What Are the Best Tips for Making an Independent Film?

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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 04 March 2020
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When making an independent film, one of the most important things to keep in mind is the scale of the project. A filmmaker must rely not on a large budget, but on skill, which often means coming up with creative solutions to problems that could be solved easily with expensive equipment. Understanding business aspects of this craft is also important when making an independent film, as part of this type of filmmaking often involves playing multiple roles in the production. There are numerous tips concerning what strategies end up producing the best films, but one tip to always keep in mind is that pursuing one's own vision is more important than following rules set up by successful filmmakers.

Many tips for making an independent film concern the process of filmmaking. Depending on the scale of the project, the film may involve a large crew and cast, or it may be made on an absolute shoestring budget using only a digital camera and several friends. The key to making this type of project successful is to work with the limitations at hand rather than against them. This means that if someone can afford to hire only two actors, then he must write a script for two actors. If someone must use a particular type of camera, coming up with a project that will look natural using that filming style is important.


Another good tip for making an independent film is to learn how to perform as many functions of the film as possible. This may include working the camera, editing, or even acting. Cutting down on the number of people involved not only reduces the amount of money needed, but it also makes it easier to schedule filming. This is particularly true if someone is not paying the people involved, as participants do not have a financial motivation to participate.

One excellent tip for people interested in starting out in independent film is to look at successful independent films and investigate how they were made. Understanding all the aspects of filmmaking can help suggest innovative solutions to both technical and business problems. Even though studying other filmmakers can be valuable, it is important not to let the advice of a person's predecessors overshadow her own artistic vision. Independent film has the capacity to be more expressive and inventive than many other genres of film, partially because the individual artist's vision is not subject to the demands of tradition.

On a technical level, different filmmakers have different styles, but most people use the same types of equipment and programs to make professional-looking movies. When making an independent film, it may not be possible to accomplish a professional look in all aspects of the project, but it is most certainly possible to get close. Some people find that taking a film class in order to get access to expensive editing programs and rental equipment is a good way to cut down on costs and gain valuable experience.



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