Lesson #1: Use what you got to get what you want

Don’t over extend yourself financially when you make your film. Case in point, when I decided to make my short film 2 AM I wanted to make it for $12,500. That number is relative depending on your socio-economic background (for me it’s high AF). I was talking to an executive of a film festival and she said that should be easy to raise. Long story I didn’t raise that amount and I had to do it on a lower budget (I’m still paying for it but that’s a story for another post).

This is what I would suggest for anyone that’s about to make a film. Know your network and you can figure out how much you can raise. My old boss Munson Steed likes to say “your network is your net worth” it’s really true. If you’re a lawyer and you want to make a film chances are your friends and family can help you raise more than someone who is a bus driver. Let’s not argue that point, just ride with me for a minute. Filmmaking is expensive but it’s still waaaay easier to make a film now than it was 20 years ago. So don’t worry about making a $12k film on your first try, make one for $200. Be creative use your friends, yes they won’t know the difference between tungsten lighting and LED or how to pronounce fresnel (it’s pronounced fru – nel). Just make the film and stay in your budget maybe it won’t make Sundance but you’ll at least have something to show. Then you can try and raise more on your next project and that project. It’s a process and it’s hard but hang in there and keep going.


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