Filmmaker toolkit


Published on - This filmmaker toolkit provides an overview of professional tools and strategies filmmaker can utilize to make a movie.

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Filmmaker toolkit

  1. 1. take action and makeYOURmovie now!My name is Jason Brubaker. I live in Los Angeles,make movies and help other filmmakers do thesame. This filmmaking guide will provide you withuseful filmmaking tips, tools and tactics.
  2. 2. Welcome Filmmakersthis filmmaking guide provides tips, tools and strategies icture this! By some miracle to end all My name is Jason Brubaker. I live and work inFilmmaking Stuff To Know P miracles, born of equal parts luck and Los Angeles. I have worked in the movie blind determination, you’ve gone against the industry for over a decade. And if YOU have1. Stop asking permission to make movies. YOU are responsible. odds. You’ve put together a cast and crew, the desire to make your own movies and get2. Given the resources that you have refined your script, found some financing and paid for your work, then I encourage you to right now, what is the movie you will in the process, you’ve somehow managed to read every word in this guide! make this year? make the impossible possible. You have made3. Do you have a website, a YouTube Note: This guide contains recommendations channel, a Facebook page and your first feature! Twitter handle? No? Get busy. for products and services. If you decide these4. Boldness is rewarded. Be bold. Can you imagine the excitement, emotion and are a good fit for your moviemaking business, I5. If you don’t ask for it, you’ll never get applause of a packed audience during the may receive compensation. This will not affect it. Seek and you shall find. What you premiere your first movie? Can you imagine your purchase price. And if referrals aren’t focus on expands. Take action. Have a well defined log-line. Be able to yourself walking down the isle to claim your cool, feel free to ignore my links! explain your story in one sentence award? Can you imagine yourself in the Q&A session? Can you smell the popcorn? If you like this report, feel free to GIVE it to your filmmaking friends! Then my question is, what are you waiting for? Copyright 2013 Brubaker Unlimited LLC -- -- 2
  3. 3. Screenwriting copyyour screenplay is the blueprint for your movie his seems obvious. But without a For screenwriting, Final Draft software is theScreenwriting Tips T screenplay, it is very difficult to make a industry standard. Additionally, you can also movie. I know some filmmakers are interested use Movie Magic Screenwriter. But I never1. Have a well defined log-line. Be able to explain your story in one sentence. in making an “experimental” movie. If that used it. And if money is tight, there is FREE2. Everything in your screenplay costs describes you, then ignore the following screenwriting software called Celtix. money. Consider the movie’s budget. screenwriting tips.3. Ice, Snow, Rain, Sun, dogs, lighting Once you have the tools, it is important to bolts and children are worth avoiding. But if you would like to write a screenplay, here remember that nothing happens until YOU4. If you decide to produce your movie, are some professional tools that I recommend. take the time to write. Set aside time to write hire a seasoned Production Manager. at least one page each day. And give yourself5. Hire a GREAT First Assistant Director. Not some film school kid either. permission to write a crappy first draft. “There is a saying that everybody in Hollywood has a screenplay. If you need extra help, research the writing course at - In This is not true. Most people in the system, you receive writing tips, an action Hollywood only have 20 pages.” guide and a fill in the blank writing workbook, — Jason Brubaker, Filmmaking Stuff so you can finish your screenplay this year. Copyright 2013 Brubaker Unlimited LLC -- -- 3
  4. 4. Script Breakdownbreak down your script and schedule your movie fter you finish your screenplay, the next will use this information to estimate yourThree Types of Filmmakers A steps is to break it down. A script budget. If this is script breakdown process is breakdown allows you to schedule and budget new to you, I recommend you take a look at1. Employee Filmmaker (indie producer works at a production your movie. To complete this process, you Peter Marshall’s Script Breakdown and Film company): An employee filmmaker is take everything in your script (wardrobe, Scheduling Course. His course shows you the someone who gets a job at a production company. stunts, locations, characters, props, et al.) And fundamentals of a breakdown. For more info2. Freelance Filmmaker (indie you put these elements into a schedule. And go here: producers hired on a per-project because this is your “initial breakdown,” you basis): As a freelancer, you get hired Once you understand