How To Make Movies
Knowing how to make movies in the 21st century is less complicated than it was twenty years ago, but the principles are still the same. Anyone who wants to make a motion picture will need money. Not lots of money, but money you can afford to lose, which means money from your investors. With some wheeling and dealing you’ll have to wrangle to get investors interested in making a full-length feature.
Things you'll need:
- Bankable script
- Cast and crew
- An idea that’s bankable. It's vital to find a screenwriter with a brilliant idea that hasn’t been done before or at least a story that has a unique hook. Once a script is in hand, it goes into development hell where it's rewritten and rewritten.
- Investors who love to throw money away. You know the kind: lawyers, doctors and rich people who need to lose money for tax write-offs purposes. Any production will cost a few thousand dollars for permits, insurance and catering, so finding investors to take a chance on a motion picture is part of the struggle of making a movie.
- Producers. We’re talking about people with God-given persuasive schmoozing skills who can talk anyone into working on full-feature film. Producers also work on budgeting and scheduling the production.
- Cast. Actors are very insecure about which projects to attach their name to, but casting directors can lure them into a project by emphasizing how most great actors started small before they became famous. Casting the right actor may take time, so auditions can last a month or two.
- Crew. Lights, camera and action can’t happen without equipment and people who know how to rig them. You'll need cinematographers, camera operators, electricians, costume designers and hair and make-up artists (just to name a few).
- Locations. You need to secure exterior locations with permits and find interior locations to shoot or build sets depending on the funding. For example, set designers can dress up a location with empty pizza boxes and empty beer bottles. Just don’t ask how the beer bottles got emptied.
- Editing. You'll need an editor who understands the director’s vision and is able to put the puzzle pieces together. For special effects someone else might come on board to assist the editor in post production.
- Distribution. Film festivals are the best way to get a movie noticed and maybe hog-tie a distribution company to come on board and fork over even more money to get that movie into theaters. Without some sort of distribution the movie basically sits on the shelf.
Making movies is a simple one-two-three process, but it can take years to get a project off the ground. From investing, producing, filming, which finally lead to the finished project, making movies is for extremely patient and tenacious souls who love to sweat and flourish in frustration.