Making a movie

Let’s say you’re working a full-time job and, over the past year, have been inspired by something you learned about your family or your friends, or something that you experienced. You decide you want to make a movie.

How would you approach it?

Would you brave against the odds of the traditional film system, and development hell? Would you make the time to schmooze and get in the right rooms? Would you hope to be discovered by the right person?

Or would you rather actually spend all that time making something? 

If you choose the latter path, it’ll be something—probably a terrible first draft, especially if it’s your first script; then you can take it to a class, work with some professionals, and make it acceptable

You probably won’t have much of a budget—so you’ll need to enlist the help of friends. Friends with cameras, editing software and skills, and acting skills. Maybe one of them is a one-person show, like Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s first version of Fleabag. (See also Tame Impala, Foo Fighters, Bon Iver, etc.) Maybe that person is you.

You probably won’t have the resources to shoot an entire short film, either. So you might shoot a few key scenes, and rely on a playlist or soundtrack to accompany the screenplay, just like Childish Gambino’s Because the Internet screenplay. You may choose to make a short film, like Ryan Leslie’s Diamond Girl movie (the premise of which was adapted into a Lexus commercial).

At the end of it though, you’ll have a working version of a movie. You can drum up interest online. You can use it as a proof of concept to recruit more help and resourcing. You can prove, to yourself, that you can do it.

It’ll be challenging, scary, and a lot of work.

And it’ll be worth it.

“Your plan for getting your work out there has to be as original as the actual work, perhaps even more so. The work has to create a totally new market. There’s no point trying to do the same thing as 250,000 other young hopefuls, waiting for a miracle. All existing business models are wrong. Find a new one.”

Hugh MacLeod, Ignore Everybody

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