1. We are all Important!
Everyone contributing to the finished film has ‘directed’ the film in one way or another. All that matters is the story and its connection to the audience.
2. Tell Universal Stories
Put Africa first and tell her stories. This is not small responsibility. Look for the universality in these stories so that people from all cultures and creeds can relate to. Don’t get lost in cultural specificities.
3. Keep It Real
As an African filmmaker you have a responsibility not to feed western preconceptions around Africa. Poverty, war and disease may be a reality for many Africans but find the hope.
4. Own The Shhh..t!
Wherever possible own the equipment you use. The digital revolution means that this is more possible than ever before – use what you have and don’t wait for someone else to supply you with the fanciest gear. Remember its about the message not the medium.
5. Involve Other Artists
Cross platforms and collaborate with other artists in complimentary fields such as music, fashion and new media. It will make your film better and broaden your audience.
6. Win Hearts And Minds
Filmmaking is a collaborative art, you will depend on your crew, cast and even passersby to create your movie. Keep them involved and motivated by sharing your passion for the project and inviting them to be part of Yes! That’s Us.
7. Shoot Cheap But Shoot Well
There is no excuse for not doing your best even if the equipment you are using is not the latest and you are underpaid, tired and hungry. Stay focused and keep standards high.
8. Innovate Don’t Imitate
If you’ve seen it before it’s a cliché. Do something different, take a chance, create something new.
9. Stand In The Firing Line
Make sure your film is seen and pay closer attention to the criticism than to the praise it receives. Never stop learning from your mistakes.
10. Have fun!!
Remember why we do this. Enjoy yourself and share the love, that way we will get to make many more films and they will keep getting better.