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Making films is easier today than ever before….. really!.
Even if you have a limited budget and not much experience, with a good script, a dedicated crew and some decent but affordable equipment, you can create a professional looking movie. At the same time, there are still quite a few challenges when it comes to producing, financing and distributing a film if you’re not well connected in the industry. A lot of this comes down to successfully negotiating with all of the players in the process. Let’s look at a few proven strategies for making this a little easier.
Make sure you have a polished script. The script is the foundation of any film. If you want people to invest in your project, make sure you have the best possible draft of your script. You should proofread your script and show it to a few people you trust. You don’t necessarily have to take anyone’s suggestions, but sometimes another person will find a flaw in the script that you weren’t objective enough to notice.
Carefully consider the locations. This will have a major impact on the ambience of the film and they are also a major factor when it comes to the budget. One thing that can really drive up the cost of a film is having lots of different locations. If you can reduce the number of locations you can significantly cut the film’s budget. This doesn’t have to mean compromising the film’s quality. You just have to be a little creative and make the most of the locations you are using. You can accomplish a great deal by making some changes to the scenery, filming at different times of day and by using different areas of a single location.
A location agency finds locations specific to your needs regardless of what those needs are. The location agency also takes the ideas you have for your film and incorporates those ideas into their search. When you need a warehouse, the location looks for anything that looks like a warehouse. When you need a location that looks like another continent, the location agent takes that into account.
Start seeking funding for your film as soon as possible. While it’s nice to be true to your aesthetic vision, if you want people to back your project you may need to make some compromises when it comes to the script. The sooner you find out about this, the easier it will be to make the necessary adjustments Build a credible team. A film is a collaborative project that is more than the sum of its parts. When negotiating with producers or financiers, it’s helpful to have some experienced individuals on your team with a track record in the industry. This can be an actor, camera person, director or other crew members. If you have worked with certain people before and produced something, try to rebuild this team. It’s more difficult to get backing for a film when the team has little experience, either working together or in the film industry at all.
Consider how viable your film is globally. So the movies are mainly of interest to a local audience. A film with the potential to sell internationally, however, gives you the chance to get more funding and wider distribution. If you’re committed to a film with a local or regional focus, that’s fine as well. In that case, you might be eligible for public funding that focuses on films of interest to a UK audience. Either way,this is something to consider when making your film and seeking funding for it. Be clear about your budget and schedule. When discussing funding for a film, it’s important to be able to produce some specific numbers. These should be as precise as possible, so make sure you aren’t overlooking any details. You don’t want to find yourself in the position of finding out later on that you need additional funding to complete the film. Similarly, you should have a realistic time frame for shooting and completing the film. The more organised and professional you are, the more likely you will be able to get financing and distribution for your film.
Build a fan base on social media. One of the biggest advantages independent filmmakers have today is the ability to make use of social media even before they start making a film. Regardless of what stage you are at with the film, you should have a blog, a trailer on YouTube and a Facebook page. If you can build a substantial following for your project, you can demonstrate to potential backers that your film has already generated some interest.