Filmmaker Game Plan: 3 Steps For Filmmaking Success

Another year is upon us.  And as a filmmaker, a few things happened over the last 365 days.

Either you:

1. Got closer to your filmmaking goals.
2. You changed your filmmaking goals.
3. Or you did nothing…

If you chose #3 (and did noting), don’t feel bad.


I’m speaking from experience.

Back when I decided to move to NYC, I waited at least three years longer than I should have.

I should have taken action.

When I finally did take action, I rode into town and vomited for two days straight.

I puked because I was afraid. I was scared I would fail.

This is a true story.

Once I got over my vomiting, I took action. I needed a job. So I made a lot of cold calls. I networked all over the place.

Things eventually worked out.

I promise things will work out for you too.

Filmmaker Game Plan

Here’s the deal…

You either know when you’re making your next movie, or you’re still saying “someday.”

All of those responses are OK.

But if you’re anything like me, you probably enjoy making things happen.

So assuming you need it, I’m here to give you the proverbial kick in the ass to get things moving.

Why Filmmakers Fail To Make Movies

Let’s be honest.

Sometimes it’s easier to kid ourselves. It’s easier to pretend we are making progress towards our filmmaking goals, even though the stuff we spend time doing often does nothing to get us closer.

One prime example is buying filmmaking equipment.

There are a lot of filmmakers who would rather fill their closet with additional gear than actually write or acquire a screenplay, find investors or devise a marketing plan.

It is easier NOT to create something.

It is easier NOT to go after your filmmaking goals.

Because, if you actually put yourself out there and find out you suck, what then?

. . .You will have to admit that you suck.

. . .And that your career in filmmaking is totally over.

. . .And you will NEVER make a living, making movies.

The voice. The one inside your head, filling you with negative thoughts is a liar.

So go ahead and punch that inner voice right smack in the mouth.

Here is your NEW, New Year mandate.

Give yourself permission to make sucky movies.

Give yourself permission to experiment and take action.

Answer These Filmmaking Questions

Take a few minutes to seriously answer these 5 questions:

1. What did you achieve last year? Did you make any movies or work on any projects? Did you write anything?

2. What sorts of filmmaking stuff did you want to achieve, but didn’t? What obstacles got in your way?

3. What do you want to accomplish in 2014?

4. What sorts of obstacles must you overcome to reach your filmmaking goals? How will you do this?

5. What is one thing you can complete today that will put you one step closer?

As a filmmaker, I assume your primary goal is to make movies.

But as you know, making a movie requires many steps. So to plan your next movie as well as some of the other big whoppers you wish to accomplish, I suggest breaking your goals into smaller and smaller chunks…

After that, break your small goals into something you can add to your list of daily tasks. Remember, big filmmaking goals always consist of smaller tasks.

And in case you’re looking for some New Year Filmmaking Ideas, here are some actions you can take today.

Your New Filmmaking Game Plan

1. Gain business intelligence. Read: Rich Dad Poor Dad and Think and Grow Rich and Never Eat Alone. Those books will help you network and speak the language that successful people understand.

2. Do short projects on the weekends and upload them to YouTube. They don’t have to be complex. Focus on projects you can shoot on your camera phone. But DO something!

3. Build a network of people who complement your skills. So you’re a writer? Surround yourself with a director and producer.

And if you’re looking for extra credit, access these resources.

1. Filmmaker Action Pack

2. Tom Malloy’s Film Finance Guide

3. How To Sell Your Movie

And my final piece of advice? Answer this question right now:

Given the resources that you have right now, what is the movie you can make this year?

Get out there, take action and make your movie now!


  1. Nina McAlpin says

    I love you. I wish you could be my personal mentor, but I know that’s not feasible. I just want to thank you for being a resource for me and others like me. God bless you.

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