For those who love film, it’s the dream to set up a project that lets you develop and create a movie all of your own. Indie filmmakers, as they are known, attempt to operate outside the world of Hollywood and the big box office movie worlds. Perhaps they choose to focus on a theme or topic that they think isn’t being covered by the mainstream film establishment. Or maybe they decide to employ a more diverse cast, or work from a lower budget in order to focus on the passion and skill of the actors rather than name recognition.
However, nobody is under any illusions: indie filmmaking is far easier said than done, and there are all kinds of barriers ranging from lack of knowledge to a world in which support can seem scarce. There are some ways to mitigate these problems, however, and to surge ahead in the indie film world. This article will explore what these solutions might be, and how a budding indie filmmaker can make themselves as ready as possible to do a great job.
Get some experience first
There are plenty of budding indie filmmakers out there. If you want to do it, you can guarantee that many others have had the same idea – and this means that you’re likely to face some competition when it comes to securing funding, finding the best scriptwriters, and getting picked up by festivals. For that reason, a better strategic goal might be to ensure that you get some experience in the industry before pressing ahead. Why not consider, for example, taking a job as an assistant on a camera crew? Before you find a professional NY camera crew for your own film, taking one of the many camera crew jobs in NY will not only give you an insight into the whole supply chain, but will also ensure that your skills are high and that you have some cash as you develop your idea.
Do your reading
Some indie filmmakers get gripped by their idea as soon as it is born, and can then barely think of anything else while they’re getting set up. While this sort of burning creativity can be good, it can also be damaging. It can lead to you pressing ahead before you’re ready – and producing something that, in the long term, might turn out to just be substandard. However, by reading up on the state of the indie film scene, you’ll quickly be able to find out whether or not it’s right for you and whether or not your idea could fly. There are all kinds of resources available on the internet, such as forums for filmmakers. Don’t worry too much about others stealing your idea: provided you are vague enough to get the advice you need, it’s possible for these sorts of circles to be mutually supportive places in which you can get what you need and then fly with it.
Find some support
When an indie film is made, there are always all kinds of people involved. As mentioned above, a camera crew is essential – but so are producers, directors, lighting specialists, marketers and many more. Before starting your project and casting roles, you need to be sure that you have the assistance you need – especially if, as many indie film projects are, you’re strapped for cash. Would people be willing to work on your project as volunteers, for example? Would people be happy to work part-time so that they can keep space for other jobs? These are all tough issues that you as an indie filmmaker will need to iron out – and if you don’t do it early enough, then your hard work could go to waste in the long run.
Working as an indie filmmaker here in the US is not easy, despite there being many cities that are so welcoming to amateur filmmakers. Money is a big problem, and you’ll need to be sure that you’ve got a good support network around you who can keep the lights on while you’re being creative. As this article has shown, there’s a lot of research to do before you can get to the top, and you’ll need a lot of patience. But by persevering, biding your time and keeping yourself well informed about everything pertaining to your industry, there’s no reason why you can’t eventually produce an indie film that gets played at a festival and becomes widely known and even critically acclaimed.