first-time filmmakers making the leap from obscurity to celebrity, the reality is there simply is a glut of product out there. Making a movie, once the achievement of a large group of people and hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars, can now be done by one person with an iPhone. My first film, The Great Intervention, was shot for $5000. This is not terrible news, people! Every day, there are more and more places to sell, stream or share your movie online. And, every day, it is getting cheaper and cheaper to make them. This means – a) you can do it yourself, and b) you don’t need to go to the poorhouse spending all your money on marketing seminars, publicists, and Facebook Ads to recoup your costs. (If you’re smart like me, you raise the money for your film on Kickstarter, so you are not in the hole at all.) Every dollar that comes in is, technically, a profit. I’m not going to lie to you – I have hopes just like you that my film will be seen by Harvey Weinstein. I’m just starting with smaller goals and expectations, and I suggest you do too.
- Enter film festivals with no or low entrance fees. Sometimes, you can email them and beg for a waiver. Not saying that happens much, but it could be worth a try.
- Focus on the community around the film. Actors, investors, and friends all want to see your film and have it succeed. Start with screenings that involve them and roll out from there.
- Always have a copy of your film on you – you never know who you are going to meet!