This video highlights the ebook and is not intended to replace the ebook so make sure you read the ebook also.
Hello and welcome to the indie filmmaker. So in this ebook, I'm going to go and guide you through the process that I use to make two movies with almost nothing, and then also how I'm actually making a third feature film right now, and actually got a little bit of budget on that, but not not a whole lot. But anyways, um so if you look at the table of contents, you're gonna see that moviemaking is a process. There's a bunch of steps involved. And I'm going to go through pretty much one through step 17, actually through 22 with you in this course now, it's going to be up to you to read this ebook. I'm just gonna pretty much go over the section highlights with you in this video.
But to get to the raw data You really need to just study this ebook. And don't cut yourself short. So you may be asking yourself, what are my credentials? Now I know I'm not like super successful yet. You know I'm not a list actor or a screenwriter or filmmaker yet. But I am going to show you that my films are winning awards, they are even on small levels.
Getting older get notoriety, excuse me, just like an entourage Film Festival. It was something in the woods was best a movie from the Christian family film festival 2018 los angeles scientists 2018 and the International Christian Film Festival 2017 there's just Awards and nominations official selections. For for my films and screenwriting also. Oh, so let's get back to the book. I just wanted to give you a few credentials first. My name is David Ford.
I'm from East Texas. And basically, in the introduction, I just kind of go over who I am, how I got into filmmaking. And I kind of gave you a brief story. But what I really want to do is jump into the steps. And let me jump to that right here. So step number one, before you can meet, make a movie, you got to have a screenplay, and but here's the section highlights, this is jumped to those.
The script must be written for low budget production. Unless you know you're from a wealthy family or won the lottery or something if you have a lot of money, and this doesn't really apply to you. But if you're like me and most average people, you're not going to have $100,000 to make a fam or 50,000 or maybe even 20,000 You may only have a couple thousand. So how do you make a movie with that? Well, the first thing you got to do is write a script for low budget production, and what does that mean? How can you write a script for low budget production?
Well, you don't have huge explosions, you don't blow up a 747. airplane, you know, you gotta ride it for what you can do, you got to ride it for the resources that you know that you can attain. The other thing I'll say about the script part is, you know, you want to make sure you have a good story. You want to make sure that it's interesting, and that you have a solid plot, and it's in the right format. There's a lot of things to consider. But let's just assume you already have a script or do you know how to write a script. If you have that, you just got to make sure it's for low budget production.
I don't mean to sound repetitive, but that's the most important thing. Alright, let's jump into step two, pre production planning. The section highlights here, I'm just gonna go through them. Number one, the key to successful pre production is effective planning. can't say enough about this, because in order to make your film, the best it can be, you're going to have to plan. It's just like building a house.
Like I'm actually building a house. I've been building it for almost four years now, because I didn't pick out along this building it as I go. But in order to do that, I had the plan. You know, a house is made up of different components, you got to plan for the foundation number one, and you know, it's the same way with the script, you have to plan and in order to do that, you're going to have to take about four or five months to do so now. I have done pre production on shorter time periods, like, you know, I think three months, I did one, but it usually takes four to five months or even longer than that depends what your films about. And you know if it's a period piece and how long it's going to take you to get all these things together.
You want to make a list of everything to cover to make the film and then start working those out, just make you a long list and start checking them off as you go. For example, you might need an 1850s police squad car something from the 50s if you're doing a period piece, well, that may not be a lot of people with those around so it may take you a little time to research and figure out who has one of those or where can you get one of those for a day. And maybe you can shoot all your scenes with that, that a period piece squad car for that day. So That's one example right there. Another thing that I really want to emphasize is be prepared for negative people. Because there's gonna be a lot of people that's gonna want to come help your project.
And sometimes they're going to be negative. That's just the way it is. So just be prepared for negative people. And we'll talk more about that a little bit later in other sections. The third step in this process we're going to talk about is networking. And networking is key to success because you're not going to be able to make this film on your own.
