How To Achieve Your Filmmaking Goals Fast

How To Achieve Your Filmmaking Goals Fast by Filmmaker Jeff Orig

As filmmakers, we dream big. Perhaps we want to win an Academy Award one day; change people’s lives with our stories; or just make a full-time living from our craft.

Most of us are not taught how to achieve our filmmaking goals and dreams but this is a learnable skill. Like anything getting things done takes knowledge and practice.

How close are you to accomplishing your filmmaking goals? Hopefully you are closer than when you started.  If not, here is a Quick Start Guide to Achieving Your Filmmaking Goals.

Filmmaking Goals

How To Achieve Your Filmmaking Goals Fast

1. Set and write down your filmmaking goals with a clear deadline.  
For example, “Shoot, edit, and distribute my short film by August 1.”

2. Write down all of the reasons why you want to achieve your filmmaking goals.
This will help you stay motivated in the long term.  When the going gets tough, look at this list.  It will keep you going.

For example, “to feel great, to have a sense of accomplishment, to have a calling card short film, to practice and get better at my craft, to have a great piece to put on my demo reel, to work with great actors, to work with great crew, to have an excuse to rent the Red Epic, to have a reason to use my jib.” This is oftentimes not money, but what the money will bring you: freedom, less stress, joy and pleasure.

3. Immediately take ANY action toward  your filmmaking goals.
This is the biggest stumbling block for most people.   They get stuck in two places in this step.  The first place they get stuck is “immediately.”  When I say “immediately,” I mean immediately.

As soon as you write down the goal take some sort of action toward it.  Put the pen down and call to book the location for the shoot or send a text to your cinematographer to discuss ideas on the look and feel of the movie.  Anything and immediately.  This will give you momentum in the right direction.

The other place people get stuck is they over-think what actions to take.  What they fail to see is that any action will guide you as to whether you are getting closer or farther away from your goal.

Think about it for a moment.  It’s like when you learned how to drive in a straight line and turn.  When you first learned, you probably over-steered in one direction or the other.  But eventually, you learned how to compensate just the right amount.  The same is true with taking ANY ACTION toward your goal.

Even if the action you take is wrong, it will guide you.  You will gain clarity on what actions to take and what actions to avoid. Don’t get me wrong, planning is great.  But actions are better.

Definitely create a plan but don’t spend forever creating that plan and not doing anything.  “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” -General George S. Patton, Jr.

4. Measure your progress towards your filmmaking goals regularly and often.
Keep this simple so that you do it.  I like a printed calendar that I mark with an “X” as I do my daily actions. Weekly and monthly check-in’s are too far apart for me.

It is very easy to miss one and then slide into a downward spiral. Daily has been the best for me.  I also keep my checkpoints to something that I can accomplish in one day, often allowing a ten minute minimum.

For example, “contact one agent a day or write for at least ten minutes.”

This allows me to do my daily goal very easily but often ends up  with me doing it for much longer than ten minutes.  It helps me take “the first step on the journey of a thousand miles.”  Momentum is very important.

5. Repeat step 3 (take any action immediately) and step 4 (measure progress)  until you get to your filmmaking goals.
Keep taking any action and keep measuring it.  Before you know it you will have achieved your goal.

6. Make a public declaration with actual consequences.
Research has shown that making a public declaration of your goal and attaching a monetary consequence to the failure of missing that goal leads to higher success rates.

You can even use a free website called to help you with this step.  I have used this website and it is excellent.

7. Celebrate the journey and  every achievement of your goal.
This is very important.  Keep in mind that as soon as you achieve your goal, most of us will set a new and higher goal.

If we do not celebrate the journey and achievement of the goal, you will always be dissatisfied because we set a new and higher goal.  The target gets farther and farther away because we put it there.

Enjoy the journey and the achievement.  Remember our reasons why we wanted the goal in the first place.  When you look back you will see how great it was to get there.  Enjoy it while you are there.

Here it is in a nutshell:

  1. Set and write down a very clear goal with a clear deadline.
  2. Write down all of the reasons why you want that goal.
  3. Immediately take ANY action toward  it.
  4. Measure your progress regularly and often.
  5. Repeat step 3  (take any action immediately) and step 4 (measure progress)  until you get to your goal.
  6. Make a public declaration with actual consequences.
  7. Celebrate the journey and achievement of your goal.

This is a culmination of several systems that have worked for me.  The systems I reference here are:  Tony Robbin’s RPM system, Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr. Maltz, M.D., and Jerry Seinfeld’s Calendar System.  Definitely check out those systems for further refinement.

But this quick guide is a start, and should help you get closer to your filmmaking goals. Leave a comment below to let us know how you are doing or if you have any other tips that have worked for you.

– –
Jeff Orig is an award winning filmmaker based in Honolulu.  He is interested in life hacks that help achieve goals; the business of filmmaking; and telling stories better.  He has produced feature film; produced and directed several TV Shows; currently in post-production on the feature-length documentary, The Hawaii Wisdom Project; and has various episodic and feature film projects in development.  Check out his blog at


Filmmaking Success Mindset

Getting your filmmaking work noticed requires persistence, tenacity and an unyielding ability to overcome obstacles and keep going, even when doing so seems impossible and crazy.

