Filmmaking stuff modern moviemaking toolkit


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This is the filmmaking modern moviemaking toolkit for serious independent filmmakers who wants to make, market and sell movies.

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Filmmaking stuff modern moviemaking toolkit

  1. 1. Modern MovieMaker Toolkit Copyright 2010 Brubaker Unlimited LLC
  2. 2. IntroductionMy name is Jason Brubaker. I’m a Los Angeles based independentmovie producer. This short guide will provide you with my personalpicks for useful, no-fluff, modern moviemaking tools.I can give this guide away free, because most of the following prod-uct and service recommendations are my affiliates. That means, ifyou decide any of my suggestions are a good fit for your moviemak-ing business, I may receive compensation from the providers.This will not affect your purchase price!In the event referrals aren’t cool, feel free to get the products else-where (totally OK!) With that said, if you’re looking for filmmakingtools, as well as a road map for how to make your movie, I have in-cluded the following step-by-step guide. Make your movie now! copyright 2011 - - - - page 2 of 30
  3. 3. Your Script – The First DraftThis seems obvious. Without a screenplay, it is very difficult to makea movie. I know some filmmakers are interested in making an“experimental” movie. If that’s you, then ignore the followingscreenwriting tools. But if you would like to write a screenplay, hereare some professional tools that I recommend.For screenwriting, Final Draft software is industry standard. You canalso get Movie Magic Screenwriter. But I never used it. And if mon-ey is tight, there is FREE screenwriting software called Celtix.I also have a program at – It is ascreenwriting system. In it, you get a decade of producer experi-ence, a screenwriting workbook and over an hour MP3 audio, soyou can listen anywhere. It’s writing from a producer’s perspective. copyright 2011 - - - - page 3 of 30
  4. 4. Break Down Your Script and Schedule Your MovieAfter you finish your screenplay, you will want to break it down.What is a script breakdown? Basically, you take everything in yourscript (wardrobe, stunts, locations, characters, props, et al.) Andyou put these elements into a schedule. Since this is your “initialbreakdown,” you will use this information to ball park your budget.If you need some help with this, I recommend you research PeterMarshall’s Script Breakdown and Film Scheduling Course. Peter hasbeen in this game a long, long time. He will show you the funda-mentals of script breakdown. These lessons will help you see yourmovie from a totally different, producer perspective.Try: copyright 2011 - - - - page 4 of 30
  5. 5. Scheduling and Budgeting SoftwareThere is plenty of filmmaking software to help you break down,schedule and budget your movie. One is called Movie Magic Sched-uling and also, Movie Magic Budgeting. If money is tight, you cangrab a copy of Gorilla. These software tools are great because youcan put them on your laptop and use them in remote places, even ifyou don’t have an internet connection!After you complete the initial breakdown and schedule your movie,you will use that information to budget your movie. Once you havea good idea of how much money you’ll need to make your movie,the next step in the process is getting the money.To do this, you will need to create a movie business plan. copyright 2011 - - - - page 5 of 30
  6. 6. Get Movie MoneyTo create a business plan, you may benefit from visiting with thefolks at - or you can create your own business planwith software. Check out www.MoviePlanPro.comThey have created a great business plan kit, which will provide youwith a step-by-step approach to all the business stuff you would ra-ther not invent from scratch.Once you have your business plan, you’ll want to contact a lawyerand draw up some paperwork. Most likely, your lawyer will help youestablish a corporate entity. Your lawyer will also have suggestionson how to legally approach prospective movie investors. copyright 2011 - - - - page 6 of 30
  7. 7. Legal StuffWhen it comes to entertainment attorneys, you might consider re-searching Gordon Firemark. He runs and hasvery informative podcasts, full of valuable legal tips – And if youneed information beyond that, I suggest you get on his mailing list.When you go after the money, things can get risky and challenging.To be successful, you will need to legally protect yourself, defineyour money-tree strategy and create persistence and enthusiasm.My film financing website at is devotedto helping filmmakers learn tricks and strategies for contacting andbuilding relationships with prospective investors. Building thesetypes of relationships will be one of the tougher parts of the pro-cess, but it will make the movie possible. copyright 2011 - - - - page 7 of 30
  8. 8. Find InvestorsMost prospective investors will want to know how the money is go-ing to be spent, what they can expect in return. Obviously, they willwant to see your plan for eventually getting a return on investment.Filmmaking is a risky business, full of unknowns and you shouldnever sugar coat the potential risks. At the same time, there areways to mitigate your risks. For example, start thinking of you movieas a product. Then answer this question: How many video on de-mand downloads does it take the recoup your movie investment?Have a plan for the movie when it is complete. Will you take the fes-tival route? Will you market it to colleges and universities? Will yousend it directly to sales agents and acquisition pros? Or will you gowith my friends at to access iTunes? copyright 2011 - - - - page 8 of 30
