There are extremely talented potential filmmakers out there that never make a movie because they just can’t bring themselves to take the leap of faith 123 movies. Saying yes to making a movie starts with an attitude that regardless if your movie is entertaining or terrible at least you give it an honest go to see if you got the fire in you to make movies.
In the world of making of movies, especially at the indie film level, there are zero guarantees that every aspiring filmmaker that sets out to go from screenplay to distributed movie will make it to the end. Making movies is risky creatively and financially. Sometimes a movie falls apart during pre-production, filming or in post-production for lots of different reasons.
Making a movie to me is like wagering. You try your best as a filmmaker to tilt the odds on your side as far as possible so you can win. Professional gamblers make educated gamble and so should filmmakers. The single thing that successful gamblers and filmmakers need is the attitude that they should go all in on their movie making risk.
Saying yes to making a movie is really putting your ass out there creatively and financially. Many indie films are funded through family, friends, online movie crowd funding or your own cash. I’m still on the kennel area should it be harder to say yes to making a movie with money from friends and your own pocket or to deal with film investors.
Honestly, using online movie crowd funding to me is safe filmmaking. The people that give aren’t giving you money hoping to ever see anything back or get a return. It’s like wagering with a money that’s free. When i give money to the people that set up shop outside of stores I don’t expect anything back when I put money in the box or bucket.
It’s like lending money compared to that one relative or friend that you know will never be able to pay it back, but you like them and still want to help them out without holding it over their head.
When you use money from family, friends, your own money or film investors cash there is a much more resilient sense to get the movie done in my opinion. No filmmaker wants to face family, friends or film investors and say they couldn’t 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 your story told them you would.
Film investors are not forgiving and will cut you off from future film funds. They can write off the loss, but your reputation will take success and you’ll lose out on them investing in your movies in the future. Finding money to make movies is harder than making the movie. Without film financing an individual have a screenplay and a movie making dream keeping you company.
I always like to try to put out the challenging trustworthiness first before getting to the feel good part of things. The great thing about saying yes to making a movie is you’re moving from being one of the people that only covers making movies and never does it.
When you’re not even in the game you can’t win or lose. You sit on the creative sidelines as a spectator thinking “woulda, coulda, shoulda” about your movie making passion. When you mentally click with taking the creative leap of faith you’ll feel a rush of genuine excitement. That’s living!
You’re movie making fire is now lit and you’re ready to roll. You’re no longer going to be a talented potential filmmaker. You will be a filmmaker doer. Each movie project is dissimilar, but here are few thoughts that might help sharpen you’re movie production. It is not for aspiring filmmakers looking to write a screenplay that needs a million dollar budget.
Thoughts on Making Movies
First, think of your marketing and distribution plan before writing the screenplay. This gives you the chance to think of movie product placement and other marketing avenues you can write into the screenplay to boost earning potential.
Second, before writing a screenplay look at the film budget you will need and where you want on getting that money. Indie filmmakers are masters at writing screenplays based on what their resources are.
I know it sounds like the craft of screenwriting should come first, but 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 many marketing and product placement opportunities as possible.
Friends will invest in you because of your relationship, but still respect their wages like your story would if they were film investors you didn’t know. Avoid being sloppy with paperwork. Give them the same kind of investor package you would if you were pitching to a film investor that wanted a return.
Make sure the closed screenplay is tight as possible before spending one dollar of film investor money. A screenplay that is overwritten and packed with filler will burn through production money fast.