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Your Breakthrough Year as a Filmmaker


Here we are. 2016 is fully in play.

It can truly be your best year ever if you’re willing to step out there and make this year different from every other year. What’s going to make the difference is how you approach this year with clear and purposeful intentions, detailed goals that you plan out in advance, and a strategy that lays out the path for you to get there.

What’s the sense of having goals if year after year after year you’re not getting anywhere and you’re not achieving your goals. Something has to change.

I want to focus on helping you determine what your major goals for the year are going to be, and how to achieve them.

Once you determine your major goal, you want to set short-term goals with non-negotiable deadlines that you take decisive action on a regular basis. And if you do that, I promise you it won’t take much time before you start seeing BIG RADICAL RESULTS. And that’s because you’re taking it one step at a time.

Say your goal is to make your film in 2016. What are the actual smaller goals/tasks it takes to reach your major goal? I mean you don’t just go out there and make a film right? There are a bunch of things you need to do to get that film made. And those are the goals filmmakers get stuck on. They get stuck because they take so much longer & cost more than expected, and require more resources than you anticipated. Another big obstacle is many filmmakers actually don’t know all the steps it takes.

So you want to think of all the detailed steps you have to take, and you want to think about what it will entail in terms of time, money and resources.

Through each stage of the filmmaking process, there are goals you have to achieve in order to move your film along the movie-making pipeline. For example, you have to finish your script before you go into production. I can’t tell you how many filmmakers start planning to go into production before the script has been fully developed and then find themselves in a heap of trouble. The production is ready but the script isn’t. So they are rush finishing the script and neglecting their production responsibilities. This is how a film becomes a war zone, cast & crew combative.

When you say you want to make your film that’s the BIG BIG goal. That’s why you gotta break it down and take it step-by-step, completing one goal at a time. It’s a process and completing one task or achieving one goal automatically takes you to the next in line. Don’t skip the line! Identify and then tackle those small goals first and they will GENTLY guide you to the next, and next, until you reach your ultimate goal.

And let me throw another variable in there. Besides time, money and resources, there’s the issue of control. You have to consider whether or not you control the outcome. If getting an agent to represent your film is a goal, you don’t control that outcome, it’s up to someone else, the agent, if they are going to represent you. That’s why I suggest you have a balance of goals you control and those you don’t control, so you can actually progress.

I’d like you take out a piece of paper and do an exercise in effective goal planning:

  1. Choose the top 3 goals you want to achieve this year. Remember the control element – you want to have a balance.
  2. For each of those 3 goals, I want you to write out the actionable steps it will take to get you there, one by one.

When you’re finished, you will have strategically laid out your 3 major goals for this year, and the smaller goals you need to achieve them. That is a huge accomplishment and the first step towards finally breaking through in your filmmaking career. You now have a roadmap to your success and you can plan to succeed.

Until next time … To Your Filmmaking Career Success,

Tanya Kersey, The Filmmaker’s Success Mentor



Tanya Kersey

About Tanya Kersey

Founder & Exec. Dir., Hollywood Black Film Festival The Filmmaker’s Success MentorTM Author of the forthcoming book, Profitable Filmmaking: The Strategic Approach to Getting Your Film Financed, Seen & Sold