You may come up with the idea you may be the guy or the woman in charge of it all. But you're still gonna have to recruit reliable help from trusted people. And then once you reach out to these contacts once you start bringing people aboard your team constant communication is a must You know, if it's very important, don't text it. column. Sometimes people don't see texts or things get overlooked in text, column or send an email or something like that. But the best way is constant communication with the team members.
And I'm throwing this in there as the third highlight in this section is I have treat people the right way. And ego will get you nowhere fast. So, you know, pretty much you've heard the term, beg, borrow and steal. And you know, in a way that kind of applies to any filmmaking, because you're going to be going to people with your handout A lot of times, so you don't want to be egotistical in any way. You want to be accommodating. polite.
People gonna say no. You know, you may say, hey, this this, I love your barn, this barn you have in your back yard will be perfect for a scene in my field. I'd love to use that barn. And the owner may say, No way. No way, I don't want any part of it. And you don't need to come back and you know, be smart about it, just say, Okay, thanks for your time.
And you never know they might change your mind before you get out the driveway. So that's just a little piece of advice there. Let's move on to Step Four. Again, is important to stay in constant contact with other producers and meet regularly. So just be be prepared for, you know, regular meetings with your team members. And also be prepared to wear many hats than just the producer.
You know, as an independent filmmaker, you're going to be doing all kinds of jobs. You know, on all my films that I've directed, I've been the director, I've ran the slate have helped the boom. I've been, you know, move stuff around like a grip Don't sit back and say, Oh, I'm the director, I'm gonna do that. Because people see that. And they're like, this is your project. You know, we're not getting paid enough, you know.
So just be prepared to wear many hats. Very important aspect also is to assign responsibilities to people. It's really important that people know their title, on set, and also set deadlines for certain aspects of the project. So at this point in the game, like in pre production process, maybe in month two, you want to make sure for example, you may have all your props, you may have a list of props and like, month two, we're going to have our all our props, or month three, we're going to have all our casting done. So just set deadlines and have a little checklist for yourself. All right, moving on.
And Step five, we're going to talk about marketing and social media. You may think it's not that important, but it's hugely important to your film. Because you want to start building interest in and start spreading the word about your film. Not just through word of mouth, but on social media networks, you know, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, whatever. Now, this is very important. What I'm about to tell you here in step two, you don't want to fixate on negative people who don't believe you can do it.
You already know how Facebook works. Because you know, you do a post and you have all these comments and usually have some kind of person being negative somewhere. And that just may be regular on your personal life. But imagine when you start putting stuff creativity things out there, you're going to be a little bit more offended also, you know, hey, look at this great poster we came up with or look at this, whatever, you know, and you have a lot of people liking it or whatever. Then you have somebody that comes along and says all that stuff. So, don't let negative people discourage you there.
You want to try to involve as many people as possible. And don't turn any away if you can help it. There's gonna be a lot of people it says I'd love to help out with your film. And don't just rattle them off, say, Oh, no, we don't need you. You never know. Open that keep that door open.
No, say, you know, yeah, give me your contact information. And let's keep in contact. You want to utilize social media as much as possible. You want to create a movie page specifically, and you want to update it regular and monitor posts and comments. Why is it important to monitor posts and comments? Number one, if you're the one making the post, you don't maybe have to monitor them as much but if you have other people on your team that have permission to post to bear keep a watchful eye over that you never know what they're gonna post.
So I would say just keep it to one or two people that you trust. And also watch your comments. A movie page is not the place to argue with someone at all, I've I've seen it happen on a couple of my empathy pages. Not that I was arguing with somebody, but maybe one of the cast members are responding for to some negativity and they're looking at me in a cussing match, and it really makes the family look bad. So be sure to monitor your comments on the page and be ready to delete any kind of threads of arguments or and stuff like that from people. I put you a little example of something I did on Facebook for something in the woods, which you know, it drove a lot of likes to the page.