  9. 9. Another Film Financing ToolGetting a business plan and putting your legal ducks in a row is onlypart of the process. Raising movie money becomes much easierwhen you have a network of rich and successful friends. So if youhave not already done so, check out www.GetMovieMoney.comDifferent from all the other BS out there, you will discover how tofind and make friends with rich people, even if you don’t know richpeople. (Yet.) After that, getting money becomes easier.Additionally, I can’t forget my friends at Indie GoGo. This site will al-low you to set up a profile, promote your movie project, set a finan-cial goal and find folks to sponsor various aspects of your movie.And if you actually raise 100% of your goal, the company will throwin a bonus percentage. copyright 2011 - - - - page 9 of 30
  10. 10. Going Into ProductionOnce you raise the money, get your cast, crew and equipment, loca-tions and craft service, the next step is going into production. In thisstage, you’ll find out if all of your planning holds up. This is going tobe both adventurous and grueling. But it will be an awesome timeyou will NEVER to forget. Here are several filmmaking classics :Rick Schmidt’s Extreme DV. He has a great workshop in the Bay Areawhere you actually complete a feature film. He is also the writer ofone of the most empowering filmmaking books I’ve ever read.Rebel Without A Crew. This is another personal favorite. Perhaps it’sa little dated, but if you can ignore the ancient filmmaking technolo-gy mentioned in the book, you will get a new found appreciation forthe filmmaking process used to be. No more excuses! copyright 2011 - - - - page 10 of 30
  11. 11. Pick a Production DateAssuming you did get the money, pick a date for production.Go back to your lawyer and get help you with contracts and releas-es. If you’re short on cash, do a web search for lawyers for the artsin your state. Since many of these folks will be working for free, ex-pect a lot of “no’s” before you find the right fit for your show.You can make your jobs easier if you find someone with film pro-duction experience.Then finalize your script. Get it to a point where you aren’t going tokeep changing things. Once you get to this point, consider it alocked script. Number your scenes. Then break down your scriptagain, and create your final shooting (production) schedule. copyright 2011 - - - - page 11 of 30
  12. 12. Final BudgetFrom your schedule and breakdown, create a final budget. Youprobably know how much money you have to work with. If you findyou don’t have enough you have two choices. You can get moremoney. Or you can modify the script and schedule.After that, get your crew. I suggest working with a seasoned physi-cal producer, line producer or production manager to help you getorganized. These professionals will then tweak your schedule asneeded to stay within both your budget and time parameters.Additionally, if you’re going to direct and produce, having thesefolks around to help out will open the door to relationships with 1stADs and crew. These folks will help you hire the right people. Theymay also know a thing or two about tax credits in your state.This could be invaluable! copyright 2011 - - - - page 12 of 30
  13. 13. Sweat EquityMoney is tight. So instead of hiring a locations scout, you’re goingto have to scout and procure locations yourself. This means you’llknock on doors and introduce yourself, your project and your goals.It is at this point when I warn you – what can go wrong with a loca-tion probably will. So lock down both a 2nd and a 3rd location. Thisway, should something happen, you’ll have a fall-back plan.Assuming you’re directing this movie yourself, you might find a di-rector of photography who shares your sensibilities and has equalenthusiasm for the project.Your DP will help you design a look and mood for your movie. Andgiven your presumed cost constraints, you’ll most likely shoot in HD. copyright 2011 - - - - page 13 of 30
  14. 14. Movie WebsiteCreate a website specific to your movie. Then make sure you have away to get site visitors onto your mailing list. Additionally, have aplace on your site for press, so that they can download your presskit and materials. My friends at allowfilmmakers to get hosting, reserve a domain and set up a website.As you get into production, you will later want to add a movie trail-er. This will help drive traffic to your website, which will increase thesize of your mailing list. Then later, the people on your movie mail-ing list will play an integral role in helping you build buzz.To build your mailing list, check out Thisservice allows filmmakers to capture leads from their movie web-site, build a mailing list and set up email newsletters. copyright 2011 - - - - page 14 of 30
