July 27, 2016 at 9:36AM, Edited July 27, 9:37AM
5 things I learned from making a movie at 19
1. Dont expect anyone else to do it for you.
Film sets have dozens of roles and jobs, from blockbuster to indie budgets. When you make a movie for a couple thousand bucks, you’re in charge of all of those jobs. It’s YOUR resposibility because more crew members equals more money. Even if they aren’t getting paid, you still have to feed them. It’s way easier to feed 5 people, than 20 people. Don’t get me wrong, a few people should be on set to help out, but if you get on set fully expecting to have to do everything, you’ll have a much better outlook and attitude throughout production.
2. Dont act like the youngest person on set.
The one and only day that I WASN’T the youngest kid on set, was when we had our child actor, Ryland, come on set for about an hour. Most kids who want to make movies are intimidated by being the youngest person on set, especially when you’re the captain for the crew. The key is to have confidence and understand you are the authority on set. Everything stems from the top. If you’re a jackass, everyone on set will be affected by that. The secret is that it’s easier to make a movie when you’re a teenager without responsibilities, than when you have a family to provide for.
The movie is in your head, and everyone on set is trying to realize your vision. Don’t act like a kid. Run your set with confidence. Age doesnt matter if you have talent.
3. Take “no” for an answer.
Asking for favors is the name of the game when it comes to o budget filmmaking. In Stephen King’s On Writing, he talks about his early days of writing about how he would get rejection after rejection when he would submit his short stoires to magazines. He would receive rejection slips, then pin them to his bulletin board. After spending months building up a mountain of rejection slips, he finally recieved an acceptance; which made him borderline disappointed because he was on such a great rejection streak. Look at every “no” as being one step closer to that “yes”.
4. Use what you have.
Probably the most overused piece of advice to indie filmmakers, but the most practical. The second showing of TETHERED consisted mostly of friends and family who knew me for 5–10 years plus. One of their favorite things about the movie was that they could recognize almost every prop I used in the movie.
“Hey is that the golf club I gave you three years ago?”
“You’ve had that volleyball forever!”
“Was that your car?”
If you don’t have money to buy props (you don’t), use what you have, and whatever you don’t have, thrift stores are great, cheap resources for finding tiny details to add to your set design.
Not only does this work for props, use your friends, family, pets, houses, rooms, yards, cars, cameras, lights and anything else someone might have. All you have to do is ask, and if they say no, refer to #3.
5. You have no excuse.
You just don’t. In 2016, if you have a cell phone with a camera, you have no excuse not to make a movie. Not one. There has never been a better time to pursue a career in filmmaking, music, art, and any other creative endeavor. The internet has made it possible to make anything you want and share it with the world at no cost, with no overhead.
“If anyone that looks like you has ever done it, you can too.” — Gary Vaynerchuk
You can watch the trailer of my first feature film TETHERED here: http://www.tetheredthemovie.org
You can buy it here: http://www.tetheredthemovie.org/store
Original article here: https://medium.com/@chrisfoster/5-things-i-learned-from-making-a-movie-a...