Coronavirus Lockdown: 5 Tips to Generate Income as a Filmmaker

March 25th, 2020
Coronavirus Lockdown: 5 Tips to Generate Income as a Filmmaker

Most filmmakers are in complete lockdown, all shoots have been canceled/postponed, and most of us lost a significant part of our income. To help you in this hard time, here are five tips to help you generate a profit directly from home. Let’s take a closer look at it!

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Image credit: Andrew Neel

After our previous article “7 things filmmakers can do while all jobs are down”, we continue our Coronavirus series of articles. This time, we’re giving you five tips to generate an income if you are on complete lockdown.

1. Selling Stock Footage

It’s not Coronavirus specific, but while you have free time, you can start selling stock footage. Indeed, if you look into your hard drives and archives, I’m sure you have dozens of clips that are worth money

There are plenty of websites where you can sell your footage, such as Shutterstock, Artgrid, Getty, Vimeo, Pond5, Filmsupply, and so on. Now, let’s face it: this is a time-consuming process. Also, you won’t generate an income overnight. But if you start selling stock footage now, it’s an excellent way to start creating passive income.

If you don’t want to take care of all the business and upload part, you can use services such as BlackBox. The concept is simple, you simply upload your stock footage to BlackBox, and once they review/accept it, they take care of the rest by uploading it to major stock agencies for you.

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Image credit: Jakob Owens

2. Offline Editing/Grading

If you have a proper Internet connection (fiber optics at least), a good computer, and the skills, you can do some offline editing or color-grading. You can start offering your services on websites such as Fiverr Pro or Freelancer. Of course, it’s better to have a showreel that is up to date, but you can look at our article here with valuable tips to update your reel.

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Image credit: Le Buzz

3. Contests & Social Media Content

Online contests and creating social media content for brands are also great ways to earn a bit of money. Some platforms like Genero, Movidiam, or Goshow, for example, connects filmmakers and brands. You can get access to exclusive briefs and work for big brands. It’s also an occasion to get out of your comfort and work on projects you’re not familiar with.

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Image credit: Kon Karampelas

4. YouTube

This one is not an overnight solution too, but why not start that YouTube channel you’ve been thinking of for so long? Whereas you’re creating reviews, unboxing, behind the scenes, or educational content, you can earn a bit of money via YouTube. You’ll need to post consistently if you want your channel to grow, but it’s a rewarding process.

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Image credit: Sticker Mule

5. Existing Clients

In this pandemic period, you can call your top five clients to get some news first, and also offer your help. Indeed, a lot of events are canceled, and maybe they might need live streaming services, social media content, e-learning solutions, and so on. Every company needs digital services so that it might be your chance. Send them a couple of ideas by mail, put them at ease, but don’t force things.

Otherwise, I strongly suggest that you do not try to reach new clients by mail/phone. First of all, the company you are trying to reach might have the same problems as you. Second, it will completely ruin your brand’s reputation and look very self-centered. Budgets are tightening for every one of us, so wait for new clients to do the first step.

What do you think of these five tips to help you generate an income as a filmmaker in this Coronavirus period? What are you doing to keep your business going? Don’t hesitate to share your ideas in the comments below!

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Ben J
Ben J
MemberMarch 26th, 2020

Good tips. You might also lend your weight to campaigns for financial support for freelancers. The UK government looks set to make an announcement on this today, following pressure. If this kind of support helps us cover costs for a few months, we can use the time to develop new skills, do small spec projects, but also volunteer for local health or community efforts. Perhaps even donate video skills to share important stories and information.

Nino Leitner
AdminMarch 26th, 2020

Thank you Ben, we will definitely do that. Please email us information once you get it, which will help us in preparing the articles.

 Johnny Wu
Johnny Wu
MemberMarch 26th, 2020

If you already have a good social media presence. Offer gear companies to help maintain or test their products for a fee. Many would. I have been doing this for some time now. And so over 50% of my filmmaking gears are free and I get paid to test and help in social media groups.

 Johnny Wu
Johnny Wu
MemberMarch 26th, 2020

Forgot to mention. This also applies to if you do a lot of reviews on amazon as well.

Markus Kaiser-Mühlecker
Markus Kaiser-Mühlecker
GuestMarch 25th, 2020

Super Artikel, danke für die Ideen ?!

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