Five Useful Filmmaking Tips (That You Can Do Today)

As a filmmaker, if you aren’t making movies, you are thinking about and planning for your next movie. But as you know, the challenge of actually making your movie can sometimes feel overwhelming.

So if it’s okay with you, I’d love to share some filmmaking tips so you can take action and make your movie now. Here are five filmmaking tips to get your movie made this year.

Five Useful Filmmaking Tips

Photo © bepsphoto / Dollar Photo Club

Five Useful Filmmaking Tips

1. Answer this question: One of the most important filmmaking tips is to ask yourself the correct questions. Seriously. One big reason you haven’t made a movie is because you’re still waiting for everything to be perfect. I have news. Nothing will ever be perfect. Better that you take action on the movie you can produce this year than wait around. Here’s the question:

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

2. Get your hands on a good screenplay: Without a great script nothing else matters. But when you’re shooting on a budget, you also need make sure your story falls into the resource parameters discussed in step one. If your screenplay does not fit the parameters, you either need to alter your story or get a new script.

If you need help coming up with some screenplay ideas, you might enjoy 101 Short Film Ideas or my Write Your Movie system.

3. Load your screenplay into the Lightspeed production management software. This is one of the best innovations, possibly ever. You load your screenplay and create a script breakdown. In addition to this, you can later use this software to manage your production. (Please note, I get paid to refer people to this site – so use your own due diligence.)

Convinced it will work for you? Sign up for FREE by going here.

4. Take your schedule and create a budget: After you break your screenplay into all the necessary elements, you will create a budget so you can assign a price tag to each element. If you find your budget is not inline with your cash limitations, you either need to raise more money or you need to repeat steps one through four.

5. Create a Crowdfunding Campaign: There are three reasons you would want to create a crowdfunding campaign. Firstly, a crowdfunding campaign allows you to test your movie concept before you actually make your movie. If successful, your concept may work in the marketplace. Secondly, crowdfunding allows you to test the reach of your social network and expand it. And finally, a successful crowdfunding campaign will give you some necessary cash.

Anyway, I hope these filmmaking tips help you get one step closer to your filmmaking goals. And if you’d like more stuff, you might want to grab a copy of my Filmmaker Action Pack.

Production Management Software

Production Management Software

There is plenty of filmmaking software to help you break down, schedule and budget your movie. The industry standard software is produced by Entertainment Partners, and it’s called Movie Magic. The only downside to Movie Magic is the cost. To get both the scheduling and budgeting programs, you will shell out over $500.

A few years back, I was one of the beta testers for a scheduling and budgeting program from Jungle Software called Gorilla. If you are creating an indie feature on a budget, this software will do the trick.

Gorilla usually includes BOTH a scheduling program and a budgeting program for a lot less money than some of the other software tools.

As an alternative to desktop-based software programs, there are quite a few Internet-based tools gaining popularity. One of the latest programs to enter the scene is called LightSPEED eps. In addition to being an awesome script breakdown and scheduling program, LightSPEED eps allows you to centralize your production information and provide secure access from your computer, wireless device, from anywhere in the world.

With this web-based production management software, you can provide your your production team with current information from anywhere in the world. In practical terms, let’s say you are based in LA, but your First AD is based in NYC. You will now have the ability to oversee all aspects of your project. And if something changes, you will be able to notify your staff of critical updates in real time.

According to the LightSPEED website, the production management software provides you with the following features:

1. Script import and breakdown. LightSPEED allows you to quickly and easily import your screenplay into the system, break it down into scenes, and from there you can identify and associate elements with the scenes. The scenes are then highlighted with industry standard colors representing interior, exterior, and the time of day.

2. Track every element. With LightSPEED every element of your production is tracked. All the elements are laid out before you but can be filtered by element type. You will see how many scenes each element appears in and which department is responsible for getting the element. Color coded icons provide status – has a location been locked or are we still scouting?

3. Revise your breakdown. With LightSPEED, it’s easy to revise your script breakdown without starting from scratch. New scenes and scene parts can be inserted between old ones, and can be identified by industry standard or custom scene numbering. Revisions are effortless and precise, every time.

4. Stripboard management. Stripboards in LightSPEED are keyed to script pages, scenes, and elements. Additionally, if you are working with multiple units, Lightspeed allows you to create separate stripboards and calendars for each unit.

After getting a face-to-face demo with the management team, I left the meeting convinced that LightSPEED represents the future of script breakdown and production management. And because these guys are very indie filmmaker friendly, they have provided Filmmaking Stuff readers with a free trial.

In full disclosure, since getting the demo, I have created an affiliate deal with these guys, so should you wish to try out the system beyond the free trial for one of your bigger projects, we will receive compensation. So please conduct your own due diligence.

To find out more about this filmmaking tool, goto: IndieProductionTool.com and register for a FREE account.