How To Make Your Own Movie
Knowing how to make your own movie in this digital age demands that you have drive, determination and motivation to get the project moving forward no matter how many things might go wrong on the set. You don’t need deep pockets to finance an indie feature; most of what you’ll need you’ll get for free. Don't believe us? Keep reading.
- Script. You've got to have a cohesive story. If you're visit aspiring screenwriter forums or advertise that you need a screenwriter, you might get lucky and click with someone who’s got that original idea that's the perfect blueprint for your film. You could write it yourself but make sure you have a good grip on how to write a script.
- Crew. Keep your crew to a minimum and make sure they're multitalented because it’s best to have a crew multitask during production. You’ll need a cinematographer (he’ll take care of lighting) and we’ll assume you’re the director with your own digital camera. You’ll need a sound person with their own microphones for both interior and exterior locations. Two things will kill your movie: crappy story or crappy audio, so be sure you have solid sound equipment. Getting an extra crew guy to lug cables and hold reflectors would be nice or you can get your cousin to do it because that’s what family is for. Have your entire crew work for free. Not only possible is it possible, but it’s done all the time in indie filmmaking.
- Cast. Keep the cast to a minimum. Get actors who want the exposure of starring in a full feature.
- Locations. State and national parks, beaches, municipal piers and government buildings are free to film in most states. If you are unable to pay for permits, you must learn the technique of gun-and-run guerilla film style. You set up, you shoot then you leave before cops come snooping around asking if you have a permit. For interior locations, you beg and borrow or advertise online. You’d be surprise how many folks will lend you their homes or lend you their cool rides just so they can say their property was in a movie.
- Insurance. Absolutely necessary if you are borrowing or renting equipment. You drop an expensive digital camera and break the lens, your film just went from low budget to big bucks out of pocket.
- Catering. This is where you cannot cut corners. Each film day you must feed your cast and crew once or twice a day depending on the shoot. Best way to handle this expense is to make sandwiches or cook pasta. You'll find it cheaper to cook yourself than buy take-out in the long run. Load up on cases of bottled water.
- Film weekends. Your movie may take months to a year to get made because hiring free help means most of your cast and crew will have day jobs. Forget about taking a weekend off anytime soon while filming.
- Edit. Learn to edit your own project, which gives you control of the overall look of the film. Find a special effects guy to help out or learn also to do this yourself.
- Music. Composers crawling everywhere on websites, advertising they’ll work for free dying to compose for a feature. Another route is to obtain public domain music or pay a small fee at online music libraries.
- Distribution. Your best bet is to enter film festivals and get noticed. Registration costs money but, remember, you did everything for free except for catering, so set aside some cash for this venue. Make sure everyone involve in your movie signed a release form. These forms are available to download online for free.
Making your own movie is open game to anyone who owns a digital camera has a vision and is willing to network. The success of your movie depends on you. Who knows, maybe Hollywood will come knocking on your door if your movie takes a slot at a major film festival. Now you know what’s involved in getting your movie made, so what are you waiting for? Go out there and become the next Francis Coppola!