camera and please just go out there, go shoot something, go film something. Go make history. Change the way you think. The ideas that you have in your mind, take it out, put it visually, and show it to people.

So, guys, that's all for today. Please do subscribe to my channel. Like and put your feedback down, and let me know what you think about this. If you have any questions that I can answer, I'll be more than happy to.

Yeah, just subscribe because there's lots of exciting things coming up on this channel. Some behind the scenes on how I actually do feature films, short films and commercials, and I'd love to talk to you soon.


Tantrica - Trailer shoot

Recently I have been involved in filming a epic trailer for Tantrica - Feature Film. A journey from Syd to Qld Drive in secluded areas running around with top notch team.

5 day of intense shoot and mosquitoes, yet nothing could stopped our passion and commitment! Reviewing footage's and excited to see the release and working further with Tantrica Project. More details coming soon.


Sunkesari - Nepali Horror Feature Film

Back in September I got involved in a Nepali Feature Film "Sunkesari". It has been a privilege working along side Arpan Thapa, a very well known Nepali Director, Actor, Writer who is not only passionate about film making but very talented in telling stories in a unique way.

Interesting fact: We had three options for locations, Melbourne, Sydney or Nepal itself with its famous historic castles. It's very difficult to find a castle in Australia for filming.

Having long nights of pre production with Arpan (Director), Manoj Adhikari (Producer) and Sharleen Cornish (1st AD), we finally had luck. The first day we went to Camelot Castle was astonishing, I did not expect a castle to be present in the hut of Western Sydney. Being a Western Sydney film maker I always try to put film making a priority in Western Sydney to allow upcoming creatives to emerge into film production.

Pre Production team assembled a core team of 10 people calling "Sunkesari" home for most of September.

  Screen Grab - Sunkesari

Screen Grab - Sunkesari

Sunkesari - Core Team

Sunkesari is the latest film by Nepali Actor/ Director, Arpan Thapa. It is a collaboration between the Australian and Nepali film Industries. With a stellar cast and and handpicked crew of local industry professionals, this ambitious project seek to make waves internationally as the first Australian/Nepali Horror.

LEAD Cast of Sunkesari

Reecha Sharma - Sunkesari

Manoj, an Australian Director / Producer who got me involved in the project did mention a well known actress being lead of this feature - Reecha Sharma, I mean yes, we both have same surnames, are all Sharma's super talented? :D It was an absolute pleasure working with Reecha as "Sunkesari" the lead actress of the film. I still live have flashbacks to the moments we all had in the castle and yes, spooky conversation between Reecha and I.

Lauren Lofber - Emma

This year I have been involved in a few different productions, I was extremely excited to find Lauren Lofberg playing "Emma" in Sunkesari. Lauren is a talented actor and I have worked with her in other productions such as Back in the Game - Web Series. I seriously do not believe anyone else could have done a better job as "Emma".

Sunny Dhakal - Rupen

Rabindra Jha - Yadav

Bhim Neupane - Ram

Prerana Thapa - Prerana

Tamanna Sharma - Srijana


Sunkesari Crew

I really don't think I can say enough about about the crew that I was surrounded with.

Arpan Thapa

Arpan is a very talented director, I have enjoyed working by his side on the set of "Sunkesari". His vision and his way of story telling is out of this world. I love the fact that most of the time we were thinking about the same shot and style. This allowed me to easily understand the director's vision. On the last day of set, we wanted to continue filming yet it was over. I look forward working with Arpan again in the future.

Adam Reaver - First AC

Let's start with our First AC, Adam Reaver for 3 weeks handed my bullshit, his a great First AC and the ability to also Focus Full and understand the basic of lighting just gave me a little bit flexibility to spend more time with the director.

Shav Kumar - Electrical / Second AC

This guy is super talented, his a Lighting Engineer, DJ and a Second AC. What else could I ask for?

Akash Tanna - BTS Video & Data Wrangler

The guy with the touch (on the shoulder) - That's what I would like to call him. It's okay A-Kash-You-Later, it can be "Sunkesari" secret. An amazing person who was prepared to jump on board and help not only with BTS but becoming our Data Wrangler.

Ben Mezups - BTS Photographer

Below you will be a Gallery full of Behind the Scene photos from "Sunkesari". It from no other but our talanted photographer - Ben. Be not only captured the moments necessary but also stood up into capturing my beer belly which I need to loose very soon. Be sure to check our his website: Ben Mezups Photography

Kathy Le - Second AD & Continuity

If you want your film to be successful, you surely need a structured person for continuity.  I have worked with Kathy Le on other products such as the shepherd and the orb and it was absolutely amazing to see Miss Le put on the Continuity Cap on for Sunkesari. She also takes cares of her crew with head massages.

Sharleen Cornish - First AD

Yes, the one who keep's you in loop on what's happening on set. An actor, script supervisor, First AD, SFX artist, the list just goes on. There is nothing that this girl cannot do. First AD is your primary contact of schedules and management on set. I am glad to see Sharleen not only stepping up her game with this international feature but being a great friend always ensuring the crew and cast are met with their needs. The job she does really get's your head. :D

Wez Debono - Production Assistant

Look, let's be honest. Your mind does not work after hrs of production at 2 am in the morning thinking about getting lighting right for your next shot. Sharleen and Wez always ensured what ever the crew and cast needed are delivered. There has not been a single day without great food, drinks and lots of chocolates. Thank you lover boy (Wez) for all your input towards this feature film.

Kaniz - SFX / MUA

I am pretty sure we can call her a, hidden secret in this film, she has worked her magic getting normal people looking paranormal.

Kent Fry - Sound

Sometimes I keep on forgetting Kent is out sound guy as he is always there to help carry lighting stands. His a character I tell you, waking around at night alone in haunted castle with a head light on. I have worked with Kent in the past and it's always a pleasure having a mature and experieced sound engineer on board.

George Saliba - Stunt

It was an honor to work with the famous stunt coordinator - George. Saliba and his team has been fun to work with. No matter how stressful the set might become, they were very relaxed and ensured the stunts are up to the director's expectation.

Special thanks to Emily Williams and Vikram Vetrival for joining set for the main days. It was great working with you both.

Produced by
Dharma Raj Adhikari    ...    associate producer
Manoj Adhikari    ...    executive producer
Bhim Neupane    ...    producer
Sharmila Sapkota    ...    producer
Reecha Sharma    ...    producer
Arpan Thapa    ...    executive producer

Sunkesari - Screen Grab


I own a URSA Mini Pro and with the look I was after, we decided to attach Red Pro Prime Lens on the Blackmagic URSA Mini. I would like to thank our one stop shop, Digital Logic for having availability on a truck full of gear. Marcel from Digital Logic has been a big help throughout the Pre Production process. Be sure to check Digital Logic website.

What's Next?

The film is currently in Post Production and it's planned to be released internationally next year. I am now onto the next project starting New Year.

Sunkesari - IMDB  |  Facebook  

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