The Nitty Gritty of Indie Cinema from Screenplay to Movie Distribution
The nitty gritty of indie cinema teaches lessons from screenwriting to independent movie distribution on each new entertainment project as you experience it by doing it.
Through walking down the entertainment business road the nitty gritty is going to happen. Producing indie entertainment takes patience and an ability to read situations to help prevent problems before they become problems.
When unavoidable production problems happen in an indie cinema situation, which they always do, being flexible helps to smooth out any production problem you will face in the thick of producing entertainment.
It’s been said and over said, but to truly get the nitty gritty of indie cinema production takes getting your hands dirty in every part of making a movie as an indie producer.
Let me correct myself, there will always be one part of indie cinema you will not want to do, I will never try to be an actor and give myself a cameo in any project like some other directors and producers do. Acting is a talent I don’t have.
Why screw up a project when I know I can’t act? I avoid the camera and stay comfortably behind the scenes.
Outside of acting I’m involved in all parts of the nitty gritty of indie cinema from screenplay to movie distribution deals.
Learning lessons and taking advice from more experienced indie filmmakers and producers has been tremendously helpful as I continue walking down the path of producing entertainment.
With technology and social media it is a great time to be involved in the nitty gritty of indie cinema.
This is just me writing out loud in this post. The nitty gritty of indie cinema lessons I’ve learned through hard knocks is the screenplay is the foundation of any production.
Without a solid screenplay written to the movie budget available an indie producer down the road is going to have a project that dies. It could be during production or in post.
To help avoid stepping in the “creative shit” so to speak, make sure as an indie producer any screenwriter you are working with understands budget constraints and available locations.
Screenwriters that can write a script based on a budget number and locations you have told them about in advance are golden. Treat them well. They will write you out many jams during production.
Screenwriters that fall in love with their own words or write scenes an indie cinema production can’t afford don’t understand the nitty gritty of getting an indie movie done.
Directors that bring a Hollywood mentality to an indie cinema production will cost you money and slow your production down.
This leads to blowing your budget and many indie movies die during production because they run out of money.
Directors that can work fast and get the nitty gritty of indie cinema know less takes are best and keep things moving.
Directors that need 50 takes to get a scene during an indie film production will kill your production. They are budget blowers.
Creative vision is a must in indie cinema, but the nitty gritty of it is that creative vision has to work within the movie budget and the time there is to shoot an indie film.
When interviewing directors be honest with them about what you need and ask them to be honest with you on how fast they can work.
Yeah, that doesn’t seem artistic, but if you only have a limited amount of money and days to shoot you need a director that gets the nitty gritty and is not off on their own creative indulgence of take after take.
Once a movie is done it is on to post where it can get wild. Big budget studio movies have editing mistakes in them all the time. There are blogs dedicated to pointing out these editing mistakes in movies.
Indie cinema is no different at all. During filming there are going to be scenes that weren’t covered right or had technical problems. The nitty gritty of indie cinema is to work with what you have.
A majority of indie produced films just don’t have the luxury of doing reshoots. There is rarely the money in the budget to go back and do scenes over.
Avoid working with movie editors or post houses that have either worked with big corporations or studios. Those movie editors and post houses will eat your post movie budget like a lion would a lamb.
The nitty gritty of indie cinema relies on having a movie editor not afraid of getting their hands dirty in the cut and working with what they have and not complaining about they don’t have to work with.
To me screenwriters and movie editors are unsung hero warrior indie cinema poets. I can’t say enough about what they bring to the nitty gritty of indie cinema.
When working with an editor shoot straight with them on takes you know already have technical problems or you feel are really not good, but that is all they have to work with.
This helps a lot in post. The movie editor now knows what to pay special attention to during editing.
When you get done with the nitty gritty of post it’s time to sell your movie. Movie distribution is an interesting adventure.
This is targeted towards indie producers that are not going the self-distribution path and are looking to get a deal with a movie distributor.
The nitty gritty on selling a movie to a distributor is have all your paperwork in order. Before signing any deal ask the movie distributor for their entire list of movie deliverables.
Be sure to send them a sample of all actor and crew release forms as well as a copy of your Errors and Omissions Insurance to make sure it is acceptable to them.
There are horror stories of indie producers signing deals then later having to go back out and have actors and crew sign new release forms. Or that that Errors and Omissions Insurance is not acceptable.
The nitty gritty of indie cinema isn’t bad when you know how the game it played and it is a game. This is indie filmmaker Sid Kali typing FADE OUT