Filmmaking Tips You Can Use Today To Prosper

Nestor Studios, the first film studio in Holly...

Filmmaking has come a long way since this picture. But one thing hasn't changed - Filmmakers Need To Make Movies to prosper. Image via Wikipedia

If you’re filmmaker seeking practical filmmaking tips you can use TODAY, I’d like to share some thoughts with you.

The world of filmmaking is changing. Producing content is getting cheaper. And distribution outlets are becoming increasingly accessible. While these changes have not fully hit mainstream Hollywood, you can rest assured that it’s only a matter of time until the ripple effect has a leveling impact.

And when these changes hit, will you be ready?

Here are my 5 filmmaking tips on how to prepare for these changes.

  1. Filmmaking Tip #1 – Build Your Fan Club. Like any business, in order to prosper, you need to create, build and keep customers. For filmmakers, this means building an audience of people who like your work. (If you like this website, you can sign up for my fan club by going here: http://www.FreeFilmmakingBook.com)
  2. Filmmaking Tip #2 – Create content. If you’re serious about your filmmaking future, you need to have a YouTube page and you need to be making creative short movies at least every month. Why YouTube? Because I believe the site will become a hub for Video On Demand movies, they are owned by Google and YouTube allows you to create community around your work.
  3. Filmmaking Tip #3 – Create new products. Every business needs to sell a service or a product to survive. As an independent filmmaker, your primary product is feature films. To make this business viable for yourself, you need to fill your file cabinet with story ideas. Then you need to figure out how to turn those stories into feature films, ready for sale.
  4. Filmmaking Tip #4 – Surround Yourself With Talent. You can’t do everything yourself. Find a group of 10 other filmmakers who have complementary talents and an equal level of passion and enthusiasm. Then join forces and create some (movie) products!
  5. Filmmaking Action Tip #5 – Learn how to sell. You will need sales skills on two fronts. Firstly, you should know how to sell, so you can raise movie money. And secondly, you should know how to sell so that you can accelerate sales of your movies. Once you learn the basics – stop fetching coffee and take a sales job outside of the industry, selling something tough. If you can master sales skills, you will start cold calling heavy hitters with no hesitation. This make pitching your ideas or (independent movie) products a cinch.

Anyway, I hope these filmmaking tips are helpful.

As always, if you have thoughts or ideas or questions, feel free to comment or email.

Independent Film Financing

United States one-dollar bill

Today, I’m going to offer yet another bit of perspective on the whole question of how to raise money for movies.

As you may or may not know, independent film funding can be a little overwhelming. If you’ve ever dabbled in the business side of making a movie, you know what I mean. The first time I heard people talk about writing a business plan or offering a private placement memorandum, I suddenly felt like I was on another planet. And if you’re like most filmmakers, you would much rather focus on actually getting your movie made, instead of cold calling rich and successful people to set up random pitch meetings.

  • So, the first challenge you have in the world of film finance is: How do I find investors for my movie?
  • The second challenge is: How will my feature film provide enough ROI (return on investment) for my investor?

Assuming you’ve followed some of my previous advice on creating relationships with rich and successful people, even if you do make a favorable impression on a few rich folks, your potential film investors may still shy away from making an investment in your project. Why? Because without star talent, a known director, a film distribution outlet and an experienced crew – it’s very tough to answer the important question of ROI.

Your potential investors want to know how you plan on spending their money, how you plan on getting their money back, and when. Can you provide your investors with this information? If not, then you can understand why independent film financing, especially for your first feature, can be a pain in the butt.

However, having worked as an account executive for one of the biggest investment banks in the world, I would like to share some thoughts and end today’s article on a positive note. If you can come up with a plan that at least attempts to answer the question of ROI – then you’re in the ball park. While I can’t say it’s common, there are a few potential investors out there, for which their excess cash sometimes burns a hole in their pocket. These folks will assess the potential for gain and loss, and despite the risk (which you will always disclose and never hide!), they will still choose to do business with you.

I have a friend (who I’ll interview in a few weeks) – but anyway, he made a short film that went viral on the internet. One day he gets a call from a random multimillionaire who says he has always wanted to produce a movie. Suffice it to say, my buddy is now in pre-production on his first independent feature film.

Stranger things have happened. What’s important is that you keep pushing forward!

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If you are wondering how to get money for your movie – Almost every resource will tell you that you need a business plan. Very few resources will tell you how to actually go out, find prospective investors, qualify them, contact them, get a meeting and build a relationship.

Since getting money for movies was such a frustrating experience for me, I spent the last few months creating: The Independent Producer’s Guide To Financing Your Movie. In it, YOU will gain valuable insider experience so you can avoid my past mistakes, find investors and make your movie. To learn more CLICK HERE