Articles & Notes, Filmmaking: Tips, Sources & Tools — October 25, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Rooting for the underdog: resources that only independents have

People tend to think, that big budget movies have all the resources and independents are perpetually at a disadvantage.

That’s not entirely true. Yes, they seem to have access to all type of filmmaking tools.

Yet, at the same time, you all probably heard a phrase “rooting for the underdog”… well there are resources, that true independents have…


Hollywood movies are done on schedules and have predetermined release dates. They start production and have only a certain number of days to finish the film. If its not completed in time, studio either spend more money or cut parts of the script. There is a limited number of days to shoot because each and every day costs money to shoot on. Things must be rushed, so the schedule is the important thing as opposed to the quality. Audiences don’t care about movies made on time, they want quality.

You have no release date and it should cost you little to shoot. You can take your time to ensure you’re making a remarkable movie. You can make quality your number one priority.

Your own labor
Most Hollywood producers have no production skills. Often they never even appear on set. They are good with ideas, great with people, and can put money together, but can’t help much once shooting begins. You can be a producer who contributes to the production of a film. You already have time on your side. Use that to educate yourself on whatever tasks you need to do to help once shooting begins. You may need to be the director of the film in addition to producer. That may not be your passion but doing it competently this one time may mean not having to do it again next time. You have time to learn skills that can help the production and can’t overlook your own labor as a resource when producing films.

Good Will
Hollywood is a money-making machine and nobody wants to help them without getting a little for themselves. With most films being produced for no other reason than to make money, people don’t have any incentive beside financial to get involved. Your production is remarkable and speaks to people. It’s something they haven’t seen and want to be involved. Your movie isn’t a copy of a copy and you aren’t just somebody trying to use these people on your way to stardom. These people that you inspire with your work can help you in many ways.

They have goods you could use or know somebody who does. Not everybody is going to want to offer you stuff of theirs but they might be willing to use their credentials to get you something where they work. They may not be able to outright give you something, but they may be willing to let you borrow it. This can be anything from cameras to locations and so on.

Other’s labor
People want to do things that have a purpose attached to them. Something that gives to the world and doesn’t just take. From skilled film craftsman to caterers, people are willing to give their labor for endeavors they feel are worthwhile.

There are people in the world who have money to spare and they want to give it to you. They want to be involved but don’t have the time or inclination yet still want to show their support. Let them get involved by funding some aspect that you aren’t able to get otherwise. Not everything can be gotten from time, your own labor and goodwill. Some things have to be bought. Finding people that can part with their cash is helpful.

These resources are something to build projects around. Hollywood makes large scale, expensive movies that attract a large percentage of the movie going population. You make smaller scale movies that are cheaper and attract a smaller amount of movie goers. Don’t whine about your lack of resources but rather use them as effectively as possible.

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