You can find extremely talented potential filmmakers available that never make a movie because they just can’t bring themselves to take the leap of faith. Saying indeed to making a movie starts with an attitude that regardless if your movie will be entertaining or terrible at least a person give it an honest go to see if you got the fire in you to make movies.
In the world of making of films, especially at the indie film level, there are zero guarantees that every aspiring filmmaker that sets out to go from screenplay to distributed movie can make it to the end. Making films is risky creatively and financially. Sometimes a movie falls apart during pre-production, filming or in post-production for many different reasons.
Making a movie in my experience is like gambling. You try your best as a filmmaker to tilt the odds in your favor as much as possible so you can win. Expert gamblers make educated bets and thus should filmmakers. The one thing that successful gamblers and filmmakers need is the particular attitude that they are going to go all of in on their movie making risk.
Saying yes to making a movie is absolutely putting your ass out there artistically and financially. Many indie films are funded through family, close friends, online movie crowd funding or your own cash. I’m still around the fence if it’s harder to say yes to making a movie with money from family and friends and your own pocket or to deal with film investors.
Honestly, using online movie crowd funding to me is risk free filmmaking. The people that donate aren’t giving you money looking to ever see anything back or get a return on investment. It’s like gambling having a bankroll that’s free. When I contribute money to the people that set up shop beyond stores I don’t expect everything back when I put money in the box or bucket.
It’s like lending money to that one relative or even friend that you know will never be able to pay it back, but you like them and still wish to help them out without keeping it over their head.
If you use money from family, friends, your own money or film investors money there is a much stronger sense to get the movie done in my opinion. No filmmaker would like to face family, friends or film investors and say they didn’t want to finish the movie. Friends and family are always forgiving in the end, but you’ll still feel an emotional letdown if you can’t deliver a finished movie like you told them you would.
Film investors aren’t forgiving and will cut you off from future film funds. They can write off the loss, but your reputation will require a hit and you’ll lose out on them investing in your movies in the future. Finding cash to make movies is harder compared to making the movie. Without film funding you only have a screenplay and a movie making dream keeping you organization.
I always like to try to put out the brutal honesty first before getting to the feel good part of things. The great thing about stating yes to making a movie is if you’re moving from being one of the people that only talks about making movies and never does it.
When you’re not even in the game on the phone to win or lose. You sit on the creative sidelines as a spectator thinking “woulda, coulda, shoulda” regarding your movie making passion. Once you mentally commit to taking the creative leap of faith you’ll feel a rush of genuine excitement. That’s living!
You’re movie making open fire is now lit and you’re ready to roll.
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You’re no longer going to be a talented potential filmmaker. You will be the filmmaker doer. Each movie project is different, but here are few thoughts that might help sharpen you’re movie production. This isn’t for aspiring filmmakers that want to write a screenplay that requires a million dollar budget.
Thoughts on Producing Movies
First, think of your advertising distribution plan before writing the particular screenplay. This gives you the chance to think of movie product placement and other advertising avenues you can write into the movie script to boost earning potential.
Second, just before writing a screenplay think about the movie budget you will need and where you intend on getting that money. Indie filmmakers are masters at writing screenplays based on what their resources are usually.
I know it sounds like the craft associated with screenwriting should come first, however for a first time indie filmmaker it’s important to understand making movies is a business. You need to be able to exploit, yes exploit, as much marketing and product placement opportunities as it can be.
Family and friends will invest in you due to your relationship, but still respect their particular hard earned money like you would if they were film investors you didn’t understand. Avoid being sloppy with documents. Give them the same kind of investor deal you would if you were pitching to some film investor that wanted a return on investment.
Make sure the locked movie script is tight as possible before spending one dollar of film buyer money. A screenplay that is overwritten and packed with fluff will burn off through production money fast.
Throughout filming don’t take the approach studio room budget movies do. You’re not likely to be able to have 20 takes of scene to get it right. There is not enough money in an indie film budget to shoot it using a Hollywood filmmaker mentality.
You’re really have to get in there on set plus kickass on scenes. Not every get you’re going to love or even like, but it’s a time issue when shooting indie films. You have to be able to take you’re not going to have the luxury of doing take after take.
When a scene is covered move on and don’t appear back even if it didn’t come out how you envisioned. Being take content during filming will lead to a person running out of money and getting an unfinished film that will require finishing funds to complete.
Tackle post-production with the same attitude you do on set to get the movie performed.
Film investors will ride your own ass unlike family or buddies when it comes to when the movie will be carried out, sold and their money compensated. Don’t get shaken or take it personally. The business world is not warm plus fuzzy full of hugs and smooches.