Over the past decade, everything has changed for the indie filmmaker. These days, there is no excuse not to make a feature film. But just as importantly, there is no excuse not to view your filmmaking as a business. That means, you not only have to focus on making the movie – but you really need to have a strategy for making money from your movie.
Many filmmakers spend years making their first feature, only to have their hopes of prosperity evaporate at the first sign of rejection and disappointment. The festival circuit can be hard enough. Add thoughts of a non-existent traditional distribution deal, and you might find yourself becoming very cynical.
To avoid some heartache, before you start rolling the camera, I recommend creating two idealized plans for how your movie will make money:
PLAN A: You get everything you want. Your distribution is solid. You have a great audience. You’re now financially free and you have money in the bank for at least two more motion pictures.
PLAN B:You did the festivals. You got the meetings (or maybe you didn’t) but nothing happened. You got a lot of hot air, but no action. If this happens, what is your strategy for making money with your movie?