While completely reasonable, big dreams and big goals can cause independent filmmakers’ heads to spin with from the hundreds of possibilities, ideas, versus thousands of limitations. For those just beginning the journey, knowing helpful hints and tips can help ease the process and give clarity. Filmmaking is a difficult business that requires perseverance, preparedness, and the understanding that even though you may be an incredible director, it does not mean that your films will always be good.
Tip 1: Be Reasonable, Star Gazer
Long and short-term goals are one thing in comparison to dreams and aspirations. As an independent filmmaker, set realistic expectations for yourself but don’t lose sight of your dreams. Businesses function best when they have set goals in place and a plan of action to achieve those goals. This is especially important for the film business which is filled with unknowns and inconsistencies. Building these goals comes from realistic expectations rather than having your head in the clouds.
Tip 2: Where’s the Money At?
It is increasingly difficult for films to receive financing, and especially rare that they receive immediately full financing from wealthy entrepreneurs. However, thousands of funding opportunities exist if you do a little research and digging. Crowd-funding can be a useful tool in building an audience base and advertising your skills while also being able to raise money. Using crowd-funding sites while linking them to your social media and actively promoting them is a multi-functional tool. When seeking substantial funding from businesses or individuals, be aware that you need both a well-written/rehearsed proposal and a plan of action for keeping up your end of the bargain. Appreciation gifts, rights, and souvenirs cost money and are extra necessary expenses.
Tip 3: Actors Are People, Too
Truth be told, actors are a dime a dozen. However, the more actors you employ in your films, the larger a following you will receive via connections and networking. Actors strive to get their name out there just as you do. They are constantly promoting themselves and their work while at the same time, inadvertently promoting you. This leaves you with two responsibilities. First, make sure to build strong, positive connections with your actors and do not burn bridges. Second, help promote them and let them help promote you as well. Show business is a small world that begins with simple relationships.
Tip 4: That’s So Cliché
While you may have gotten into the business because of a favorite director, actor, technique, or another reason, that does not mean that the film world needs another one of those things. Avoid being cliché at all costs. Instead, focus on what you took away from your inspiration and what you want your audience to take away from you.