If you find yourself scrolling TikTok endlessly, it’s alright. We’ve all been there. In fact, TikTok is becoming less of a guilty pleasure and more of an educational platform for stuff we didn’t even know we wanted to learn about.
So how can filmmakers use TikTok to their advantage? Stop your scrolling and tune into hashtags like #videoediting, #cinematography, and #filmmaking. Find creators whose style you want to know more about. Follow. Like. Repeat. It won’t even feel like research.
Once you begin viewing, the algorithm presents ideas you weren’t even looking for — whether it be tips on animation, remote collaboration, or editing software. These ideas may turn into industry trends, and it’s better to get acquainted with them before they pop off.
Put simply, TikTok makes it easy to study our craft and learn from filmmakers’ diverse perspectives.
Here are some tips and tricks you can learn from filmmakers on TikTok:
The best part of TikTok is the creators’ DIY approach. TikTokers have proved time and again that you don’t need anything fancy to make 60-second short films. Creators love sharing their secrets in quick tutorials, unearthing facets of filmmaking that might’ve been in front of you this whole time — like iPhone hacks and features of editing software that you thought you already knew everything about.
Which Apps to Use
We all have our preferences in software, but do you want to learn to edit for mobile? Branch out to new software? Work faster and more efficiently? This is where other creators come in handy, introducing you to new apps with trendy animations and shortcuts that’ll keep you ahead of the game.
How to Work Like an Influencer
Whether you’re looking to make a short film, commercial, or TV show, audience awareness is key. And who knows their audience better than a social media maven with millions of followers? Influencers will often give away their amateur-turned-pro tips, like how to achieve an aesthetic using certain software and — to be perfectly blunt — how to look cool. By observing these creators, you can find which effects are trendy, along with colors, fonts, and camera tricks you should focus on — furthering your appeal to your audience, especially if your demographic skews young.
Who To Work With
When you get energized by the talent on TikTok (it’ll take no time at all), you might want to reach out. If someone’s content has you aching to make art, they might just be the person for that hard-to-fill position on your crew.
How to Promote Your Work
Your project could be the coolest thing since, well, TikTok, but no one will know unless you get your work out there. TikTokers are experts in self-promotion, so observe carefully, and you may pick up a trick or two. Once you’re done browsing, you might want to try your hand at making a TikTok. After all, it’s technically an editing program in itself, so experiment! It might just get the juices flowing for your next team project.
Need somewhere to start? Here are six filmmaking creators we love on TikTok:
What: Steadicam operation
What we love about SteadiRed is his in-depth commentary about real-life scenes he’s shot with his Steadicam rig. Using a split screen, he simultaneously shows his camera operation and the scene his lens captures. SteadiRed then adds in a super informative voice-over that explains his camera choreography and the cinematography calculations that finesse the viewers’ experience.
What: Making a movie from start to finish
This account is a lesson in how to promote your passion projects — and even get fundraising for them. The director’s fervor for filmmaking oozes through her TikToks and might just motivate you to branch out creatively.
What: Visual effects
Josh Toonen reveals his process of making a short film based on a video game. As a VFX professional, his TikTok includes his behind-the-scenes thought process. Sprinkled into his account is inspo for those trying to get jobs in the field.
What: Remote collaboration and DIY movie magic
Hallie Tut can teach you a thing or two about remote collaboration — her long-distance shoots are proof. And even though magicians aren’t supposed to give away their secrets, Hallie’s behind-the-scenes videos are proof that you can make movie magic from your bedroom.
What: Gadgets and film tips
Not only does Jessica Iliana show off the latest technology, but her quick clips are tutorials in rigging, shot sizes, color symbolism, and editing— all great for keeping your skills tight.
What: Breaking through
Christina’s account is for more beginning filmmakers who want to learn how to get started in the industry. But even if you’re an experienced vet, you never know where you might find a fresh perspective. This is also a great account to pass on to those you may mentor.
So, it’s time to start scrolling. Soon, you’ll be up to your ears with inspiration — whether it be DIY production, lighting, camera rigs, color correction, editing, or special effects. TikTok’s got a slew of creators just waiting to teach even the most experienced filmmaker a few new strategies. And who knows? Maybe you’ll be the next pro to hop on the app and pass along your knowledge to the next person. See you on TikTok!