Q: I am a 19-year-old sailor in the U.S. Navy. I have been crazy about the film business since I was 12 years old. I believe I have an extraordinary talent, yet I’m very confused about the road to take to make it into the business.
–T. Johnson, Via e-mail
A: You should read the book Finding Fish by Antwone Q. Fisher and Mim E. Rivas (Perennial; $13.95), the autobiography that inspired Oscar winner Denzel Washington to produce and star in the movie Antwone Fisher. While Fisher’s book is unforgettably inspiring, it offers a bonus: Fisher, also a Navy man, provides a personal account of what he had to go through to bring his story to the big screen. Continue to educate yourself about filmmaking by reading From Reel to Deal: Everything You Need to Create a Successful Independent Film by Dov S-S Simens (Warner Books; $17.95)
Also, the following Websites can help you learn more about filmmaking and lay the groundwork for networking with others in the industry: www.filmmaking.net, a Website devoted to independent filmmakers (including Internet filmmakers) that offers articles, software downloads, and discussion forums; www.filmmaker.com, which includes information about film festivals, contests, and other resources; and www.blackfilmmakermag.com, a resource for African American filmmakers.
The distance between having a good story to tell and making a film about it is not a straight line. However, if you are committed to learning, you’ll improve the odds of achieving your dream.