Making an Independent Film

What I've learned and wish I knew

Things I've learned from making my first film, Cowboy Jesus, so far

A videographer with decades of experience, told me that having a script is half the battle. People come up to him and his industry buddies all the time with ideas they want to shoot, but they don't have a script, and he has to reject them because movies aren't manifested by wizards. Movies (just like websites) are made by regular people, without superpowers. That means you can make one, too!

    If you're still in the first half of the battle, without a script or without much of a script, here are some helpful tips.

  1. Treat your characters with dignity by giving them a name, and a personality.
  2. Know what message you are trying to convey and sharpen the writing around that point.
  3. See how other scripts are written and copy the format.
  4. Use the website Celtx to format the script with the proper look, including a title page, and a character sheet.
  5. After the script, the second half of the battle:

  6. Decide on a style you want for the movie.
  7. Make a budget and try to stick to it.
  8. Once you have a cast, do table reads over Zoom in Gallery mode and record the table reads from start to finish.
  9. More lessons to come
The Cast of my film
The Cast of my film