So You wanna Be a Filmmaker Plan!
Are you the Producer, Writer, Director or All? You might even be one of the Actors! Regardless to who you are, the first thing you need after securing a script with a good solid story and a strong believable character arc, is a plan.
Why are you shooting your film?
Money, no money... you can make a film for little to none, but that all depends on what you are aiming for?
Where do you want your film to go?
How much money do you need?
Do you know what type of legal docs you need?
Just a few preliminary things to think about and/or secure, before choosing a cast and crew.
At the pre-production stage, it all starts with a Writer, Producer and/or Director, whom if not the Writer or Producer, would come in next.
You've got a Plan, A Writer, Producer and Director, so you now need a cast and a crew*.
Union or Not? Actors: decide based upon what works best for your needs. If you feel the need to hire a seasoned professional, visit the *SAG-AFTRA Production Center to become a Signatory Producer. It's not as difficult as some believe. Crew: most Indie Project do not hire Union. Keep in mind you will have to adhere to strict rules when dealing with a Union.
How much is this all going to cost? You need a budget! (Line Producer or AD with scheduler not in your pocket, then do your best to see how much it will cost by researching and asking others) When at this stage, you should take into consideration the cost of all materials, personnel and other expenditures from pre to post production, getting and being on set, to editing and all the deliverables to the marketing of your film.
Get a One Sheet (the presentation) and begin drafting a Filmmaker Business Plan that includes everything needed from start to finish, particularly a clear marketing and distribution plan. It says you are serious about what you are doing and will thus make it easier to get an investor interested in possibly taking a risk on you.
Are you in position to B (BEG, BARTER or BORROW) for what you need to get your film done?
Do you have a strong marketing plan?
Don't set yourself up for failure in expecting the SM Likers and Followers to help you raise money.
Set yourself up for Success!
Have a large network of reliable / resourceful folks that could actually contribute should you go the Fundraising route
Do you have strong communication skills to output those necessary emails? If not, hire or B with someone.
Are you timid to send out and solicit emails? (If so, STOP and go no further with campaigning! - Go ask your rich uncle or aunt if they will just give you the money! Don't have one, then you will have to learn to keep asking for what you want without worrying if you are bothering someone.. Learn to annoyingly bother your contacts.
Do you have a kick ass video that goes beyond the normal "begging for money" video? If not, research and watch as many successful campaigns to see what they are doing.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX..everyone is begging on a campaign, what will you do differently?
Approach folks with money wisely!
Hire or B with a Grant Writer and seek Grants for Artists. Places like *Fractured Atlas, who serve as Fiscal Sponsors, are a great place to start!
Now"Go Out and Make a Damn Movie!"
*Crew: What essential crew do you need and can afford; Get a great DP and they should be able to assist with the ideal crew for your script. - whether large or small, it is very important to Lead with an inspiring vision to keep your team motivated.
*Contracts: Regardless of money or size, remember to execute contracts. Stay in the Business of Show!
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