Becoming a filmmaker is not a destination. You don’t need to “become” anything. It’s not something outside you. It’s not whether you own a large format camera or have a rich dentist uncle willing to pay for your work.
If you want to “become” a filmmaker, remember you already are one. Being a filmmaker is about what actions you take, not what it says on your resume or whether you know Atom Egoyan. It is not a series of accomplishments that you can wear on your sleeve. It’s not how much money you have in your bank account and how many awards you have on the mantle. Those are byproducts of doing great work.
Peter Brook, the famed film and theater director said (and I paraphrase) that you become a director the day you call yourself one.
I know so many filmmakers (and I used to be one) that associate being a professional filmmaker with money. Professionalism has nothing to do with getting paid, it is an attitude of doing. It is about how you treat people on set. It’s about the level of respect you have for other people’s time and effort as well as your own. It is about how well you create the conditions for things to actually get made.
Think about all the work you made before you got your first paying gig. Were you any less a filmmaker then?
Finally, ask yourself if you would still be a filmmaker if you couldn’t tell anybody what you do? Would you still tell stories and love doing it, even if you were failing?