How To Break Into Hollywood

In my filmmaking action guides, I emphasize that you do not have to break into Hollywood to make money making movies. But if you are like most filmmakers, you probably wouldn’t mind a little Hollywood recognition. I mean, the upside of building a Hollywood career means that you won’t have to seek private investors to get movie money. And once in the in crowd, you will meet movie stars and Hollywood power players.

But here is the thing. In order to get noticed in Hollywood, you can’t start from scratch. Hollywood is a town focused on selling and producing a product. And that product is your movie, television series or viral web show that can later be spun into other forms of media.

If you are looking to break into Hollywood, the first thing you need to do is create something that will get you noticed. And the good news is, thanks to YouTube, you can start creating content and uploading it tonight. My recommendation is to create some short Saturday Night Live type of skits…

Think about something interesting and funny. Make sure the run time is anywhere from thirty-seconds to two-minutes. Anything longer and you run the risk of losing eyeballs. Make sure your skit has a call to action at the end, preferably a title card that advertises your website. The reason for this is simple. In the event your video goes viral, you can rest assured that many people will re-post your video on their sites. You will want to make sure they have a way of getting back to your site.

Finally, your goal is to get into the habit of continually producing content. A lot of filmmakers waste years doing nothing because they want everything they do to be perfect. Instead of actually producing content, these filmmakers fill their garages with all sorts of fancy filmmaking equipment with the thought that someday they will make a movie. This is a fool’s game.

If you want to make movies, you start today. You stop reading this article. (Actually, before you stop reading, you might want to grab some of my filmmaking stuff.) But after you grab your stuff, you then take action. You come up with a short film idea that you can produce next weekend. Then you upload it, tweet it and start planning your next project.

The goal is to work fast and stop worrying about your outcome. So what if your first few movies suck. By making short YouTube skits fast, you won’t have time to think about how to break into Hollywood. Ironically, if you do this and end up with 52 short skits per year. In this regard, even if you don’t break into Hollywood, you will start producing YouTube revenue.

Look, if think you will break into Hollywood because you think you have the greatest movie idea on earth that has never been done before… Think again. You’re old hat.

What Hollywood wants is a sure thing. And while there is no such thing as a sure thing – if you’re a filmmaker with a gazillion views on YouTube, you are much better off than the would be filmmaker who just bought another camera because they want to “future proof” their filmmaking.

Grab a camera. Take action and make your movie now!


  1. Steven Isaacianos says

    Hello Jason. Steven here. Really liked your article about breaking in into Hollywood and everything.

    I myself have big dreams and big goals That will stretch me and make me swim into the deep end and reach them ships. I’m currently in Australia Really want to get started with everything, I know you maybe get 100 of these emails and your a busy guy I understand, But if you can find it in your bottom of your heart to email me back please I can tell you everything about me and what I want to do.

    It would be great if I can become friends with you aswell. So please if you have the chance email me back please King Regards.

  2. says

    Great advice!

    It’s becoming more and more of a hook for low-budget investors to be able to show a following on YouTube; if you can’t prove feature-film pedigree, at least show you can make high-quality film content fast and cheap and you’re setting yourself up on a good base.

    The question as to whether a huge YouTube following can ever translate into real sales is for another day, but if you can form a strong business plan for your film, back it up with solid YouTube numbers (and history), then you’ll stand in good stead to attract investment for your film,

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