the fundamentals of on a per-project basis. Then when the production wraps, you go back to script breakdown and film scheduling, you your network, seeking your next job. might want to sign up for a FREE account at3. Entrepreneurial Filmmaker (indie “Your script, your budget and your LightSpeed EPS. In addition to helping you producer creates his or her own projects and hires other people): In schedule are all linked. Change break down your screenplay, this tool helps this scenario, your goal is to find a one and change them all .” you manage your productions. For more good screenplay, raise money and make your movie now! You don’t wait — Forrest Murray, Producer information: for anybody to give you permission. But if your project does not get made, you do not get paid! Copyright 2013 Brubaker Unlimited LLC -- -- 4
  5. 5. Get Movie Moneymake a plan to make, market and sell your movie ike most filmmakers, I spent a lot of A business plan outlines how your movie willContacting Investor Skills L time trying to figure out how I would be produced, marketed and sold. It outlines find an investor for my projects. One of my how much money will you need and how the1. Very few investors are out there waiting to throw money at unproven friends said I should contact a local auto money will be spent. Your business plan will filmmakers. Stop dreaming. dealer who owned a dozen dealerships. outline how much risk your investors will need2. What is an asset? What is a liability? to take in order to gain the possible rewards. What is cashflow? What is capital One day I picked up the telephone and called gains? Figure this out first. his dealership. To my surprise, he agreed to To create a business plan, you may benefit3. Write a business plan. Contact an attorney. Get your paperwork meet. That was the beginning of a business from some free online templates. Or you may finalized before you contact anybody. relationship. For the record, this small town benefit from - There4. Find the biggest business in your auto dealer is worth sixty-seven million dollars. you will find a movie business plan kit, which hometown. Pick up the phone and call the owner and request a meeting. provides you with a step-by-step approach. Since then, I have met countless rich people.5. It takes seven meetings on average before you build a business These people get calls from entrepreneurs As a word of caution, always contact a lawyer relationship. Seven meetings! seeking funding every week. And while before you pitch your project to anybody. Your establishing a relationship is essential, it is lawyer will have suggestions on how to legally important to have a business plan. approach prospective movie investors. Copyright 2013 Brubaker Unlimited LLC -- -- 5
  6. 6. Legal Stuffprotect yourself from your filmmaking business s a filmmaker, the moment you start entity (such as a corporation or LLC) mayProtect Your Movie Business A putting your project together, you’re in provide you with basic safeguards. business. At this point that many filmmakers1. Talk with an attorney about how to The steps of setting up a business entity are protect your assets in the event get a business card and set up a website, things go south. Do this before you pretty simple, but they could be a little costly do anything else! touting the wonders of their projects. depending on your state (or country) laws and2. As a second line of defense, talk with This is also a time when many costly mistakes tax liabilities. Also, as a general disclaimer, I a qualified insurance broker about your goals. Common insurance are made. How you establish your filmmaking am not qualified to offer legal or tax advice. So packages include production business can have legal and tax ramifications. I can only talk about my own experience – insurance, liability insurance, workers compensation insurance and E&O. which may not be right for you. As such, the moment you decide to start3. Make sure you get releases singed by everybody. This includes the putting a project together, you should also When it comes to entertainment attorneys, you obvious stuff like your cast and your seek out the legal and tax advice of qualified might consider researching Gordon Firemark. crew and the less obvious stuff like locations. professionals. After meeting with these folks, He runs and has very you might find that operating your production informative podcasts, full of valuable legal tips company under the protection of a corporate for independent filmmakers. Copyright 2013 Brubaker Unlimited LLC -- -- 6
