Filmmaking Advice For The Modern Filmmaker

Filmmaking Advice For The Modern Filmmaker

Talk to any filmmaker about filmmaking and they will tell you the world has changed.

Gone are the days when you simply made a movie and sold it to the highest bidder.

These days every filmmaker with a camera is making a backyard indie. And as a result, the market is saturated with a never ending supply of mediocre movies. Suffice it to say, as a serious independent filmmaker, it is hard to get noticed.


Filmmaking Advice For The Modern Filmmaker

In today’s article, I am going to provide you with essential filmmaking advice.

Stop Thinking Like An Artist
To become successful, you need to stop crying about all the challenges. Instead you need to reshape your thinking. From now on, think of yourself as an entrepreneurial filmmaker. Adopt the philosophy of a thriving small business owner.

You need to remember that your independent film business lives and dies by word of mouth.  And since your business is your audience, you need to make every effort to amplify your reach.

Make Remarkable Movies
Building your audience starts with engagement. And if you want to engage, you need to focus on making memorable, remarkable movies. A remarkable movie makes people take pause and tell their friends about it. This starts with your log-line – What is your hook? Who is your audience? Why should we care?

Answer these questions BEFORE you do anything else.

Reward Early Adopters
During the social window, you will receive emails from people asking when they can see your movie. And if you’re like most filmmakers, you will tell these eager fans that you’re waiting for a distribution deal. This is a mistake. These people are your most enthusiastic fans. These people will go the distance to become your word of mouth army.

What will you do to help them?

Pay The Price
When I started filmmaking, Hollywood was an impenetrable kingdom. To make a movie, you had to ask permission. But those days are over. With inexpensive cameras, social media, email lists,  and services like Distribber – You now have direct access to your audience.

Are you willing pay the price in terms of time, money, education and experience?

Filmmaking Resources
If you liked this filmmaking advice and you’re ready to take action, you will benefit from the following resources. If you are still writing, you can check out this screenwriting guide. If you have a script and you are seeking investors, you can grab my movie money system. And if you have a feature and you’re looking for ways to sell your movie, you can grab my sell your movie guide.


  1. Andrew Cameron Bailey says

    To me, it’s all about inspiration, excitement, passion. If you’re inspired, if you’re excited, if you’re passionate about your subject, your inspiration and excitement and passion will communicate to others.. That’s what sells, ultimately, not setting out to make a sellable movie.

  2. Crazy Cat says

    I have received my rejection letter from Universal Studios, without even reading my script they rejected it, after holding it for over a year, Ron Meyer, put me in touch with Stacy and Geoff after hearing a small synopsis of my Screen Play “Mr. Umnutfrankenstein” in 2001.

    Stacey Snyder and Geoff Suddleson read the first draft back in 2001 when they were at Universal and told me to revise it and they would read it. well it took me many years to revise due to life’s circumstances, Well here it is “Mr. Umnutfrankenstein” and I am now going to Produce it myself.

    I am an established playwright already and have produced my own stage plays with success. Jessica Howell (Zeus and Roxanne, Now A Producer herself ) was in 2 of my productions ” Angels Over The Rainbow” and “A Heartwarming Story” The Stage is where these stories were born indoors in a theatre plus many more and now I will have the world as my stage.

    Wish me luck for I know I can make this work. My Script is complete and a great story (so I am told and so I know) now to get my budget and make my movie. Keep your ears and eyes open for the Chiller, Romance Comedy of “Mr. Umnutfrankenstein”

    YEAH! Watch me SOAR , UNIVERSAL, Because I do not need your permission to make “Mr. Umnutfrankenstein” a Movie, after it, It is my Creation. . Sincerely, Crazy Cat

  3. Jerry Kokich says

    I’m with Bill S. here. Sure I’d love for my first feature to win lots of awards, but if all I wanted was to make a movie that sells, I’d do a zombie/gore/sex film. That doesn’t interest me. Money does, sure, but I’ve always gone to the artistic side of things; I was a ballet dancer for 18 years. I believe that if you tell a story you need and want to tell, and you do it well, it will sell, but it has to come from your heart.

  4. Doug says

    Filmmakers are story tellers. Very special story tellers.

    We live in a miracle age for film making. You can buy a very high end camera and shoot, edit and distribute a first time film with the quality and even special effects and a high end surround sound, sound track that would make Hitchcock, Kubrick, Spielberg and Scorsese; cream in their jeans just a decade ago!

    Throw in a few hundred bucks and your can hire a floating camera that is like your own personal helicopter and do HQ underwater footage and distribute it to millions of people all for practically nothing!!

    Ah, but the story, ….. that is another matter. The story can still suck rotten eggs! The story is the MOST IMPORTANT THING!!!

  5. Bill Shannon says

    I don’t seem to look at it the same way as Frank here. There are things I do, things I have written, that I know won’t sell, but I don’t care. I just want to do something I love and entertain people. Sure it would be nice to get an ROI, but it’s not my biggest concern. Someday it will pay off and until then, I take what I read from Jason and try to use the advice.

    One of these days I hope to have the spare change to support his cause a little bit. Until then, I just keep on keeping on. I keep looking at a script going “Will this entertain?” NOT “Will this sell?”

    Right now, I’m a-ok with how I look at things. :)

  6. D. L. Smith says

    I don’t Frank. I’m an indie filmmaker and have been since 2000. I’ve seen and experienced the change in the marketplace first hand. But, I looked at it as a business from day one. My very first film won 14 awards around the country. It landed me an opportunity to do a series of spec commercials for a well known Asian beer company, which paid me handsomely.

    From that point on I made money producing videos, PSA’s and short projects. On the feature film front, I reached the market before writing the script. I submitted the script to fierce critique from other filmmakers I planned to bring into the production, made adjustments and moved forward. Then I brought in seasoned people in production to help me accomplish my goal – producing a “sellable” product.

    With well thought out plans, I hoped for a good quality product (which we accomplished) but at the end of the day it must be sellable… if no one is willing to pay for it, then my personal investment of time and money was wasted. Keep doing what you’re doing Jason, you have an audience!

  7. says

    Thank you for the feedback Frank. My ongoing goal is to help filmmakers source and grow their audience so indie filmmaking can become a sustainable career.

  8. says

    Trouble is Jason, thinking like a business person is not why, nor what, attracts someone to filmmaking to begin with. Heck, if you simply want to make money, there are a whole lot of better and easier ways to do so. Therefore, indie filmmaking ONLY attracts the artist…someone who thinks it’s cool to make a movie. “Business” is an after-thought… and that’s OK.

    “Make Remarkable Movies”… Had a good chuckle there. It’s sort of like an old Steve Martin routine… How to make a million dollars in two steps. Step 1: Go out and get a million dollars. Step 2… Wait a minute… a bit easier said than done. Making remarkable movies is a Holy Grail.

    Having said all that… Indie Filmmakers will still be here, trying to find a new path. Your products have been invaluable and speak the truth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *