How I Took Action Outside of Hollywood (And you can too!)

I am not going to sugarcoat it for you.


I am also not going to pretend that it is easy.

But I will tell you, that if you have the right tools, an awesome game plan, and the tenacity to keep going when the going gets tough. . .

You can do it.

You can become a feature filmmaker.

I should know.

Long before I made my first feature, I was stuck in my small town.

While most of my friends focused on getting married, getting a good job and raising a family, all I could talk about was eventually making a movie.

Can you picture this?

You’re in a small town. You know you want to make movies, but everybody around you thinks you’re crazy?

That was my life.

I did not know anybody in the movie industry. I wasn’t even sure if I could make movies.

I did find work, doing stuff on a few corporate videos. That stuff taught me a lot about camera equipment and set etiquette. But it really didn’t teach me anything about how to raise money and make  a movie.

How I Took Action Outside of Hollywood

*** This is me working on a small corporate shoot. Notice the office chair dolly!!! ***

But to make a FEATURE FILM, I believed I needed much more. . .

At one point, I even thought about going to film school.

But. . .

(Some of those film school programs cost more than $50,000!!!)

That was OUT of my price range.

My big turning point happened, when I realized I did not need Hollywood or somebody’s permission to make movies.

. . . This was a great realization. It was life changing, actually.

This was a time when Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Smith were making movies and gaining notoriety.

And like a lot of filmmakers, I was INSPIRED.

I realized that if I wanted to become a filmmaker, all I had to do was pick up a camera and capture footage.

Back then, my biggest challenge was not whether or not I would make a movie.

I believed that it would happen eventually.

But if you just focus on the end result – making a movie –  YOU can get overwhelmed pretty darn quick.

Thankfully, I stumbled upon a success principal that really helped me. Here it is:

“Break your big goals into small, manageable chunks.”

. . . This one tip changed my life.

Even though I was in a small town. And except for the occasional corporate video work, I didn’t really know anybody into filmmaking.

But there was still a lot I could do toward making my feature.

Stuff that didn’t require money.

How I Took Action Outside of Hollywood

For example, one thing I did was this:

I sketched out an idea for a movie.

This was something I could shoot in my hometown for minimal money – I started driving around my town with a camera.

I was looking for interesting locations. And in my location scouting, I found cool stuff like this:

  • Life sized shoe house.
  • Car on the top of a roof.
  • Miniature Statue of Liberty.
  • Overflowing rivers.
  • Some local carnival.
  • A run down bowling alley.

These images actually inspired the first screenplay I ever wrote. It was a coming of age bowing comedy.

It is amazing what you can do today to get closer to your filmmaking goals.

Fast forward. . .

On January 12, 2002 I packed all my belongings into my beat-to-crap Toyota and I drove to New York City.

My primary goal was to figure out how I could go about taking an idea from my script to the screen.

Once in New York, I found work carrying cables, fetching coffee and setting up grip equipment for corporate videos.

Through a friend of a friend, I met a producer who was looking for an assistant.

Over the next six months, I read screenplays, wrote coverage and attended pitch meetings. We also went into production on a few feature films.

I learned a lot.

I realized that there is no such thing as a perfect screenplay or a perfect movie.

My New York experience also proved to me that you didn’t need anybody to give you permission to become a filmmaker and make a movie.

Those lessons stay with me.

I share them with you today.

How To Get Your Movie Made

Once you decide you’re a filmmaker, the next challenge to is to make sure you have enough understanding of the process to actually get something going.

You’re in luck…

Earlier this week, the guys from Filmmaker in a Box reached out and let me know that they are running a super fantastic special on their comprehensive filmmaking program.

If you haven’t heard of Filmmaker In A Box, it’s not your typical how-to filmmaking system.

Filmmaker In A Box

Actually, this is a case study, jammed packed full of behind the scenes commentary, documenting their filmmaking experience straight from the front lines.

Let’s put this into perspective.

Remember earlier when I was talking about the cost of film school?

I have a buddy who really does have $50,000 in film school debt.

Sure, he learned a lot in film school. But his biggest lesson?

You don’t need to go to film school to make a movie.

Save yourself the cost of film school tuition.

Filmmaker In A Box is a physical program. It will arrive in the mail, in a box. It contains DVDs and a copy of the movie they produced.

To find out if this filmmaker program is right for you, click here:

Filmmaker In A Box

Just know that this system covers the complete movie making experience all in one package.

Over 17 hours divided into 108 individual video modules covering:

  • Development
  • Funding
  • Contracts
  • Casting
  • Rehearsals
  • Locations
  • Lighting
  • Sound
  • Cameras
  • Production Diary
  • Editing
  • Score
  • Music
  • Post Production Sound

Plus a CD-Rom of all the documents including:

FILMMAKER IN A BOX also includes such unique features as:

  • Audition footage
  • Rehearsals with the actors
  • The complete, pre-mixed, rough-cut of the movie.
  • The entire table read with the cast and filmmakers
  • Comprehensive explanations on lighting and recording sound for every day of production
  • Behind the scenes footage shot during principle photography
  • Examples of the contracts, permits, call sheets, sound reports, and dozens of other pertinent documents used during production
  • Over 100 individual video modules detailing every single element of pre-production, production and post-production
  • And even more. . .

To find out if this filmmaker program is right for you, click here for Filmmaker In A Box


Making movies can be challenging. Once you get an idea of where you are and where you want to go, you can begin to take steps in your desired direction.

Make sure you download the filmmaker checklist.


  1. Kevin Bradshaw says


    I am an aspiring feature filmmaker living in Canada. I recently released my first feature and have a script finished for my second feature . I am wondering if the time is right to come to LA and network with the studios and agents with one film on my resume and a script ready to be shot or if it’s better to shoot the 2nd feature release it and then come to LA.

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