So that's just an example right here. Now we're going to move on to Step six, which is a schedule, I'm gonna scroll down, you can see I have a lot to say about the schedule. But I'm just gonna come down to the section highlights. And also, really, you really need to read that section. I'm kind of going over some highlights here with you, but I'm leaving some stuff out that, uh, that I think you should know. So just make sure you read this ebook.
Again. I don't mean to keep sounding like a parrot, repeat myself, but it's just really important. All right. Well, number one. Do not alter the schedule to meet the needs of actors. Unless you can do so without throwing the schedule off track.
So when you're creating the schedule, you know you got that you got your script. You spent like weeks creating this perfect students, shoes, kids, and all of a sudden somebody comes into the man you know You cast somebody and they're like, I don't know if I can do it that day. Well, if you can work around them, try, but it, just remember, the shooting schedule is just like dominoes that are stacked up. And, you know, if you take one out, it can cause the whole thing to mess up. So I try not to alter the schedule. Because once I get that schedule set, I mean, a lot of times you'll have locations, you know, like, I'm just gonna give you example.
And one instance, I had to work with the police department in the town. And we had it like on a Monday. Well, the actor, you know, said, Hey, I don't know if I can be there that Monday. I was like, Well, if you can't be there, I want to recast it because that's the only day they're gonna work with us. You know? So sometimes you can't because bestial locations require commitment.
And it requires the actors that you bring on board to be 100% committed and be there. Okay, number two, make a list of the locations and then group them together by locations. Really what that means is, you don't want to be jumping from spot to spot. Like for example, so you have three locations in your story. Let's say you have the woods and then you have a house and then you have somewhere by the ocean, okay. You want to shoot all your scenes.
Like on the woods scene, shoot all your scenes there in the woods, don't shoot some of your scenes in the woods go to the ocean than the house and come back to the woods. Does that make sense? You want to try to save time Now you may have to for some certain things, but for the most part, tried to group all your locations together. Your students schedule. You also want to figure out what actors and props are needed for each scene. When you're making your schedule, you need to slack Okay, John's gonna be here on this scene Mary's gonna be needed.
JOHN actually has to wear that red bow tie for this See, he needs that he needs that a 1940's pistol or whatever. I'm just giving you some examples, make sure you line up the props that you need in your schedule. And the schedule I have always have a little section dedicated versus actors locations. You know, whether it's day or not scene and then I have another section it says props. So you just want to make sure, basically, you're just going to analyze the script to see how many day scenes you have, how many not scenes and you want to adjust that schedule accordingly. You also want to consider the time of year you want to shoot and make arrangements for the needs of the cast and crew.
Very important here because for example, If you're shooting, and I just ran into this problem on this film, shooting, we got 95% of the movie made, right? And it's like at the end of winner. Well, we had an issue, come up with the suit, a creature suit, so it had to go back into repairs for a month and a half. That's how long it took to repair the suit. Well guess what that puts us in a different time of the year. Now there's leaves blooming on the trees, so it creates a continuity issue.
So just be aware of that. If you can avoid it. Try to avoid it. If all possible, try to start shooting at the beginning of one of the seasons. Unless your fam requires different seasons. That's a different case.
But if it doesn't, you may run into continuity issues. All right, let's move on to Step eight. And talk about the deferred rate versus volunteer get bogged down. You want to make sure that your cast and crew know what a deferred right means if you're gonna shoot your film and you say I'm gonna shoot you some deferred rate. Well, a lot of people don't know what that means. A lot of people think, well, that means I'm just gonna get paid right after the film's done no, it means they'll only get paid if the movie makes money.
So you need to make sure that they understand that in the contract. The people you bring on board your project should be there because they love making movies. And if you get somebody there that thinks you're gonna make a lot of money of indie film with no major actors involved or no major budgeting, you got to watch out for those people. They'll come back to haunt you. I've had that happen on every single film and I tried to do my best to identify these people before it happens. But people will surprise you.