  7. 7. CrowdFundingtap into your social networks and presell your movie aising movie money becomes much When crowdfunding attempts fail, it couldThree CrowdFunding Tips R easier when you have a network of rich mean the concept is not interesting to the and successful friends. If you have not already marketplace, the filmmaker’s social media1. Study the pitch videos of successful campaigns and create (then test) a done so, check out reach is limited or a bit of both. It is better to pitch video for your project. - different from all the other BS out there, you correct these hiccups prior to production.2. Always include a one dollar perk. will discover some little-known strategies on While transactionally small, you may To get started with a crowdfunding campaign, benefit from the social reach of your how to find and make friends with rich people. contributor. Some of their friends visit my friends at Indiegogo. This platform may decide to fund you. But sometimes knowing rich people is not allows you to set up a profile, promote your3. Update your funders frequently. enough. Many prospective investors will want movie project, set a financial goal and find Many initial funders will actually contribute a second time when they to see some proof of concept. This is where supporters who will sponsor various aspects see your project is gaining progress. crowdfunding can be helpful. Aside from of your movie. raising money, the more important aspects of You must never forget that you are creating a crowdfunding include testing, proving and pre- product. So before you approach any selling a concept. Additionally, a crowdfunding prospective investor, you need to first figure campaign allows you to test the footprint of out how your project will make money. your social influence. Copyright 2013 Brubaker Unlimited LLC -- -- 7
  8. 8. Final Budgetlock your script and create your final budget inalize your script. Get it to a point both food and locations for free in exchangeThe Final Budget F where you aren’t going to keep for product placement. changing things. Once you get to this point,1. Everything in your movie costs If you have the money, I suggest working with money. But some things are consider it a locked script. Number your negotiable. Always negotiate for a a seasoned physical producer, line producer or better offer. scenes. Then break down your script again, production manager to help you get organized. and create your final shooting (production)2. The Line Producer and 1st Assistant These professionals work to make sure your Director should be your first hires. schedule and budget. They will help you with the day to day movie stays on budget. They then tweak your minutiae so you can focus on getting You probably know how much money you initial schedule as needed to stay within both your movie made. have to work with. If you find you don’t have your budget and time parameters.3. If your budget is greater than your money - you have two choices. You enough you have two choices. You can get can lower your budget or modify your Additionally, if you’re going to direct and script and schedule. more money. Or you can modify the script and produce, having these professionals on your schedule to fit your budget. team will open the door to relationships with a Everything in your movie, no matter how small, great 1st AD. The First Assistant Director will cost you money. Sometimes these keeps your movie on schedule. elements are negotiable. I know a guy who got Copyright 2013 Brubaker Unlimited LLC -- -- 8
  9. 9. Prepping For Productionthe quality of your production depends on your preparation nce you get the money, pick a date for make your jobs easier if you find someone withPrep For Production O production. You are now entering the film production experience. phase of pre-production. The quality of your1. Take time to visualize each day in And if you are using a Line Producer and 1st advance. Picture every camera set production depends on quality of your prep. up and every shot. This will help you AD, both of these professionals will help you outline an efficient day. I emphasize the planning aspects of pre- hire the cast and crew. They may also know a2. Make sure you get plenty of sleep. production, because many filmmakers crash thing or two about tax credits in your state. Tax This sounds silly. But you will need every ounce of energy you can and burn during production because they credits can be used to help further incentivize muster to make your movie happen! didn’t have a solid plan. prospective investors. This is invaluable!3. Remember that you are making a movie because doing so is fun. Your Go back to your lawyer and get help with your To make sure your production goals are goal is to enjoy every minute on set, as you’re doing what you want in life. contracts and releases. If you’re short on cash, executed in such a way that you get the most do a web search for lawyers for the arts in your movie for your hard earned money, you will state. Since many of these folks will be need to check and re-check with your working for free, expect a lot of “no’s” before department heads to make sure everything is you find the right fit for your show. You can AOK. Assuming you have a plan A, plan B and a plan C, you’re ready to shoot your movie! Copyright 2013 Brubaker Unlimited LLC -- -- 9
