How many times does an indie film producer hear NO??? In a day, a week, a month? Time and time again I have to remind first time filmmakers that if you don’t treat this craft, this art, “show business”, with the proper respect it will leave you in complete poverty. Your passion for filmmaker is anchored so deeply that if you don’t focus on the business side of filmmaking you will be chewed and spit out! I’ve seen so many filmmakers spend thousands of dollars on the latest camera only to sell it or pawn it after making their first short film or micro-budget feature. The financial strain is unbearable.
The turnover in the film industry is so high that most don’t last a year trying to make a living out of their craft. I am a natural introvert and introspective kind of person. So transitioning from a crew member into a producer took a lot of effort, practice, and hustle. I had to get out of my comfort zone. I had to feel uncomfortable! I forced myself to make the cold calls, to buy the courses, to speak out when I was nervous, to build relationships, pitching, to attend AFM, to sell our first film when we had no idea what to do. I let my passion for filmmaking overpower my insecurities, self consciousness, and my doubts.
Pitching your film has to be second nature. Go out of your way to test it and validate it. What’s your daily or weekly schedule like? Are you setting up meetings, coffee, phone calls, Skype video conferences, to get you closer into production?
At a minimum I do 5 to 10 calls a week with other filmmakers/prospects/potential financiers that I haven’t meet before. 1o daily emails, once a week coffee meetings with actors, directors, other producers, etc., Now I am focusing on a monthly conference/seminars in the film industry.
The hustle is real. The rejection is real. The daily nos are real. Embrace it. Then film it!