Filmmaking / Directing : Steps in Indie Film by Michelle Tonkin

Michelle Tonkin

Steps in Indie Film

Hi, since I’m new to all of this... if any of you seasoned filmmakers etc have advice that would be great

Michelle Tonkin

This post got cut off... I’m looking for steps-like after the script is completed? Eg: 1-script 2: get film crew/director 3: funding etc...

Erik A. Jacobson

Hi, Michelle! You might consider taking the faith-and-family webinar offered by S32. It's given by two ladies very familiar with the market and describes in detail the do's and don't's for those interested in producing films for the f-b audience.

The f-b market is a very specialized genre. Do not expect script consultants with no track record or personal experience with the f-b audience to be able to understand the finer points of what does and doesn't make up a successful f-b script. Trust me, they can smell out a phony ("Noah", for example) trying to cash in on their market in a split nano-second. I'd be happy to point you to some top f-b consultants, if you'd like.

MovieGuide.org and ChristianCinema.com offer regular newsletters on the f-b film industry. And producers and crew active in the f-b market communicate daily with one another through the "Hollywood and Faith" and similar groups on FB. Need any more advice? Feel free to ask. I. Never. Charge. For. Anything. Period.

James Drago

Listen to RB's latest interview on the Indie Film Hustle Podcast. It will inspire you and help you see the value in relationships. And it's funny as hell. It's listed on the blog here.

David Trotti

There are many paths from concept to completed project. Having a tangible, finished script is a major step. But the most important step is, and always will be, financing the project. Because money can cut through all the other steps and make it happen. To do this either you need to be the most determined, convincing sales person ever or you need to ally yourself with one. All you efforts need to be geared toward putting yourself in the path of money: over and over again until "luck" becomes inevitable. How does this happen? There's no formula. Champions and connections are the most common path. Whether that's an agent or a producer or an actor or a hairdresser or a friend of a friend of a friend. Each individual connection may not lead to anything, but accreting them, collecting them, keeping them fresh can lead to a snowball effect. You also need to be your most vocal and enthusiastic supporter. If you aren't excited enough about your project to do whatever it takes to get it made, you will never find anyone else who will be either. What's your next step if you have no connections? Make them. Go get an imdbPro account and look up as many films like yours as you can, write down the names of the Producers and Directors and Production Companies. Then find their contact information or agents or managers or Development Execs and send a simple, short email Personally addressed to an individual (not a generic email blast). State your name, your project, its logline and why you think its right for that entity. 95% of this will result in no response, a generic "no solicitations email" or a personal "thanks, but not for us." If you get a response, thank the person and ask if you can query again in the future when you have something else. In the possible 5% of instances that request the script, 90% of those will pass. But usually with a nice note saying that same "thanks, but not for us." Again, thank the person and ask if you can query again and see if they can suggest anywhere they think might be interested in that type of project. Bang you've made a connection and maybe you'll get a referral. But whatever you do, do not mortgage your house or let friends and family mortgage their houses to finance your film. Good luck!

Michelle Tonkin

Thanks Erik, James, and David- I really appreciate your insight and info. I listened to Zack Ward's webinar tonight and it was a wealth of info. There's A TON OF WORK involved which will obviously take a team of people. I am having my script read with script coverage and I'm going to polish it up so that it will be where it needs to be and ready to go. Then we will go from there! Blessings:)

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