And for some reason, when they hear the word movie, they think I want to be a star in the middle They're overnight. It's just so far from the truth is kind of funny. But that's really, I go into this a little bit more detail. So just make sure you read the section thoroughly. Let's back up the step seven. I didn't realize I scrolled past it.
But it's the most important thing, probably one of the most important things is the contract. So let's just throw it out there. You can't trust anybody when it comes to contracts. Okay, cast and crew must sign a contract before you begin filming because if you don't, then they can destroy you. They can destroy your film. You can't use their image or their voice or their video of them or anything without their permission.
So you don't get a contract. And you try to get your film and put it in a film festival or something. Later, they can come back and say, No, no, you're not going to use my picture of my voice. Unless you pay me $1,000 or $10,000? Well, what are you going to do, then? They got you.
And unless you have the money to do it, can't do it. But if you have a contract and make them, when they step on set and say, Look, this is what we're going to give you, this is going to be your daily rate, or this is a volunteer for them, you're not gonna get paid, or this is the third rate, you're not gonna make any money unless the field makes $100,000. If you have that all in the contract, they can't come back and say nothing, because they signed it. And if they try to come back on you, well, they'll lose. they'll lose in court and any attorney they go to will tell them they'll lose too, so won't even go to court. Also, if you have an unsigned contract, because when you go take your film to distribution, and that's, you know, we'll talk a little bit about distribution Later, but distribution companies, they want everything on your film.
They want all the set pictures, they want everything. They want all the contracts on the actors because they're not gonna buy into a film, and they're not gonna offer you money or try to distribute your film. If they're unsure that an actor may come back later and say I didn't give them permission, I didn't sign a contract. So you want to make sure you have all your contracts signed. Trust me, I've been down that road and it led to a dead end so you don't want to go down that road. Moving on to Step nine, we're going to talk about the budget.
And you really need to have somebody that's very good about keeping a budget and keeping the daily time sheets and all the work expenses of your film. It's really important, especially if you have a little bit of money to work with. You need to know what's going out what's coming in. If it's a deferred rate scenario, the budget doesn't reflect the money that you have in the bank. For example, on something in the woods, I only had like less than $2,000 to make the film. Now, what was the budget of the film?
The budget is about $180,000. You say, Well, I don't get it. How does that work? Okay, let me explain. Everybody that worked on your set, everybody that, you know, you're giving everybody a daily rate of something, you know, on something in the woods of $100 a day for all my cast and the crew, everything. So you add up about 30 people $100 a day, for a month.
You know, it's gonna add up. It's gonna add up a lot. So that was actually the budget of the film was about $180,000. So, but those people understood because they signed contracts, if they would never, they would never get paid unless the movie made that hundred and $80,000 or $100,000 they would at least make something out of it. But unfortunately something in the woods my first thing I'm you know, had big expectations, it didn't make that at all. It basically just paid for itself and video on demand platforms.
But um, that's another story. So anyways, just be prepared for that. Alright, let's talk about step 10. Putting the crew together. When it comes to a crew, when it comes to a crew, you really need to search locally. Unless you can put people up in your house or whatever, because if you don't, they're gonna expect lodging they're gonna expect you to put them up in a hotel or something like that.
So, you know, when you're searching recruit, if you can try to search in your immediate area. You can put up job post things on social networks like Facebook and stage 32, and even LinkedIn. Want to concentrate first on filling the main crew positions. You know, you want to get your director, Director of Photography, your audio supervisor, your main grip, you know, things like that. You want to make sure you have those guys in place first. And you may not have a great camera to shoot, but it needs to be decent.
And sometimes directors of photography, they'll bring their own equipment, you know that that's what they did on both of my films. And sometimes you just have to go with what they got. And also, when it comes to your crew, you want to treat these guys I mean, you want to treat everybody great, but really, I'm not saying kiss up to people, but just be ready to jump in and lend a hand wherever, wherever. There's a need. You know, my audio guy You know, he had to bring a generator on some of our remote locations. And, you know, he's 60 year old man.
