Producing : Aspiring Writer & Director in Need of Advice by Sheikh Shahnawaz

Sheikh Shahnawaz

Aspiring Writer & Director in Need of Advice


I'm an aspiring film director, screenwriter & producer. I wanted to know from other seasoned producers the best route they would recommend for someone like me to get their foot in the industry. I also live in the UK so would that be a problem? Would I need to move to NY or LA?

I tried to make a feature film last year but that failed because of a number of reasons so this year I plan to make a short film a month on YouTube to grow my already decent following of 4000 subscribers and build on the success of my previous short films which have garnered over 1.2 million views.

Just released my first film for January which you can watch on my channel:

From there I was hoping I will have gained enough experience to successfully make my first micro budget feature film. After that I have no idea what to do other than take my film to festivals. I'd imagine if all goes well my feature film will make some noise and I'd have a script ready for my next feature film that would need a budget of somewhere in the $5-15 million budget range. But from there I have no idea what to do or who to contact, how to finance it etc. If somebody already in the industry could give me some advice that would be greatly appreciated.

Sheikh Shahnawaz
Sheikh Shahnawaz
Film Director, Screenwriter & Producer
Erik A. Jacobson

Study the career trajectories of bold, innovative filmmakers like Robert Rodriguez, Ed Burns, Ava Duvernay, the Duplessis Bros, etc, and do the same. Remember, the Cavalry is not coming to the rescue!

Sheikh Shahnawaz

Erik A. Jacobson I have looked at the careers of other directors but times are a little different now compared to when some of the directors you mentioned started making films. Video on demand is a bigger thing, social media is huge, rise of YouTube, a LOT more competition since anyone can make a film these days since cameras are more accessible now.

I just wanted an idea of what producers think someone like me starting out today should be doing with the current landscape of the film industry.

Ken Koh

Hi Sheikh. UK has a big industry, I'm in the UK also. Perhaps these threads might help:

Marjolein Smit

I would try to get a bit of experience in England and then go from there. Good luck!

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