Thursday, December 8, 2011

So You Want to Make a Movie - Making It Right

You’ve caught the bug, and you’ve decided to make a movie. But where do you start? The good news is today there are fewer barriers to overcome in order to produce a film. Thanks to digital filmmaking, the costs have dropped dramatically. In reality, practically anybody can become a filmmaker. There is no shortage of books, videos, and online resources to help get you started. No one article can answer all of your questions or take you through the entire process; however, I want to offer you 21 key steps that will at least steer you in the right direction. Think of these steps as the big picture or the 30,000 foot view.

21. Making It Right

The job of being a producer is never over. Depending upon what kind of distribution deal that you are successful in securing, the money that your film generates through the various windows and markets could take years to come in. That means you have to stay on top of things and be diligent to be sure you get every cent coming to you. Don’t count on your distributor to do your job. Bottom Line—make sure you’re getting paid.

Whether or not you get a distribution deal or pay check, your responsibility is to “make it right” for the people who helped you make your movie. The first place to start is with your investors. Remember, you didn’t promise or guarantee them that your film will be successful. At least I hope you didn’t. Filmmaking is a high risk business, and there is no guarantee of a return. But, to the best of your abilities and with the money you have made, you need to pay back your investors, hopefully, with interest and profit. They are first in line.

Second, what about your crew and cast? In the world of low-budget filmmaking, it’s easy to take advantage of people. Your crew and cast have put in countless hours and have endured a significant amount of hardship. Some may have been paid very little while others have received nothing. If you have an opportunity to make it right, then it’s your obligation to do so. You’ll be surprised how appreciative your crew and cast will be if you can put a little extra cash in their pockets. This is a rarity in this business. But it’s the right thing to do. And the next time you make a movie, who do you think will be your biggest fans and will want to work with you again? In the film production business, there’s nothing more important than having loyal friends who will stand with you.

And, if you also do right with your investors, they will more than likely want to hear about your next film project. After all, if you made money for them, why wouldn’t they want to talk to you? As a producer and filmmaker, your word must be everything. Integrity, honesty, and not making promises that you cannot deliver are all part of making it right. And, if you are a Christian in the filmmaking business, believe me; people will be watching your behavior and actions. You have an opportunity to be a witness for Christ in how you conduct your business deals. So, by all means, you have a moral obligation to make it right with all persons concerned.

No comments:

Post a Comment