Just over a decade ago, I was stuck on my small town, living with my parents. No other vocation appealed to me more than filmmaking. Back then I had no idea my aspirations would take me from my hometown to New York to Los Angeles.

filmmaking success mindset

In the journey, I have experienced more than my fair share of sleepless nights and uncertainty. But through it all, there is one thing I learned: Your thoughts, more than anything else will influence your beliefs and your beliefs will influence your actions.

Put enough actions together and you will begin to forge a new life as a filmmaker.

I wanted to share a little tool I have been utilizing for years. The tool is called the Filmmaking Success Mindset. The FSM is a set of filmmaking declarations that, if repeated over and over every day, will help you condition your thinking for the better.

  1. What I think about becomes real.
  2. I play to my strengths. I support my weak areas with talented collaborators.
  3. I take advice from people who have actual experience.
  4. I spend time with people who make me feel better about myself.
  5. I always work to make others feel good too.
  6. Following dreams is easier with money in the bank. I save what I can.
  7. I keep an idea book and write down movie ideas as they come my way.
  8. My word is trust. I never break my word.
  9. I deserve Hollywood success because I am creative and passionate.
  10. I always bring my ideas to fruition.

I know this is a bit of ra-ra-ra motivation. And if you’re the type of filmmaker who enjoys affirmations, you might benefit from downloading the Filmmaking Success Mindset, printing it out and putting it somewhere visible. Then take some time to memorize these principles until they become real.

Download the Filmmaking Success Mindset.

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!

How To Brand Yourself As A Filmmaker

How To Brand Yourself As A Filmmaker (Part 1)
By filmmaker and graphic designer, Ela Gancarz

Everyone’s talking about personal branding these days, but not everyone understands what it does and why it’s important. As a filmmaker, you might be thinking to yourself, “do I really have to care about my brand?” In today’s Internet focused world, personal branding is no longer reserved solely for celebrities.

If you’ve been using social media or your website, you have probably already developed a brand!

A personal brand is the entire perception of a person. It’s all about who you are and what you want to be known for. It refers to the way other people see you. A ‘personal brand’ is in many cases synonymous with your reputation. It’s so much more than a simple logo!

As a filmmaker, you can use personal branding to build trust with your target audience. When people readily know you and they associate your brand with your face, it will be much easier to raise money for a new production or to sell your movie.

If you’d like make your personal brand stronger or to create a new one, you need to set goals for your public image. Your first task is to find your brand identity and develop a style guide. Here are three essential steps to do this:

Step One: Your Identity.

First of all you should ask yourself a few questions to find your personal brand identity. For example: what words would you use to describe yourself? What do people usually say about you? What makes you different from everyone else? What kind of films do you like? What do you want others to think of you? Then write down your answers.

Step Two: Your Audience.

Your personal brand is not only built from your thoughts but also from reactions of other people. That’s why you should determine the audience you want to target. Once you have established a niche, it’s important to reflect what those people want or expect from you. Write down your thoughts.

Step Three: Your Style.

Now, compare two lists and identify some qualities that you want others to associate with your brand. Remember that personal branding is how we market ourselves to others. After figuring out your brand attributes, try to match a corresponding style. It can be expressed visually with a logo, colors, forms, images (I’ll give more details about that in another post) or in the way you act or talk. Think about your personal brand each time you interact with someone.

Your style should be:

[icon_list style=”plus”]

  • Simple and memorable. Your personal brand has to communicate clearly who you are. People will remember only a few things about you so focus only on elements that really contribute something to your brand.
  • Unique. Your style should be distinctive and unique. But you don’t need to sit down and study how to be different! You ARE special! Try to take your life as the basis of your expertise.
  • Modern. Keep your brand modern, fresh and actual. It should always feel inspiring to you and to your audience.
  • Personal. Try to be yourself – it is your PERSONAL brand. Stand strongly behind it. Don’t apologize for it. And don’t be afraid to speak your mind!


Finally having your personal brand identity, you need to apply it consistently across many activities. Create a website or blog, participate in social media. Whether you like it or not, the world is turning digital at very fast pace and you need to manage your reputation, both online and in real life.

Remember that your personal brand may add value to each new product, film or campaign you create. People will follow your brand from project to project but only if they feel connected and attracted to it. It’s time to take control of all those impressions!

Filmmaking Goals For This Year

After speaking at quite a few filmmaking events, I realize that many filmmakers have the passion and drive to be successful. But often, these same filmmakers fail to take action. And the result of inaction means that many filmmakers will never make their movie.

I started Filmmaking Stuff because I wanted to help filmmakers make movies and also, create a self sustaining movie business. In other words, if you have the passion to make movies, then you owe it to yourself to get moving!

The following filmmaking video provides you with a brief overview of the Modern MovieMaking Method. I also show you how to grab over $100 dollars in filmmaking tools, free.

Please make this year your year! Make your movie now!