In Hollywood, power is measured by your ability to get a movie made. Most people don’t have the power to make movies. In fact, most people only have the power to say “NO!” And if you’re a filmmaker working to make your first feature, you’ve probably heard this word.
“NO, we don’t accept unsolicited submissions. No, we don’t work with first time filmmakers. No! We don’t think there is any upside to your project. No, we will not fund your movie. No. Go back to Idaho.”
You know what? I hate asking permission to make movies. Asking permission makes me feel like a little kid. I also hate getting rejected, especially if the person rejecting me is some mid-level executive with an impressive title but no movie credits. There was a time when rejection from these people caused headaches and sleepless nights. But this changed when I worked alongside an independent producer in New York. There I discovered a secret that has forever changed my life. And if you never read anything else, here is the secret:
The Powerful never ask permission to create their world.
It’s true. When powerful people want to accomplish something, they do it. So if you want to be powerful, you need to stop asking permission and go after everything you want. Powerful people never ask: “Will you read my screenplay,” They say: “I’m producing a feature.”
Throughout this blog, I’m going to provide you with experience from the front lines and provide you with all filmmaking secrets I wish someone shared with me 10 years ago. I’m not one of those self important gurus speaking to you from the kingdom of pretension. I’m one of you. I’m a filmmaker in the trenches who has produced a few features. Yes, admittedly, I was once the guy who read screenplays and rejected them. And yes, I have built relationships with power players and millionaires. But I am also the guy who will help you do the same.
I am going to help you through the feature filmmaking process. If you’ve made shorts and need to make a feature, I can help. If you’ve never made a short and want to make a feature, I can help. And even if your movie fails miserably in festivals and never garners traditional distribution, I want to provide you with action steps that may help you turn a flop into flowing income.
I believe success is possible for anyone smart enough to read this. And if Hollywood power is defined by your ability to make movies, then there is only one course of action: You need to make your movie now!
If you’re going to write and eventually direct your own feature, you may as well start today. Shut off your computer and get your hands on a small camera and start making skits for YouTube. Focus on creating funny shorts that can take place in limited locations with few characters. You’re welcome to get ambitious, but know that everything you write into your story has a price tag. That doesn’t mean you can’t find cost effective, creative ways to tell your story without money… In fact, that is precisely the point of this exercise. If you condition yourself to stretch dollars on the small scale and still create compelling stories, these skills will be invaluable on the big scale.