The Magic of Making Movies
The magic of making movies is an experience that introduces people to interesting people in front of the camera and behind it along with creative souls working hard in post-production so a movie can be seen by viewers.
If you have ever had a strong feeling to write, direct, produce or edit a movie you should explore it.
I have met talented filmmakers in person and online that can do many things when it comes to the magic of making movies.
I freely admit I really enjoy screenwriting and directing the most. Producing is more business minded at the indie film level because usually it involves handling dealing with movie distributors and legal film contracts.
I always suggest making room in the movie budget to hire an entertainment attorney or a film producer’s representative and a public relations person that understands how to market indie produced entertainment.
It is not impossible for some filmmakers to handle every aspect of making movies themselves, but it is hard and can burn someone out.
Usually one area will suffer if an indie filmmaker tries to do it all.
I oversee post-production and at most can do a very rough block edit myself, but truly rely on movie editors to get the film done.
It can be hard to admit where you have a weakness. I am not a movie editor or even close to it.
Good friend Tim “Timbo” Beachum who has edited 4 projects under Slice of Americana Films was polite, but honest with me after seeing a cut I did myself.
“Sid, please don’t try to edit on your own amigo.” I got a kick out of that because it was true I am not a movie editor, so I stick with only cutting rough block edits with detailed editing notes and let movie editors work their magic from there.
I accept my limitations.
Making movies is never a dull experience with so many different stages to go through and moving parts from idea to movie distribution it as intense creative ride that is a true rush of emotions.
When people have a desire to write a screenplay or make movie they should go for it. People new to the entertainment business sometimes wonder how to get started.
If you are strictly creatively driven to write screenplays all you need is to put the time in writing a movie script.
There is helpful screenwriting software like Final Draft that makes formatting easy allowing you the freedom to focus on your story.
Read as many books on screenwriting as you can before jumping into writing a script.
Not every book will have all the answers, but read enough screenwriting books and information that relates to you as a writer will jump out.
When starting out as a new screenwriter consider joining a screenwriting workshop or attend seminars by professional screenwriters that have sold screenplays to help you get focus on your story. You will learn a lot of good stuff.
While you’re earning your screenwriting stripes so to speak you will be writing screenplays on spec and pitching them to agents or producers.
Rejection in the writing world is common. Do not give up after rejections. Polish your screenwriting craft and keep moving forward.
Unless you’re related to A-List Hollywood talent there are no shortcuts to making it as a screenwriter.
Enjoy the journey of getting there yourself without doors being opened for you because who you are related to in the entertainment industry.
Just by trying you are already ahead of 99 percent of people that always talk about writing a screenplay, but never do. They only talk about it.
By taking the effort you have already accomplished something most never do. Take pride in that.
The magic of making movies starts with a story idea and screenplay.
Many indie filmmakers write their own screenplays. If you have no desire to write a screenplay and your passion is directing and producing movies there are many talented yet to be discovered screenwriters out there you can connect with.
Everyone needs a break in the entertainment industry. Social media like Twitter has expanded opportunities for people making movie to connect across the globe.
If you are a filmmaker or producer with a limited movie budget you can option a script from a new screenwriter for normally a very reasonable amount of money.
You are offering an unknown screenwriter a chance to see their words come to life for movie viewers and earn real writing credits.
That is a creative rush for writers I know, myself included.
A filmmaker with their own movie idea can also hire an unknown screenwriter to flesh out their movie idea into a screenplay that can be shot within a set budget.
The magic of making movies takes determination and collaboration among creative minded people from story to post-production.
Once you have a screenplay squared away your one step closer to making movies.
An important step is to look closely at the finished screenplay or shooting script to make sure it reflects your true budget.
A screenplay or shooting script at the indie film production level cannot have creative elements written in it the movie budget cannot afford.
You will run out of money during filming if the script is not written to reflect your movie budget.
It is never fun to run out money and watch your movie die on the vine. The magic of making movies is not always flashy with a wow factor.
It often comes down to planning and bean counting every dollar of the production budget to make sure you can finish your movie.
It is also important to breakdown the shooting script to know exactly how many days you will need with actors and crew on set to finish filming during physical production.
It is not the most exciting part of the magic of making movies, but like with any great magicians show there is a lot happening backstage the audience does not see or want to see.
They simply want to be entertained.
Once shooting script and movie budget are simpatico you move forward into some really cool stuff like casting actors, hiring crew and thinking about how you will shoot each scene.
Some filmmakers storyboard every scene and others work from detailed shot lists of what they want.
The magic of making movies is creative flexibility on set. Sometimes a filmmaker makes changes on set while filming coming up with a whole new way to cover a scene.
When filmmakers get a flash of creative inspiration and go with it. That rocks.
After your movie is wrapped you will feel an amazing creative euphoria that you really shot a movie and stopped talking about it. You really did it.
Be proud that you got off your hands to purse your creative dream. The magic of making movies continues in post-production where you see all the hard work really come to life.
Post-production can be stressful if you let it consume you. Instead of focusing on mistakes made during filming, there are always mistakes.
Look at positive parts of your movie. There are filmmakers that edit their own movies, I respect those filmmakers greatly.
I would suggest having at least a second pair of eyes sit in with you while movie editing or have people’s honest opinions you trust to be honest with you look at each scene you cut.
It is too easy for a filmmaker to be too close to their movie especially if the wrote and directed it as well that sometimes they can fall in love with their own work and miss mistakes.
When you finish making a movie you will feel a rush of creative euphoria that only comes with making movies. It is a good feeling.
Take time to the magic of making movies for at least a week before your mind has to switch to the business side of making movies that includes distribution deals.
Leave that for another day and enjoy that you took steps to make and finish a movie. This is indie filmmaker Sid Kali typing FADE OUT