Each year, we see new filmmaking trends in, or old trends making a return for a new generation. As a filmmaker, you can measure success in different ways, whether it’s commercial success, critical success, artistic merit, or purely self-satisfaction. If you are looking for commercial success, or in other words, if you want to make money, you should always be aware of the current trends. Financially speaking, it’s essential to understand early in your career that making a great film doesn’t always mean making a successful film. Coming up with an idea for a film that people want to see is the first step, and it’s easier said than done. Keeping up to date with current trends is a great way to start your project off on the right foot. But keeping on-trend doesn’t mean you can’t be different! It’s about knowing what to take from a trend, how to put your own spin on it, and when to be a trendsetter (someone has to be brave enough). Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent filmmaking trends of 2020.
Different Types of Trends
Before we get right into them, we want to take this time to say there are different types of trends.
We would categorize them as trending themes and trending techniques.
Videos come in many forms, whether it’s a feature film, marketing video, or anything else, so not every trend will apply to every video.
Also, some trends we mention will be trends on their way out, which is just as important.
A trending theme could be a movie genre, a storyline like boy meets girl or something even smaller like a character quality, funny best friend, for example.
It could also be something like making a comedic film from a serious subject matter or a dramatic from a seemingly lighthearted topic.
Whatever it is, it’s something that starts at the writing process and influences the plot to some extent.
Trending techniques are things that influence the look and style of your movie, but not the story.
These trends can be filming or editing techniques, new technology for effects, or a new way to mix music and dialogue, etc.
We like to think of these trends as enhancers; they enhance the core content of a scene to improve the viewer experience.
No matter how tempting it is, a popular technique/effect should never be used unless it’s relevant, and genuinely adds value to your content.
Audiences generally know the difference between something that fits and something that’s been shoved in for the sake of popularity.
Here are some of our top filmmaking trends in 2020.
Diversity is King
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
It’s difficult to call diversity a trend because it shouldn’t even need to be discussed.
Celebrating and embracing the differences from one culture to the next is the key to realizing we are all united as one.
It’s a topic that goes far deeper than the creative industries, but creativity has the power to make changes.
So, if we focus solely on the filmmaking industry, it’s not hard to find examples of talented people being passed over by award panels when they seemed a sure winner.
Many people believe that these omissions are made based on skin color, gender, sexuality, religion, and so on.
Far be it from us to turn this into a political debate, but what we can say is this; we are glad to see that the differences that make us human are being celebrated and supported more and more.
In the past few years, we have seen more critical acclaim for creators who would perhaps have been overlooked previously.
That’s not to say there isn’t still a long way to go; it has to become normal and not just a phase.
In your filmmaking, diversity can come from either side of the camera.
First of all, if you are someone who has doubts about putting your project out there because you feel you are different in any way, forget that.
It is our right to be different; it is our right to express ourselves creatively, whether male or female, straight or LGBT, whatever race, and whatever our faith.
We don’t mean to sound like a cheesy motivational speech, but in our eyes, a film is judged on its merit, not based on who made it.
So, if you are in that position, get started right now, make your film, put it out.
You’ll find support and encouragement from us amongst many others, and anyone who isn’t yet on board with diversity, let them miss out, not you.
OK, motivational time over and onto a quick reality check.
If you have doubts over your content being accepted rather than yourself, the only thing that matters is that it’s authentic.
When your content speaks about diversity directly, it’s a sensitive issue, and if your intentions are not as earnest as they should be, you’ll be found out.
That’s a polite way of saying don’t ever make a film about diversity just to cash in on the popularity, that’s not cool.
On the other hand, if you are passionate about your content/message, but worried about audience acceptance, just do it.
The worst that can happen is making a film you believe in, and that can never be bad.
As a parting note, we can’t comment on all you filmmakers’ ability out there, but we can promise you one thing.
No matter how talented you are, if you don’t embrace difference with open arms, you will never be as good as you could have been.
Empowerment in Movies
Photo by Hannah Middleton on Unsplash
Empowerment is an extension of diversity, and it’s a theme that has been growing for the last few years.
In 2018, we saw the first black superhero movie with Black Panther.
Since then, films like The Green Book and BlacKkKlansman have dealt with racial and social issues differently.
If you haven’t seen them yet, we won’t drop any spoilers don’t worry.
What we want you to focus on is the different ways that empowerment can be portrayed in film.
The Green Book is a true story that centers around a perceived role-reversal, where an affluent black man hires a white driver in 1960s USA.
We chose this example because it deals with empowerment directly and indirectly.
Initially, it raises awareness of racial inequality in the 1960s and highlights how far we still have to come.
Directly, the movie shines a light on the discriminatory notion that a white man can’t work for a black man.
Furthermore, it shows how stepping outside social restrictions of the time enriches the driver’s life, and that’s the indirect empowerment we mentioned.