  10. 10. Movie Websiteyour movie website is essential for filmmaking success reate a website specific to your movie. Once you have your website hosting, hire aWebsite Tips You Need C Then make sure you have a way to get web designer to create a website for you. If site visitors onto your mailing list. Additionally, you already spent all your money making the1. Keep it simple. Your website should tell a visitor where they are and what have a place on your site for press, so that movie, then check out a service called you want them to do. they can grab your press kit and materials. – On this site, you’ll probably2. Your movie website should have info find a dozen people who will create an about you, your movie and provide a To get started, you will need a domain name trailer that fans can watch. awesome website for a whopping $5 dollars! and website hosting. To do this, set up an ac-3. Stream your trailer from YouTube. Aside from being the second largest count with a filmmaker friendly company. more As you get into production, you will later want search engine on earth, the service is ideas for movie hosing and domain selection to add a movie trailer. This will help drive traffic free and has a social networking component built in. can be found at for to your website, which will increase the size of all of my movie websites. your mailing list. To build your mailing list, check out This When you set up the site, make sure you use service allows filmmakers to capture leads your movie’s title in your link. For example, in from their movie web- site, build a mailing list our environmental movie, we reserved: and set up email newsletters. (They pay me, but I use them for everything.) Copyright 2013 Brubaker Unlimited LLC -- -- 10
  11. 11. Make Your Moviebegin your production nce you have all the above stuff accomplishment and it’s one of those greatLast Minute Filmmaking Tips O checked off the list, you’ll want to meet things you can do in life. In fact, it’s quite with your department heads and make sure awesome. So push forward. ENJOY! Did I1. Walk before you can run. If the only movie you can make this year is a everyone’s needs are being met. Assuming mention you need plenty of sleep? three minute movie for YouTube, grab your cheap camera and make that. you’ve maintained limited locations, with a During production, try to constantly get press limited cast and crew, you will probably still be2. Make sure you have adequate food to come out and pro- file your movie in the on set. If you do not have much baffled by the amount of questions that come money, food is your currency. Don’t news. The goal is to leverage the media, cre- skimp for the cheap stuff either. Get flying at you. ate buzz and hopefully get people to your good stuff. Seriously, you would think you’re making a website and get them to opt into your3. If you have to cry on set, just make sure you go somewhere nobody can gazillion dollar movie. But questions are simply newsletter mailing list. see you. When you cry on set, everybody looks at you like a weirdo indicators that people care about their work After the WRAP, have a wrap party. And trust and you erode credibility with your and the movie. And they want to make it a cast and your crew. me when I tell you this—try not to sleep with success. Trust your team and be rewarded. anybody in your cast or your crew. Also, if This goes without saying, but don’t be a jerk. possible, monitor your alcohol intake. You are Seriously, you’re making a movie. It’s a real a professional. Act accordingly. Copyright 2013 Brubaker Unlimited LLC -- -- 11
  12. 12. Post Productionthe edit suite is your final rewrite fter you recover from your hangover, and refine your edit. After that, take a week offEdit Your Movie A you’ll probably start editing the movie. – don’t look at the movie or play around with it. This is the phase they call post production. In this way, you’ll come back to the edit suite1. Don’t be an idiot. You will need to cut at least five minutes out of your And it really is the final rewrite of your movie. with new perspective. Refine and refine again. movie, if not more. Many directors keep the long scenes. Snooze fest. In the past, all the talk and buzz in the world Have another small screening with people who2. You’re in a dark room for hours on revolved around Avid. Now you’re like Avid have never seen the movie. Take notes. Then end. Please make sure you shower and maintain your hygiene. I don’t who? Seriously. If you have a Mac, get yourself take those notes back to your edit suite. Add know why, but edit suites smell funky. a copy of Final Cut Pro. It’s industry standard. some sound FX to your movie. Clean up actor3. Quit asking people on your payroll for It’s powerful and