And if I didn't see somebody over there helping one of the crew, not seeing trying to take that sucker out at that sprint or that helping, I don't want him to hurt his back, you know, he needs help. So just be ready to jump in where you can. Step 11 getting sponsorship and donations, you may not have a clue where you're gonna get some money to make a film. So pretty much this is kind of how I did it. When you make the schedule Also, you want to try to determine the exact number of days you're going to be shooting. Both of my films we're about between 18 and 20 days of principal photography.
So you can also barter for trade. You know tit for tat. I have here maybe a director of photography wants to roll your film. You know, you can trade for people like that, you know, yeah, I'll do your film, I'll shoot your film or I'll shoot your I'll do your audio be your audio supervisor. But I want that that role in the film. Now, it could be a good trade it could not be a good trade do not sacrifice part of your film, if you don't think that person is a good actor if they don't fit the role.
So he's gonna have to use your common sense there. But when you set up a fundraising page, you know, like Kickstarter or fundraiser, just make sure you look at the the pros and cons of each before you know you really decide which one to go with. You know, I think Kickstarter has all or none type of thing where if you get all your funding, you get it. But you know, let's say your goal was 10,000 and you got 9000. But then you didn't you don't get any of it. So you know, you don't want that to be an issue.
You also have to be a very good salesperson, to get businesses to sponsor you. on all three of my films, we ate like kings, you know, I went to a lot of local cafes and donut shops and places like that, you know, and just, I got them on board, you know, offer them this, even a T shirt, invite them to the premiere of your film, telling me like, send him a shout out on Facebook. There's all kinds of things you can do to get some people on board, you know, you probably won't be able to get a franchise restaurant on board, you know, but you might you might be able to I actually had subway, don't donate a meal to us one day. So you just never know, you know, you just gotta be nice to the people. And you're gonna get a lot of rejection.
Some people don't want nothing to do with that. You know, they're gonna say, you know, we can't give it to you for free. We might give you a discount or some people say No, thank you. So you know just being asked courteous, thank you and leave. You know, you don't want people coming back and saying That guy was really rude when he came in here, because that that gets around, especially in small communities. But you want to go, you know, on your social page and try to get people involved, you know.
And when you when you set up a Kickstarter fundraiser, you know, all those little places have like perks and some good perks to offer people could be invitation to the premiere, you know, for maybe 50 bucks to take us to the premiere for 50 bucks or something. You might offer them a DVD of the fan when it's complete, and when it's released, you know, for 60 bucks or 50 bucks and an invitation to the premiere. So you can build up your perks that way. And that's just one good way of raising some funds for your film. You might have somebody rich in the family that you can go to a rich friend. If that's the case, don't just go in there blindly.
Have a plan in place because they're going to ask you questions if they're, if they have money. And they're a good business person, they're going to ask you questions about your fam, how am I going to get my money back? What am I getting out of it? So if you approach somebody that way, just make sure you have a little business plan, and a little presentation prepared. All right, moving on to Step 12. We're going to talk about casting your film.
The good thing is, you really don't got to take notes here because I got all these little notes highlighted in the section highlights of this ebook. So number one, stay away from actors with egos. What does that mean? Well, if they have an ego, it's probably gonna come back and haunt you throughout the whole process of your film. They want the main screen credit, you know, if they won't, this and that they're going to be very good. needy on set.
And they're not wanting to get their hands dirty there. They think their big name actors when they've done nothing. So it's just a headache. Trust me, the Divas, you don't want those on set. And they can be girls or guys, you know. So just be prepared for that.
If you if you decided to go with somebody that's egotistical. Well, you're going to get what you pay for, I guess. I always try to have somebody in charge of the extras casting, if you if you have sections in your film, where you need extras, that can be a pain in the rump if you're trying to oversee that. So what I do on mine is I get somebody and say, Hey, would you be over the extras casting, you make and send people their way and they just take down their name and date and the dates when they can be there and all those kind of things. And so because it's like another little database, somebody has To keep up with. And if you're over this whole project, that's just one less thing on your shoulders to have to worry about.
