How to make a movie 1: Why waiting is hardly ever a good idea

Have you got a movie you are desperate to make? How do you make make a movie? How do you get started with a film’s production? Do you have to wait until everything is in place to the nth degree? Well it is good to get organized but sometimes waiting can kill your passion and stop films from getting made.

Why waiting is hardly ever a good idea

The longer you wait the harder it is to get going. Inspiration and the first excitement of that initial motivation ebbs away like an outgoing tide and you have wait sometime for it to return in full force. Other people you have got involved begin to lose interest where before they were brimming with enthusiasm at the thought of helping you out. Like mostly everything in life, there is a moment to act and if you let those moments pass ‘Murphy’ or ‘Sod’s law’ will make you wait even longer the next time you are ready. Use that beginning energy to seize the moment and throw yourself into the process. Start moving forward from your ‘eureka’ moment and much of the time lots of the things you need will fall into place. But you have to start with drive and energy.
Nobody wants to fail

If you put off making your film it is probably because you don’t want to fail at it. That’s understandable. But so what if you do? Fear of failure or fear of making a mistake keeps a lot of potential filmmakers frozen in place.

  • I’ll never have another idea as good as this one.
  • I’m too young to write/direct
  • I’m too old to write/direct
  • I’d better wait till I know more about filmmaking
  • I don’t know how to work with actors
  • My script isn’t perfect yet
  • I don’t have the confidence

Recognise any of these? These are some common fears which keep us stuck where we are. We can only learn by doing; there’s only so much reading you can do before you reach a brick of wall of knowledge. The rest must come experientially, by doing. Confidence comes by doing too.

Don’t get obsessed over the first film

So many film-makers I have met become obsessed over their first movie script. It’s their baby and everything about it has to be just so. The problem with this is that these guys think when they turn it into a film, it is going to be a masterpiece and propel them into the film stratosphere. Don’t try and make your first few films into masterpieces…they are highly unlikely to be and all you will do is waste precious time tinkering and fussing over irrelevant details when what you should be doing is cranking out decent movie after decent movie. When you work like this you are learning your craft all the time. You are laying the foundations of future great works! You are building a show reel, making contacts, doing deals; you are developing as an individual and as a filmmaker.

Do your best but its not life and death

The trick to all this is too not hold on too tightly. Don’t be a perfectionist in the very early stages of your career. I’m not talking to the artists here, I’m talking to the guys and gals who want to work in the industry at whatever level. Getting it right, details and timings are crucial issues no doubt but don’t let them become an excuse for not moving forward to your movie goals.

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