Submitted story from Indie filmmaker Jason Muggery.
– Jason Muggery is almost 7 years independent filmmaker on the West Coast. Started out on filming on High 8 and currently working with the new digital C-series.
Making movies is my passion, telling the story and laying out the ‘blocks’; the parts how we make the movie. Every aspect is important but not often thought through. When start making movies, working out the story is too important. This is your plan, your blueprint. You need to translate your idea, vision to your crew. This is done by writing and storyboard. After this you find your cameraman (also known as DOP), together you guys are going to sit and go through the script and set up the shots. And then of course the ball is running, you get the producers to work on all the ‘business’ side like getting the locations, callsheets etc. etc. Casting is done, going through character development with your actors. It is nice to write a 1 or 2 A-4 paper about the characters, this can be handed out to the actors so they can improvise on set but being the character you had in mind.
After filming, it is the job of the post-production boys to get everything in order, of course under supervision of you. You are always to director and in charge for everything.
Aspects you don’t think of as a independent filmmaker are the legal things. You have to set up contracts with the actors, even if they are just your friend. And you need to explain it to them. What I always say is. “What if this movie is going to be a hit, and we get our distributor, then they want to have the contracts, otherwise we cannot make any money out of it”. They often agree and sign the contract, like a gentleman’s agreement. No need to fight over the money in the beginning, but just get that film made!
Other points is getting your insurance right. Nothing will happen, but what if you drop your $6000 dollar camera.. you don’t want to pay for that. When you are playing with bigger budgets like I do, and filming a lot overseas it’s wise you are all set, like buying international health insurance. This will safe you a lot of head ache in the end, like I said, especially being abroad.
After everything is done you have to invest in a good ‘film watching party’. People who worked on the film for free or next to nothing need to be treated like kings. So the party need to be good and paid from your pockets.
That’s about it! Have fun!
Watch my movies, please google for director: jason muggery, follow me on twitter #directorjasonMGG or e-mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org