Reflections On Being An Indie Film Producer #5

The Creative Adventure Begins: Getting Ready to Make Your Movie

Becoming an indie producer goes beyond a passion for films. It demands persistence, commitment, and the resilience to push through challenges. Time to talk about some of those challenges.

Revising the Story (Or Finding Another One)

You might have started your journey inspired by a story that intrigued you or tugged at your heartstrings. Now that you know your budget, it’s time to refine that story to match, or consider looking for a story that already does.

We lost count of the number of revisions we wrote for Blood Pledge. Our first draft had a large cast, and all kinds of big movie stunts and scenes--all far beyond our modest budget. We ended up with six actors and a story that delivered the suspense and thriller/scifi moments we wanted, but with an emphasis on stronger character development. In the end, we liked the result a lot better, and as mentioned in Collect Your Allies: Building a Collaborative Network, this was the script that won over Gib Jaffe, as well as our actors.

Now is the time to put emotion aside and ask yourself if the story you’ve chosen will be compelling and is affordable using the resources you have. Will it resonate with your target audience? Will it entice actors, editors, composers, and other crucial talent? Be brutally honest with yourself. If there’s anything lacking in the story, put together feedback sessions, do those rewrites, and create a better story.

Find the Location

Every story needs its stage. Location scouting is a blend of artistic vision and logistics. Whether it's a bustling cityscape, a serene countryside, or an isolated cabin, the backdrop should enhance your narrative. When hunting for locations, consider factors like accessibility, budget constraints, and shooting permissions (see The Antagonist Strikes—with Legalities for an overview of the legal side of indie film making). The right location doesn't just support the story. It becomes a character in its own right.

Find the People

Your crew and cast breathe life into your project. Seek out individuals who align with your vision, whether that’s a cinematographer with a unique visual style, or an actor who embodies your protagonist perfectly. Networking, auditions, and interviews play crucial roles here. Remember, it's not just about talent, but also about who will bring a high-level of dedication and teamwork to the project.

Find the Tools

From cameras to sound equipment, the tools you choose can make or break your film’s quality. Depending on your budget, decide whether to buy, rent, or borrow. Research the latest technology, read reviews, and even test equipment before committing. A solid toolkit ensures that your story translates flawlessly from script to screen.

To conclude, indie filmmaking is an intricate process of creativity and practicality. While passion fuels the journey, attention to these vital components ensures a harmonious production process. Keep grinding, keep dreaming, and let every challenge shape your masterpiece.

You can see the movie here:

Blood Pledge