  15. 15. CastingIf you’re lucky, you already know talented actors interested in yourproject and working with you. You’ll have to work out a deal withthese folks. LA and NYC offer various websites that help producersfind actors. But if you’re somewhere rural, I suggest partnering withlocal theaters to fulfill your casting requirements.Once you have your actors, you will want to find a location for a ta-ble read. Go through the script. If you wrote it, now is a time to takesome notes for a final tweak. Just know – anything you change inthe script also changes the budget and the schedule.Prior to production, you will put someone in charge of Craft Ser-vices. They should be good at getting deals on food and catering. Ifyou can not find anyone to cook, you’ll have to do it yourself. copyright 2011 - - - - page 15 of 30
  16. 16. Last Minute ChecklistMake sure you have adequate food. If you’re doing a union shoot,there are guidelines and rules you must follow. If you’re doing a nonunion indie, then here is my advice: GET QUALITY!Do you have all of your permits, releases, location agreements? Doyou have production insurance? There are so many different typesof insurance, it will make your head spin. Make sure you talk withsome experienced professionals so you get adequate insurance.This should already be in your budget. But meet with your CameraDepartment and find out how much tape stock you’ll need(assuming you’re shooting in HD or HDSLR). If you’re shooting film,which will be costly, make sure you have enough. copyright 2011 - - - - page 16 of 30
  17. 17. Go Time!Once you have all the above stuff checked off the list, you’ll want tomeet with your department heads and make sure everyone’s needsare being met. Assuming you’ve maintained limited locations, witha limited cast and crew, you will probably still be baffled by theamount of questions that come flying at you.Seriously, you would think you’re making a gazillion dollar movie.But questions are simply indicators that people care about theirwork and the movie. And they want to make it a success.This goes without saying, but don’t be a jerk. Seriously, you’re mak-ing a movie. It’s a real accomplishment and it’s one of those greatthings you can do in life. In fact, it’s quite awesome.So push forward. ENJOY! Did I mention you need plenty of sleep? copyright 2011 - - - - page 17 of 30
  18. 18. Produce Your MovieDo well. Don’t lose your temper and have fun!During production, try to constantly get press to come out and pro-file your movie in the news. The goal is to leverage the media, cre-ate buzz and hopefully get people to your website and get them toopt into your newsletter mailing list. www.AudienceList.comAfter the WRAP, have a wrap party. And trust me when I tell youthis—try not to sleep with anybody in your cast or your crew. Also,if possible, monitor your alcohol intake. You are a professional. copyright 2011 - - - - page 18 of 30
  19. 19. Post ProductionAfter you recover from your hangover, you’ll probably start editingthe movie. This is the phase they call post production. And it reallyis the final rewrite of your movie.In the past, your post production expenses were crazy. But like mostthings in filmmaking, modern technology makes your post experi-ence awesomely affordable.In terms of software, a decade ago, all the talk and buzz in theworld revolved around Avid. Now you’re like Avid who? Seriously. Ifyou have a Mac, get yourself a copy of Final Cut Pro. It’s all but in-dustry standard. It’s powerful and affordable. Enough said.If you don’t have a Mac, find a friend who does. And if you don’tknow how to edit, you should find a friend for that too. copyright 2011 - - - - page 19 of 30
  20. 20. Smooth Out The CutYour first edit will be rough. Screen it with a group of people whohave never seen the movie. Get feedback. Then take the feedbackand refine your edit. After that, take a week off – don’t look at themovie or play around with it. In this way, you’ll come back to theedit suite with new perspective. Refine and refine again.Have another small screening with people who have never seen themovie. Take notes. Then take those notes back to your edit suite.Add some sound FX to your movie. Clean up actor dialogue andrough areas. Remember, audio is often more important than visual.Screen the movie again with a new, small set of people. Take notes.Go back and refine. copyright 2011 - - - - page 20 of 30
  21. 21. What if there are no deals?When you have a cut you’re happy with, then you can begin to im-plement your sales strategy. For example, will you go to film festi-vals? Sales agents? Film Markets?You may have several opportunities for traditional distribution. Withsome qualified professionals, analyze every deal. Find out if the dealwill fit your business objectives, if not, move on to the next deal.And in the event you can’t find a deal that works... copyright 2011 - - - - page 21 of 30
  22. 22. Market and Sell Your MovieI’m not going to tell you how to find a sales agent or how to make athree-picture deal. Partially because those deals are rare. And partlybecause those deals are old school anyway.Why hire some third party, middle-man when you can build a fol-lowing, sell your own movies and cash your own checks? As afilmmaker, I love this arena. I call it Modern MovieMaking.Here is how you market and sell your movie:Refine your trailer so that it helps you sell your movie, without giv-ing the entire story away. Make sure your trailer includes a back linkto your website. Once you complete the trailer, upload it toYouTube and all the other video streaming sites you can think of. copyright 2011 - - - - page 22 of 30
