I remember meeting this Producer for lunch in the early 2000s. He was a complete phony, and he loved to posture and threaten people and try to give off this vibe that he was a bigshot.
The problem was, I had my script tied up with him because I believed he could make it happen for me. I had fallen for his BS.
This lunch was the confrontational lunch, where I was asking for my script back. He had led me on for 2+ years, always giving me a new story, a new excuse.
But what he didn’t realize was, in the time that he took up from me, I was not dormant. I was reading more and more about the film business, I was networking, I was learning lessons, and I was growing.
And when I left that lunch, I said to myself, “I’m gonna make my own film.” And I did.
Now, around 20 years later, I don’t think he’s ever produced a film. I’ve produced 16 so far, with my 17th coming later this year.
How To Make Your Own Film
Many filmmakers fail to take action because they are fixated on all the reasons they can’t make a movie. Mostly, this relates to resources. Ask around and most filmmakers will tell you they lack the money, time, cast, crew, locations, gear… Ugh. Most filmmakers wrongly believe they need lots of resources to make a movie.
“I can’t make my movie. I don’t have _______.”
But that is the wrong thinking. The real secret on how to make your own film stats with asking yourself the right question. Here it is:
“Given the resources that I have right now, what is the movie that I can make this year?”
Think about it. This question forces you to get creative. Answering this question forces you to stop making excuses. That may mean that you grab your camera phone and make a two minute short about your dog. Or it might mean that you make your first feature.
And while answering this filmmaking question will get you thinking, it may not be enough. There could be something else blocking you from taking action. I want you to watch this video on hiring a crew for little to no money.
Recently, an actress friend expressed how she was afraid to make a movie because she was afraid she sucked. As a result, she was afraid to take action. What if she made a movie and found out she lacked talent?
I told her what I’m going to tell you:
There are a lot of really bad filmmakers making a great living making movies. You’ve probably seen some horrible movies that do really well at the box office, right?
How is this possible? It’s possible because somewhere, someone will LOVE your work, no matter what. You just need to reach enough of the people who love your stories. And then you need to ignore the people who don’t.
The truth is, you’ll never hone your craft unless you take action and as I said earlier – Movies don’t make themselves. You make the movie. If you’d like more, grab my filmmaker checklist.