Number three is very big. When an actor comes on board before they signed the contract, you want to make sure they don't have any prior commitments. And especially if it's a deferred rate, or if it's a volunteer, and they say, Well, I can do your project unless I get this, I get cast on a paid project during the project, then they'll bail on you. And if they bail on you during your project, what are you going to do, you can scrap the film because they're gone, or try to reshoot it later and then you lose everybody. So just make sure whoever you bring on board your film, whether it be cast or crew that they're committed. And again, make sure they sign a contract before they get on set.
Before you roll the camera. The first day you know you can have a little meeting go over Your list make sure you just ask everybody once again, you did sign a contract, right? You got your contract got your contract. Oh, I didn't get yours. Well come on over here. Let's you know, let's get that sign.
If they don't want to sign it. They don't want to sign your contract they are they're trying to give you shoes. I'll sign it tomorrow. I'll sign it next week. Don't let them Don't let them step on set. Trust me, I've been there, done that.
And again, it's a dead end road. Talked about communication again. I mean before but I'm gonna say it again. Step 13 communication. And I put it like this if your film production is the cake. Communication is the icing on the cake.
Good communication from the beginning of your project is a major key ingredients for success. And even your best efforts and communication sometimes still fall short and I'm writing this from experience. Let's jump down to the Section highlights here. Why is good communication, a key ingredient for success because you have so many different people involved over different areas of your film. And the film has to work like a well greased machine. You get one cod flies off the wheel, then the whole thing will fall apart.
And once you get your cast and crew in place, you want to make sure that you're regularly in communication with them through email, on a weekly basis, all the way up through the end of the film. You always want to give them updates. You always want to make sure that call sheets are going out any kind of change in location, or weather or anything, let people know because people get offended. If they don't know. And they show up to a location. He's like, Oh, you didn't get the email that we told you.
We're gonna skip today wait for the storm to pass and they they just drove an hour and a half to get there. So, good communication, gotta have it. Step 14 pre production essentials and as you see there's a whole long list here. And I go over each little step. So we're just gonna jump down to the six and highlight. So what does that mean for you?
That means you got to go back and read all these and don't just depend on the section highlights here. But you want to make sure your location secured with backups in mind, especially if it's a you know a difficult location to get or anything like that. You don't got to have backups for every location, but on the ones you think might be iffy, have something in mind. You also want to create a list of all props needed and start working on getting Those prompts. As soon as you start production of your Phantom pre production, make that list of prompts and start working on them. Get other team members to help you attain them.
Again, have regular meetings with the cast and crew keep everyone updated and evolve throughout the whole process. And everybody should know their job title and the title of others. That's really important, because you get to set and nobody knows who nobody is. and somebody's barking orders at somebody to do this. And that's not you know, he's want to make sure everybody knows who's doing what and what their title is. It makes things go much more smoothly.
And I try to do this by having like, in person meetings, at least one or two, before we actually start filming, usually have two big production meeting meetings with the cast and crew. So everybody knows who everybody is, everybody To introduce themselves, and you can do that by like having a little cookout or some kind of event. You know, just get people relax. Because if everybody shows up on the first day of filming and they don't know each other, well then there's that awkwardness of Who's this guy? Who's that guy? Yeah, I know it can be done.
But it just makes things so much easier when they've had a chance to shake hands, and exchange stories and all that kind of stuff. Make a few jokes. Coming to step 15, we're going to talk about Principal photography. That's where the real fun begins. Now, you see, there's a lot a lot of things that go over here. But we're just gonna jump down again to the highlights.
The production manager. I'm sorry, I can't talk. The production manager must send out daily call sheets, the production email. That's very important. This goes back to communication I think I've said enough about that. The footage must be done properly in the files backed up at the end of every shooting day.
Don't leave footage on a card. Because guess what, they'll use that same card the next day and everything you did the day before will get erased. You don't want that to happen. So make sure every time that you have a backup, you save all those files. You need to have a backup of a backup. better be prepared, safe than sorry.
Also be prepared for long days on sets. But don't push the cast and crew too hard. That's one of the mistakes I made on my first film. I mean one day we went like 10 or 11 hours and I was you know everybody's just exhausted. Because and I know that's average, but on a shooting shooting day almost films but but this was in the the heat of the summer in East Texas and down here boy gets hot In the summers, and I was like a workhorse that day I just wanted to keep going, I thought was, you know, was getting behind schedule, I want to keep going. But now my ad comes up man where everybody's Bush, we're gonna get this film done.
So just make sure you don't push people too hard. And there's gonna be long days, there's gonna be short days, and when you're making that schedule, don't have long days back to back back to back. I mean hard, hard days. Now when I make a schedule, if I have a real hard like, very important day, that might take 12 hours all day, then the next day, I'm gonna try to follow up with a short day or maybe even a day off. So just be prepared to do that when you're making the schedule. Keep people in mind if you also want to be considered professional, the people that are going to be working for you, and like your extras and cast and anybody like that or if you have a crew that may not be needed or wanted to take a break.
You want to have a holding spot. For these people, okay, you don't want them to stand around on set watching the film, they need to be in a place when they're not needed, they need to be out of the way. Because they'll get into the shot. They'll be talking when you're trying to shoot. You just need to have a place a good holding area for your background and actors a place where they can relax, a place where they can study their lines. And again, you want to treat everybody with dignity and respect.
That goes for the lowest person on the totem pole. Don't treat extras, like extras. You know, I've seen that happen. And I don't let that happen on my film. I've seen somebody talking down to the extra one day. I mean, I called him out on it.
I mean, not in front of everybody, but I pulled him aside. It's okay, we're all on the same team here. Nobody's above anybody here. We're all here trying to make a movie. Let's Let's be nice to each other. Okay.
And you know, if you call somebody out In front of her by and try to embarrass him a little may not go Good for you. So Nope, just keep that in mind. All right step 16. post production editing. All right, so congratulations, got your film in the can means you finished Principal photography. But now you're only like halfway there because the other half is gonna be spent long hours in the editing room. But I enjoy the editing room because you can least be in the air condition or, or a warm area and you can have food snacks and you get to watch all this footage, you get to watch all this hard work that you've done for the last month or six months or whatever, come together.
So you want to make sure you have a good editor that you can work with that you can trust. If you have a if the editor that's always has something else going on or is hard to track down It's gonna be a grueling process. So make sure you're edge or somebody that you can work with and they understand the grueling hours, it's going to go into it. And, you know, it's really hard to ask an editor to do it for free. Even my closest friend who's an editor, I pay him something, it may not be a whole lot, but I'm gonna give him some money because it's long hours day after day. You know, sit behind a computer screen.
So, don't expect to get an editor for free basically what I'm trying to tell you there. And you know, number two, an editor can make or break your project. So choose them wisely. And, you know, work closely with them. Because as a director, or executive producer, whatever you are, your role is here. You know, you need to be there, the director and editor need to be there together.
If you if you leave it up to the editor to cut the scenes and and you can't be upset when he gives you a scene that you had nothing to do with them. In terms of cutting it together, like I didn't like that angle, well, you should have been there to tell him you didn't like that angle and to choose another angle. So anyways, that's that's very important thing to remember talking about the premiere. Yes. Once you get your film edited and scored and color correct and you go through all those phases, it's time to premiere your film to the world. And that is very exciting.
It's the moment you've been waiting for. And, but keep in mind, a good premiere takes good planning to you can't just expect to throw a premiere together in a week. You know, you want to send out invites, you want to make sure you send out invites like two three months ahead. You want to make sure you have the place secure to get place. You want to show it on a screen that's big. You don't want to sell it on some television, some big screen television either sold on a big screen if you can't get a movie theater, you know they got these screens you can rent, you know that you can put up, you know, the pretty high.
You know, that's what I did on my first film. We rented a pretty big screen inflatable screen. And people were happy. Just trying to dress it up, make it make a big deal out of tell people to dress up. Have some popcorn there some drinks, you know, you can sell popcorn and drinks there, make a little, make a little money if you want. But try to make it as good as possible.
Because this is what the cast and crew have been working for all these months. And so they want to have a good premiere. They want to be able to show off to their friends or families, whoever they bring with them. Look what I've done. Now jumping into distribution and film festivals, you have some big questions to ask yourself, should you self distribute? That's what I did but something in the woods And we did okay.
But nothing to brag about. Because really, and when it comes to distribution you can either distribute yourself or go sell your project to a distributor. And, and there's pros and cons of each. And nowadays you can anybody can get their fam on video the band platforms. Like it's harder to get on Netflix now, but for example VUDU not very hard to get on. Amazon's not very hard to get on.
It's just a process. So depends the distribution. How do you get distribution? But the first when you have your film ready, you want to submit it to film festivals. And it's like where do I find film festivals film freeway, is what most people use. Most filmmakers is a great website.
You get to upload Load your project into it and you upload a screener. And you can, once you have everything uploaded, you can submit it to, like 1000 festivals If you want, I just got to make sure that some of these festivals are more expensive than others, some of them are free, some of them are 20 bucks, some of them 100 bucks and I'm three or 400 bucks, you know, I would say shoot for at least one big film festival you know, try to get your film some some great recognition. Because that's where the distributors go. They're looking for good films. If they like what they see, you'll not you'll probably get an offer, you will get an offer if they like what they say you will get several offers. So that's one thing to consider.
Anytime you're going to go with site, let's say you go with a distributor, well, they're going to give you a contract. And the thing is you can you can look over the contract, but these contracts are gonna have like fine print, a lot of legal jargon. So the best So you can do is get, you know, a lawyer, friend or entertainment attorney to look it over, you know, you can pay him probably 50 bucks just to look it over just to make sure there's no clauses in there that's going to screw you as a filmmaker, we turned down several offers on our first film, because they all had a clause in there in the clause said that they had the right to chef the film for seven years. And if they wanted to, and I didn't want that nobody wants to see their product. They work so hard, suddenly put on the back shelf and just shelled and then nobody's making any money or getting any exposure.
You want to submit your film to various Film Festival festivals and you also want to create a buzz in order to get some press kits together and how do you get a press kit? Well, that's that's a different topic altogether. But you can kind of get buzz going by contacting your local, you know, news station, your local newspaper. They'll ask you all these questions and when you get a ride Say those write write ups, especially the online write ups where you can attach it to your project when you submit it to film festivals and stuff. In conclusion, I wanted to tell you guys that, you know, I've been making films, you know, for almost a decade acting screenwriting making films, and it's still a learning process for me. But this is the process that I've narrowed down and I've used this process on my first film, and I'm still using it today.
You know, so it really does work. If you really go by the steps and go by each step. And you need to read this book. Again, I'm gonna keep saying that because a lot of people just try to read the section highlights and think they can do it, but really study it, study the process and apply each step and I know you'll be successful. I mean, The only person that you can blame for not being successful is yourself. Because you're gonna, you'll quit at some point if you get too frustrated.
But if you're really passionate about making a film, and you have the attitude that nothing's gonna stop me, I'm gonna make a film even have to make it on my cell phone, then you'll make it you'll be successful. No, this is not some fancy dancy course. And, you know, probably listen to my country accent, I don't try to lose it. You know, I'm actually I can lose it when I need it. I'm not trying to lose it for this course. I'm just, I'm just being personal with you.
I mean, if you're a filmmaker or want to be a filmmaker, I'm just sharing my experiences, and what I've used the process that I've used, and I hope to try to help other filmmakers to reach their dreams too. Thank you, and I hope you enjoy the course and I wish you great luck and Godspeed. Beat on your journey to filmmaking. And don't forget to leave a review and rating for this course. Thank you. Oh