  23. 23. Internet Movie MarketingGet a domain name and website hosting. To do this, set up an ac-count with a filmmaker friendly company. As mentioned previously,I prefer for all of my movie websites. Andyes, they pay me to say that. When you set up the site, make sureyou use your movie’s title in your link. For example, in our horrorzombie movie, we reserved: www.SpecialDeadMovie.comOnce you have your website hosting, hire a web designer to createa website for you. (Actually, you should have built a website prior toproduction. But I know your mind was probably focused on actuallymaking the movie. So it’s OK.) In the event you already spent allyour money making the movie, then check out a service – On this site, you’ll probably find a dozen peoplewho will create an awesome website for a whopping $5 dollars! copyright 2011 - - - - page 23 of 30
  24. 24. BrandingBranding is the marketing equivalent of matching your belt withyour shoes. Don’t make your marketing complicated. Make sureyour colors, logos, posters and fonts are consistent.Most filmmakers make a crazy website with all sorts of bells andwhistles. Your website should be simple. You should have a trailer,an “about” page, a “buy now” button, links to your social networksand your opt-in audience list.Out of everything I mention, getting people onto your audience listis most important. An audience list will allow you to collect a nameand email address of your visitor. copyright 2011 - - - - page 24 of 30
  25. 25. Target AudienceTake a moment to think about your target audience. Hopefully youhave a marketable hook for your movie, and a defined marketingplan for reaching your target demographic. If not, figure it out!Once you have your trailer and your website, you need to makesure you set up a Facebook page as well as other ways to grab visi-tor information. Having a YouTube page, a Facebook page and anewsletter will allow you to build a relationship with your visitors.In this regard, if your website visitor does not buy today, maybethey will buy tomorrow. copyright 2011 - - - - page 25 of 30
  26. 26. Sell Your MovieGet your movie selling online. There are so many outlets for this.One of the best services I’ve found is the very independentfilmmaker friendly site called distribber. This service providesfilmmakers with easy way to get their movies seen and selling viapopular Video on Demand marketplaces, such as iTunes, Amazonand NetFlix. Check out: www.MovieSalesTool.comYou can still sell physical DVDs too. Amazon’s Create Space makesthis easy. And even though letting CS fulfill orders is more expen-sive, I advise you to stay out of the shipping business. Let CS manu-facture your DVDs and deal with customer service issues. In thisway, you can then focus on increasing your sales, as well as yournext movie projects. Not shipping. copyright 2011 - - - - page 26 of 30
  27. 27. Press ReleasesWrite exciting press releases touting your movie. Include back linksto your site. Then send the release out to the media via one of theonline press release submission sites. In addition to this, don’t beafraid to call magazine editors and journalists who write for yourtarget audience. As they say, if you don’t ask – you don’t get!Join online forums related to your target market. Create a profile,complete with a signature link to your website.Now, whenever you join a conversation, you’ll spread your links. copyright 2011 - - - - page 27 of 30
  28. 28. One More Thing...Just because you’re in a forum doesn’t mean people care about youor your movie. If you join conversations without adding value – or ifyou become spam happy and fail to contribute anything good to thediscussion, you and your movie will get internet blacklisted, fast.To assist you with this stuff, I have created another product. It iscalled The Independent Producer’s Guide to Distribution. In the ac-tion guide, you’ll get information on how to get your movie seenand selling in popular marketplaces like Amazon and iTunes.Go here: copyright 2011 - - - - page 28 of 30
  29. 29. LA Producer Jason Brubaker About Jason Brubaker Jason Brubaker is a Hollywood based Independent Motion Picture Producer and an expert in Video On Demand distribution. He is fo- cused on helping YOU make, market and sell movies more easily by growing your fan base, building buzz and creating community around your title. He is also available for speaking engagements. Jason is a contributing author of The Independent’s Guide to Film Distributors, he is the founder of Filmmaking Stuff, a professional resource for independent filmmakers, and his articles on independ- ent movie marketing, distribution and film production have been featured in The Independent and Movie Maker Magazine. Brubaker has lectured on these subjects to filmmakers from around the globe through various seminars, panels and workshops. copyright 2011 - - - - page 29 of 30
  30. 30. Filmmaking is where I give away over $97 infree filmmaking tools, including my filmmaking book and is designed to help you solve yourmost pressing filmmaking, screenwriting and distribution is Peter Marshall’s online courseon how to breakdown your screenplay and schedule your is business plan software for movie mak-ers who know they need a plan, but hate allows filmmakers to easily get hosting, adomain name and set up a website for their allows filmmakers to capture leads fromtheir movie website, build a mailing list and create newsletters. copyright 2011 - - - - page 30 of 30