I just got off a call with a client who said he was going to buy a Sony camera so he could shoot a short film. “Wait a minute!,” I told him. This person is brand new to the business and hasn’t even written the script, yet he’s going to buy a $4,000 camera? This is the perfect example of putting the cart before the horse. Not only is buying a camera for this short premature, but this person had not even investigated renting a camera for a few days. Nor had they looked into programs that loan camera equipment to first-time filmmakers. There are always options folks. There is a long, long list of things that have to be done before you should even be thinking about before investing in the camera – things like the script, budget, talent, locations, crew, insurance, permits, just to name a few.
Another client recently gave me a list of all things they were planning to do and one of the items was renting an office and getting office equipment. Huh? Why? He was in talks with an investor and was hoping to get financed to start production. Wait a minute! Until you have a project funded (signed papers of intent), and the money has been released (in your bank account), there is no reason to go into debt by renting a production office. First things first. What happens if the deal falls through? What happens if the film is going to shoot on location. You can work from your kitchen table until you need an actual production office. And that’s only if the budget warrants it. Depending on the size of your film, you can run the entire production from your kitchen table and save money. Fancy production offices are a waste of money on small indie productions.
Take a look at your own career and ask yourself, are you moving too quickly? Are you following a carefully thought-out and vented plan so that you’re crossing your T’s and dotting your I’s? Or, are you moving haphazardly forward just taking it a day at a time and reacting to whatever is in front of you? In other words, do you really know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how you’re going to go about it?
It’s the beginning of a New Year. You have a chance to strategically plan out the year and layout a roadmap that is going to help you achieve your career goals by year’s end. Its time to stop, take a deep breath, exhale, and plan to succeed with smart tactics and proven filmmaking success strategies.
Until next time … To Your Filmmaking Career Success,
Tanya Kersey, The Filmmaker’s Success Mentor