How to become a filmmaker & camera whizz like Oli Martin

It’s all about having passion for the project, according to the 19-year old

With platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Youtube, making and sharing original videos has never been easier. All you need is a phone or camera and an internet connection. But what separates an average video from some first-rate filming?

For the Newcastle-based videographer Oli Martin (, it’s down to the subject matter. “I’ve been interested in cars, bikes and action sports for a really long time so I just started filming that. The fact that I’m passionate about what I’m filming means that I get a better end result than if I wasn’t. When you know about the subject, you know the people and you know what to expect, you’re going to be a lot more relaxed. You’ll get more involved and have more fun with it,” he told us. “I think that’s my top tip for anyone looking into getting into filmmaking actually: don’t look at it as a job, look at it as a hobby. Just have fun with it and only keep doing it if you really, really like it.”

It’s obviously working for him. Since buying a GoPro camera at just 13 years old and using it to film his action sports adventures with friends, Oli has constantly upgraded his equipment, gone on to study media at college, and is now a full-time filmmaker. His showreel is full of shots of BMX stunts, Porsches and freestyle scootering.

It’s not all flashy cars and extreme sports, however. The videographer also sees the importance in branching out and trying new things too, which is why he filmed the promo for former TOWIE legend Gemma Collins’ new clothing line. “That one was a bit of a change for me. It’s good to try new stuff because you can’t just keep doing the same thing. Looking at different styles and ways to film pushes my skills further,” he explained.  

What was the first thing you filmed that you were proud of?

The first thing that I filmed that I was proud of has to be all the skater park videos that I did when I was a lot younger, put it on Instagram, YouTube. But the most recent thing that I have been proud of is when I went to Barcelona I got loads of content in the city and riding in the skate parks.

How did you turn your hobby into a hustle?

I turned my hobby into a hustle mainly by filming a lot, I really enjoyed it so I was always at the skate park filming my friend doing tricks on their bikes and scooters. I got approached by the local skate park to cover events, and I did loads of little videos for scooter companies, scooter riders, BMX riders as well. Some big names as well which was really helpful because those big names helped me push my filming to a wider audience. Once I got approached by different companies, they were happy to fund me to go travelling and do videos. It doesn’t even feel like a hustle because it’s a hobby.

What’s it like filming extreme sports?

Filming extreme sports is insane, it’s made to see the amount of tricks and the progression riders have made now. I mean I’m scared filming it never mind doing all these back flips and everything I don’t know how people do it but it’s really good filming extreme sports and I love it and I wouldn’t want to film anything else.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve filmed?

The craziest thing I have filmed, it’s hard for me to talk about it because it hasn’t been released anywhere, it’s a big project that we have been working on for quite a while now and its nearly finished but not quite there yet but once it’s done it will be out there and I’m sure everyone is going to see it because it’s mad.

Do photography & filmmaking require different skillsets?

Photography and filming does require lots of different skillsets, you’ve got to have good time management, good ability to use a camera. Lots of things come in to play when it comes to filming and taking photos. Once you’ve got the hang of it its really easy to pick up new skills, I always look online for tutorials on how to do different editing techniques, different photos how to make your photos look better, once you’ve got a few photos with a good camera it’s so much easier to progress and learn more skills with a camera because it just comes naturally.

Give your top tip for someone trying to make it as a photographer/ filmmaker?

My top tips for someone who is wanting to make it as a filmmaker or a photographer is to firstly use whatever camera you’ve got if you’ve got a phone use that if you’ve got a DSLR camera even better but nowadays you can get just as good content from your phone so use anything you’ve got that takes videos and photos to practice with your skills and as you move on you can get a better camera and new equipment.

My second tip would be making sure your organized because if you’re turning up to a shoot with no batteries or SD cards or no camera even then it’s not going to go well. You need to make sure your prepared the night before and get everything in place to have a successful shoot the next day.