Top 10 Posts of 2012: Filmmaking Tips to Kickstart the New Year

By Cherita Smith / Web Coordinator / @lafemmecherita

2012 is done and gone, and the world is still standing. While there wasn’t a cosmic revolution of the Mayan-apocalyptic sort, you can start your own microcosmic revolution:

Make this the year you finish that script or shoot that movie. Start that web series. Take the film festival world by storm—or at least learn how to make the most of the festival circuit. We’re talking stop-dreaming-and-start-doing full on revolution; don’t settle for the anemic resolutions a new year too often brings.

To help you get started, here are our top 10 filmmaking posts of 2012, which cover everything from crowdfunding and post-production tips to getting your start with commercial directing and festival publicity—oh, and did I mention crowdfunding? Topping the list: an empowering clip from the Forum keynote speech by Oscar®-nominated director John Singleton that is anything but anemic. In fact, I’m thinking “just make it and shoot it, and don’t give a fuck” would make a great motto for 2013.

Top 10 Filmmaking Posts of 2012:

10. Kickstarter Teaches Us the Craft of Crowdfunding

Our second crowdfunding post in 2012’s top 10, this one gives highlights from a class led by Kickstarter with guidance from filmmakers Julia Meltzer and Laura Nix, whose project raised over double its initial funding goal. Here are some of their tips for crowdfunding success.

9. Armed to Sell: Tips From a Film Financing Pitch

Money makes the film world go ‘round, so it’s no surprise emerging filmmakers are forever seeking financing advice. During the Armed To Sell panel at the Forum, producing lab Fellows were invited on stage to pitch their projects-in-progress; here’s a rundown of the insights given to help them meet their budget and make their film more attractive to financiers.

8. Indie Film: The New Wild, Wild West

FIND Fellow Lisa Robertson shares what she learned at the 2012 Forum: a pretty thrilling, ultimately empowering education as a filmmaker in financing, equity, distribution models — the producer and distributor’s point of view of filmmaking. Even if you consider yourself a creative, this is important to know if you want to communicate with producers and distributors.

7. How to: Publicize Your Film at a Festival

With so many of today’s indie filmmakers going the DIY route, tackling publicity and marketing has become an additional part of the indie filmmaker’s job description. Here’s a brief outline of what you should know to make the most of your film’s publicity impact on the festival circuit, courtesy of Film Independent’s “Publicizing Your Film at a Film Festival” class.

6. Crowdfunding Cliff Notes

Crowdfunding exploded last year. This post explores the different platforms from Kickstarter to Indiegogo. While they all seem different, they’re all very much the same in one very basic way: the success stories they generate make it seem as easy as rolling out of bed, but the reality is that crowdfunding is fundraising and fundraising ain’t easy.

5. It’s Who You Know: How a Mentor Can Help Your Career

PI Fellow Miles Maker shares his thoughts on filmmaking and mentors who, by sharing their passion and demystifying the process, empower others to avoid making similar mistakes, enabling the growth and vitality of the creative community. Basically: we need more mentors. Read this to find out why you as a filmmaker should care.

4. Directing Commercials: How to Get Your Foot in the Door

Directing commercials can be lucrative for filmmakers, whether as a side gig or while developing a feature. But how do you get started? Here are five highlights from agent Ezra Burke’s extended Q&A to help you break into the commercials business.

3. You Made a Movie, Now What?

You did it—you made a movie. You hit up every friend and relative with a job, maxed out every credit card, pinched every penny and somehow scraped together a budget made of shoestrings. You blocked and shot and filmed and cut, and now you have a movie. Congratulations! So now what? Read on to find out.

2. 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Wait to Fix it in Post

If you’re a filmmaker, you’ve no doubt heard someone say, “It’s okay, we’ll fix it in post.” You may have even been the someone who said it. But waiting to think about post-production until you’re there can cost you — in money and time. Here are five tips from The Post Lab’s Chris J. Russo to get your post-production plan started before it’s too late.

1. Nobody Cares About Your Little Movie…

So began Oscar®-nominated director John Singleton, kicking off the 2012 Film Independent Forum with an empowering keynote speech that delivered an often hard truth for filmmakers to hear: you have to care about your movie no matter what, because nobody else will.

Even More Butt-Kicking Inspiration for 2013

Since we’re talking about revolutionizing dreams, these three posts from around the internet will help — the first will give you that sobering slap in the face you probably need to honestly answer the question: are you really serious, or are you just screwing around? The second will inspire you to keep dreaming big, and the third will show you how others have done it.

1. Are You Trapped in a “Shadow Career”? The Artist vs. The Addict

From 99u by Behance: Many of us feel passionate about a particular job or creative project or cause, but we don’t take action on it. Why? Are we addicted to failure? Addicted to distraction? Addicted to money?

2. Instead of Making Resolutions, Dream

From Harvard Business Review: As January approaches, and we bid another year adieu, our thoughts turn to making resolutions. But why do we perennially return to resolutions that seem based on the idea of fixing all the things we’re doing “wrong?”

3. Essential Creative Advice From Joss Whedon & 15 Others

From Fast Co.Create: To kick off a creative 2013, here’s a veritable buffet of top-shelf advice from some of Co.Create’s killer interviews, including timely tips from Joss Whedon, Steven Soderbergh, Alex Karpovsky and more.

Keep the Momentum Going

And… since New Year’s resolutions often fizzle out faster than a bottle of bubbly, our Directors Close-Up series will give you the extra push you need to keep the momentum going.

Every Wednesday in February (and the first Wednesday in March), you’ll hear from noted directors and their teams on everything from executing the creative vision to getting the best performances from your actors and mastering genre. Because that is how you revolutionize your dreams: you learn and you do and you keep going, one step at a time.

It also helps when discounts are involved, like the early-bird pricing for Directors Close-Up Series Passes. Start your year off right: register now and you could save over 25%.

Happy New Year my filmmaking friends!


January 7th, 2013 • 3 Comments

3 Responses to “Top 10 Posts of 2012: Filmmaking Tips to Kickstart the New Year”

  1. Heidi Haaland
    January 8, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    I am bookmarking this. Smart of you to include perspectives beyond the film community.

  2. January 13, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    More then film making,.. this post is about how to get an audience. Still a great thing to talk about,.. but more in the marketing, promotion and funding arena.

  3. January 17, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Golden posts here, now excuse me while I go and read the ones I missed last year! Thanks for sharing!

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