Producing : Film Making is a TEAM sport. by Georgia Hilton

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Georgia Hilton

Film Making is a TEAM sport.

I just wanted note today, sometimes we forget that in the fog of shooting or in post... we think we know everything, and we have nothing to learn, or that a decision made cannot be un-made, or we are the most important person, or "they" can't make this without me. ... but in reality... Making a feature movie is a TEAM sport if it is nothing else. If you are planning or making a feature... the first, the most important, the number ONE thing you MUST do is assemble your core team. Without a solid core team your project is prepped for failure. I know a lot about making movies... I've done it for almost 20 years now.. I've held almost every position in production and in post, and the one thing I know the most about is that I don't know jack shit... For every crumb of knowledge I have, there are a hundred things I learn that I don't know. Frankly the more I learn the more ignorant I feel. You need a team and a team's knowledge base to make something as difficult, time consuming, costly and technically difficult as a feature film. Put your core team together first... the rest will follow.

Les Turner

Hello Georgia, if you don't mind me asking, How does one put together a core team? I've written a script and several other projects but I am just one person. I have no core team. I agree with you 100%. My father ones told me "No man is an Island." but sometimes that's exactly how I feel.

Doug Nelson

Georgia - you’re chanting my mantra. Filmmaking is also a progressive activity; we begin with the peewee league, on to the junior varsity level, move to the varsity team, then on to semipro and on to the professional level. Most never get beyond the peewee league. Putting together a well functioning core team is like herding cats.

Georgia Hilton

Hi Les, don't be an Island... get out there. Find local indie filmmakers and help them make their movies. Learn all the jobs and you'll learn more about writing a script, you'll make new friends, and ... for you.... you'll start putting that core team together. This WILL take time... It's taken me almost 20 years to get where I am making a living making movies.. and even now, I'm mostly making other peoples movies... But i'm on MY next flick as well... ( I've written a number of screenplays.. One I made, One i'm making and One I sold to a Studio in LA )... I started at close to 40 years old... you've got LOADs of time to get your team together... STEP ONE. help someone else... Your turn will come....

Georgia Hilton

@ Doug.. Yup! absolutely true. You can't begin to imagine the number of people claiming to be a writer/producer/director and asking me to find them anywhere from $2M to Literally $20M.. because their script is INCREDIBLE, they are BRILLIANT and the THEIR MOVIE WIL MAKE MILLIONS AND WIN AN OSCAR... really... Truthfully... I get this 2 or 3 times a week. and many more saying something similar... I ask them have they written a successful screenplay before? "nope". Have they ever directed a feature? "nope". Have they ever produced a commercially successful film before? "nope". Then excuse my "French"... but Why the FUCK would you think I, or ANYONE would let you do it on OUR dime ? GO MAKE A MOVIE ON YOUR OWN! Make it cheap, make it good, make it get distributed, any distribution, and make one lousy dollar in profit... THEN and ONLY THEN.. are you ready to do it again on a few more dollars.. and after you've done 3 or 4 of these and have a bankable, commercial track record .. THEN maybe then, someone will give you some real money to make your big flick. In the mean time... start small and work your way up... learn what it really takes to develop, produce, shoot, post, deliver and distribute a full length feature... You'll be surprised how much you Don't know... Every day I learn something new about making movies and I know a lot about making movies. And the more I learn the more ignorant I feel. And I learn new things about making movies by making movies... I use the word Ignorant very specifically.... ignorance can be fixed... stupid is forever. Don't be stupid its a waste of time. GO make that first no budget flick and get it out there! Worry about the big budget stuff down the road.

Doug Nelson

Georgia – oh yes I can imagine! Most of the people who approach me only $100K to $5M (I guess I’m on the poor side of the tracks.) Most of the slackers who approach me have never worked at anything, let alone on a film (in any capacity.) Learning is a constant reality of life and it’s true that the more I learn, the more I realize that there’s so much more left to learn. I’ve got about half a century of work and learning under my belt and I’m still one of the most ignorant people I know. We use ignorant and stupid in the same way. Stupid is the ignorant person who won’t learn.

Richard "RB" Botto

Not to interrupt this fantastic discussion, but your original post was just simply perfect, Georgia. I've been on sets with "ME" directors (and producers, for that matter). Product never turns out the way it should.

Les Turner

Thank you all for the advice and comments. I really appreciate it.

Derek Ladd

So true, Georgia. The last video I directed and shot (for my employer) gave every single person who worked on it a chance to contribute in some way. Whether it was a line of dialogue, a costume, a simple gesture or a prop, it was truly a team effort.

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