affordable. Enough said. dialogue and rough areas. Remember, audio is an opinion. Many want you to hire them again, so they will be included often more important than visual. in sugarcoat their opinions. Get If you don’t have a Mac, find a friend who outside opinions from people. does. And if you don’t know how to edit, you Screen the movie again with a new, small set should find a friend for that too. of people. Take notes. Go back and refine. You will probably repeat this process many times Your first edit will be rough. Screen it with a until the final cut of your movie meets your group of people who have never seen the standards. Just remember, less is more. movie. Get feedback. Then take the feedback Copyright 2013 Brubaker Unlimited LLC -- -- 12
  13. 13. Sell Your Movieyou are now responsible for the success of your movie hen you have a cut you’re happy upload it to YouTube and all the other videoHow To Sell Your Movie W with, then you can implement your streaming sites you can think of. sales strategy. For example, will you go to film1. Remember video stores? Neither Most filmmakers make a website with all sorts does my kid cousin. Video On festivals? Sales agents? Film Markets? Demand is the future. Get it? of bells and whistles. Your website should be2. If most sales agents are attempting Because finding traditional distribution deals simple. You should have a trailer, an “about” to “pick up” your movie for iTunes, are rare, you must always plan your own page, a “buy now” button, links to your social and you can get your own movie onto iTunes, why do you still need the marketing, sales and distribution strategy. To networks and your opt-in audience list. validation of a middle-man? get started, you will need to create a trailer,3. If you want more information on how Out of everything I mention, getting people refine your website, set up a Facebook page, to market and sell your movie, check onto your list is most important. An audience out: YouTube channel, and a newsletter will allow list will allow you to collect a name and email4. Did you create your movie website you to build a relationship with your visitors. yet? If so, you may want to write a address of your visitor. press release and broadcast it. Refine your trailer so that it helps you sell your5. Just because your movie is in iTunes, Additionally you may want to research my movie, without giving the entire story away. Amazon and VOD marketplaces does friends at about not guarantee sales. You still need to Make sure your trailer includes a backlink to market to sell your movie. getting your movie on iTunes. This company your website. Once you complete the trailer, pays me to promote, so conduct diligence. Copyright 2013 Brubaker Unlimited LLC -- -- 13
  14. 14. About Jason Brubaker take action, make your movie now!Jason Brubaker is a Hollywood based Independent Motion Picture Producer and anexpert in internet movie distribution. He is focused on helping YOU make, marketand sell movies more easily by growing your fan base, building buzz and creatingcommunity around your title.Jason is a contributing author of The Independent’s Guide to Film Distributors, he isthe founder of Filmmaking Stuff, a professional resource for independent filmmakers,and his articles on independent movie marketing and distribution have beenfeatured in Film Slate, The Independent and Movie Maker Magazine.Brubaker currently serves at the Interim Director of Operations for Distribber, amodern movie aggregator where he helps indie filmmakers get their movies seenand selling on popular VOD platforms like iTunes, Hulu, Amazon.Find out more here: Copyright 2013 Brubaker Unlimited LLC -- -- 14
  15. 15. Filmmaking Tools professional filmmaking tools so you can make your movieIf you are seeking Filmmaking Tools, the following resources are provides an online trainingmy personal picks. In full disclosure, many of these sites pay me course for filmmakers who need a breakdown and promote. So make sure that you conduct due-diligence prior allows filmmakers to capture leads fromto making purchases both here and everywhere on earth. their movie website, build a mailing list, set up email provides you with the official and a sequential email auto responder.filmmaking stuff newsletter and FREE filmmaking tools. provides tips on getting is for writers and screenwriters finished feature seen and sold. This site contains resources onwho want to write movies for the new low budget cinema wave. how to leverage digital distribution and internet is an online production allows you to get your finished featuremanagement tool that allows you to break down your script. onto iTunes, Netflix and helps filmmakers discover strategiesfor building relationships with prospective resource for filmmakers to get moviesite hosting, a domain name and easily set up a website. Copyright 2013 Brubaker Unlimited LLC -- -- 15