Courtesy Film Courage and indie filmmaker Pascal Payant comes five minutes of advice on how to get things done. All budding filmmakers, take note.
No. 1 – There’s always an excuse to not do something. So stop tip-toeing in circles around your dreams and get to work. Even if your first few attempts aren’t gonna get you where you ultimately want to go, they will set you down the right path.
No. 2 – Build a body of work. Whaddayaknow, look how nicely this one ties into No. 1. Your body of work will be your calling card, your resume and your boost of confidence. You may have the best script in the world, but there’s a fat chance anyone will fork over hundreds of thousands of dollars (not to mention millions) to a newbie without a solid body of work. But how do you build a body of work, if no one wants to take a chance on you. Well, my friend, YOU take a chance on you. Short films are a great way of doing this. They can be shot for cheap, you can edit them yourselves, you can tailor the writing to whatever locations/props/cast/crew you have available to you, and even more importantly they give you a chance to explore and define your own visual style. With a handful of short films (or whatever other projects you can dream up – be creative) under your belt and a visual style to show for it, you now have a body of work that will help you move on to …
No. 3 – Create a visual business plan. Numbers are good and important when seeking investments, whether it’s privately, online or at the bank, but they are also unlikely to really impress anybody, so don’t rely solely on the digits. Write a detailed business plan, then make it visual. People will invest in a clear vision, not a spreadsheet, and a clear vision is much easier to convey, well, visually. Storyboarding, pictures of your desired locations, the style of your previous works – these will all help sell you and your vision.
No. 4 – Don’t get hung up on budgets. All of the above rings true whether you’re making a $500 film or an $85,000 film. Sure, a bigger budget can buy you nicer things, but in the end your visual style and your vision will come from something much more cerebral than that; a good story and a passion to bring it to life.
No. 5 – Repeat No. 1. There’s always an excuse to not do something.
h/t Film Courage
Image from On The Horizon short film by Pascal Payant