Making a film is extremely challenging because of the amount of details and money involved. Here is some advice for those aspiring to make a film:
Find a script that you want to produce into a film. Have you written any scripts you have always dreamed of making into a movie? Are any of your friends sitting on a brilliant script? Making a film is an extremely laborious process. You want to make film that has a story you really believe in.
If you are a writer, see if there are any books you would like to adapt into a screenplay. Look into acquiring the rights to adapt a screenplay to the particular book. The best-sellers are most likely claimed already. Check out some of the lesser-known books that people recommend. There are some great stories out there that haven’t yet been produced into a film.
Making a film costs money. Unless you already have a stash of money saved to produce your film you will need to fundraise. Search for investors. Contact companies to see if they would like to sponsor your film. This usually involves placing their product in your film and including their company in the credits. Another popular way to raise funds is to throw a fundraising party. Reserve an area at a trendy bar, get live entertainment (a friend’s band), and see if you can get a celebrity-friend to make an appearance. You can also create some Internet buzz by building a website or Facebook page.
Hire a producer once you get some funds together. Find a proficient producer who will be able to hire the right crew for your film. The producer will work with the crew to handle the many details of the production (budgeting, scheduling, payroll etc.). The producer will find a location scout, costume designer, and line producer.
Find A Director
Get together with the producer to find a good director. Once production begins you will be handing off your project to the director and producer, so make sure you get a director you trust artistically for your film. Also, director will also be involved in the important decision of choosing the director of photography (DP). The DP (cinematographer) will create the “feel” of the movie with the cameras and lighting.
Consult with your producer to find a good casting director. The casting director will send out a casting call and sift through the submissions to decide on which actors to call in for an audition. After the casting director pre-reads with the actors in the first audition, they will narrow down the choices to a few actors for each role for you to see in the second audition (call-back). After the call-back you will then choose the actor for each role with the producer, and director.
After the film is budgeted, scheduled, and casted let the crew go to work. This is where you will be handing off the reigns of the film to the production crew. Give them freedom to collaborate artistically and watch your vision come together!
Once production is wrapped you will take all the footage to an editor to create the final cut of the film. Discuss with the producer and director on what editor to hire. The directors will often have an editor they primarily work with. You can oversee the editing process, but the final cut is usually decided between the director and the editor.
Getting your film distributed can be an arduous task. Most independent filmmakers submit their projects to film festivals (Sundance, Toronto International Film Festival, Slamdance Film Festival, South by Southwest, Tribeca Film Festival) in hope of finding distribution. Studios often send representatives to film festivals to scout out movies to distribute. Recent success stories for festival-found films include: Slumdog Millionaire, Juno, Napoleon Dynamite, Monster’s Ball, and many more. Don’t be afraid to submit your film to the top festivals. It might be the next bit hit!