Wednesday, July 9, 2008

First Time Filmmakers - GET HELP

Seriously folks. I can't stress enough that you GET HELP when embarking upon the monumental task of making a film. Making a (feature length) film is like building a house and there ARE certain standards and time-proven methods for carrying out such a thing relatively painlessly. Why try and reinvent the wheel?

If you WERE building a house, you wouldn't run out and start haphazardly nailing a bunch of boards together would you? Why try and go it alone when you're a first-timer and you have very little idea HOW to (really) do it in the first place? Do you want to be a hero? Do you REALLY want to end up like the thousands of filmmakers each year who blow their life savings or max out credit cards or blow their rich friend's money on a 2 year long project that results in a film that nobody will ever see?

Start Here - 1) Make your script as good as you can. If you're a first time writer/hopeful filmmaker, get your script in front of as many people as you can, preferably NOT friends. Make it as good as you can with the means that you have available. Read scripts written by professional writers (available free), and try to make your script not only well written, but compelling, interesting, unique, and above all - NOT boring.

Then spend the money and send your script to a service that reads and provides "notes" and "coverage" on scripts. Then seriously think about acting on the feedback you get and MAKE YOUR SCRIPT AS GOOD AS YOU CAN. If you are bent on writing your own script, that's fine, BUT, DO NOT show it to family, friends, or close acquaintances. Follow the above suggestions and then you can decide if you even have a script worth sinking at least a year of your life into making into a film.

AND. If you're keen on making a film, don't be like SO many other filmmakers who think they HAVE TO write their own material. I know quite a few filmmakers who languish in "development" and fund-raising hell with wimpy scripts that they have written because they can't get anyone excited about it. If you REALLY want to make a film, DON'T fall into the trap that so many do - thinking you can (or have to) write a script that will make a great movie. Find out if you have what it takes to write a compelling screenplay BEFORE telling people you're making a film and BEFORE you waste a lot of time and money actually making a weak script into a film that nobody will want to see.

copyright (2008) Chris Santucci

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