‘Genius is 1% invention and 99% perspiration*.’ Your first thoughts thoughts in film making is who, what, why, when and how.

  • Who is this for? Who will watch it?
  • What is the film going to be about? What type of film is it going to be?
  • Why are you making this film? For personal benefit? For financial gain?
  • When? Planning and budgeting are going to be your 2 best and worst enemies and friends during your process so get used to them.
  • How? Well, this is the difficult bit. There are many different approaches to film making.

Indie film-maker production guide.

Too many to list…

A good budget film is usually a comedy of some type. Something showcasing some actors talents. Their performances can lift the flow and pace of any film. Write lots of notes. Plan, re-plan, get feedback and open your ears and eyes because helpful hints and tips, and the ability to express yourself, are great weapons in the fight to get your project off the ground.

You never know where inspiration will hit. Maybe a film festival entry? This will give you some idea of what to make. Maybe its a local piece about the demolition of a church or a local music artist? This will sort out your location, your backdrop which will lead you into style, expressions, themes etc.

Generally keep it simple and use your gut instincts as new approaches to the film making process.


To start with…

Writing a decent script can be the most challenging part. You have picked your genre, your target audience and you proposed budget.

You have a good framework to start from. Analyse other types of work, break down the creators ‘working out’, find the formula to the answer. Ask yourself, why do I like this film? List how the film hits you in the right spots.

Then, take a step back and be critical of it, look at the negative parts and how you would do better.

What could you realistically achieve? The ‘blank piece of paper’ syndrome can cause lots of headaches. Start off small, write down things that you like, films that interest you, brainstorm some key points.

Think of your first big steps in life, your first kiss, the first time you got drunk, some funny story from the web. Ideas can come from a multitude of places. Some short stories can be as simple as boiling an egg or making a cup of tea. Right through to a hard hitting mini -doc about homelessness.

There really is no end to ideas and then what angle to you come at it from? An interesting angle on homelessness is a journey from the streets to a big business executive or the journey in reverse. This would be an emotional journey and a great way to show lots of depth in a character.

Their experiences highlighted and juxtaposed with their surroundings. There is no real right and wrong story to show, just the way it is delivered to the audience.

Planning Your Budget

This part is essential for every project, no matter how much, or frequently little, you have to spend. Make sure you every penny accounted for, this is where the help or a of a decent producer can come in really handy.

Write down every possible occurrence, walk your way through the film-making process, over estimate every possible over-spend as it is likely to happen. Picture yourself on set, with your cast and crew, picture how much parking permits will be needed, electricity use, food and other expenses.

Sit down with all of your crew and check with all of your crew any extra expenses they may have. This informative chat, with your experienced crew will uncover lots of hidden extras you may not have though about. Generally keep locations, lighting set ups and scenes to a minimum.

Again the use of acting talents can really move a scene forward without any expensive and time consuming set pieces. Remember, time is money. Time on set, overtime, parking, food, tape stock (if applicable) electricity charges and subsequently the edit suite time will al be increased with more complicated set-ups.

Sam Parkinson, Studio Manager at Camberwell Studios.

Any question? do not hesitate to call us we are happy to help: 020 7773 0007

*Thomas Edison, Inventor, 1847-1931.

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