There are so many things to consider when creating one’s first ever film, that includes a script, the cast, aesthetic, sound design, location, and the list goes on. At first, you may feel positive emotions of excitement, happiness, and determination. However, several kinds of challenges and setbacks will show themselves at different stages throughout the process. Here are some great tips to make one’s first ever film possible!
Stop being a couch potato and make the goddamn film. If you want to make money with a zero budget, you should never forget that frustration and impatience are two essential traits. Combine both with the fact that unless you have rich uncles, you can’t make a $150,000 film. You will need to work for it.
Stop stressing yourself trying to make a marketable film, instead, write something you are passionate about. Just because this year’s popular film genre is Comedy, doesn’t mean your film should be as well. In fact, it can worsen your chance of making something really breathtaking, especially if you aren’t good at that genre. Better yet, make your first ever film personal, something you’ll be willing to die for.
Work with really close friends, ESPECIALLY the brutally honest ones. Take it from the experience of first-time directors, making your first ever film will be the most exhausting thing you’ll ever try. And the less budget you have, the more stressful it can be. You must work with individuals you respect, instead of being just nice. They will give you honest opinions that will hopefully make your film better, not just to make you feel better about yourself.
Make a budget for more than just the post-production. Sure, you’ve raised enough money to finish the production of the film. But have you ever thought about the post-production costs? Do everything you can to be able to hire a picture editor and a sound editor. However, don’t do it solo. If you do, the picture will be the one to suffer. Also, don’t forget to budget for at least 30 festivals.
Make a budget for travel and housing. Not all festivals take responsibility for your traveling and housing expenses, and therefore never assume that they will and instead consider it for your budget. Otherwise, you won’t be able to attend your own screening!
Embrace your limitations for they inspire innovation. Like what Debbie Allen says, “But out of limitations comes creativity.” For a filmmaker like you, you don’t have to set limitations for your first film, even on a tight budget. Instead, we should view them as opportunities to be able to test your creativity and react to the problem.
Create a good contract or hire someone to do it for you. Although you’re collaborating with trustworthy individuals, you still have to ensure that they have a precise idea of their responsibilities are before you start working on the film. If they hesitate to sign, there’s obviously something fishy.
Get as many reviews as possible. For micro-budget films like yours, the critics will be your best mates. They have the capability to attract attention by making a positive buzz.