Part 5: Production

Here’s What’s Covered In This Video:

  • The Best Time to Raise Money
  • Saving Money and Being Smart
  • On Set Etiquette
  • You Become Amazing
  • Listening and Learning

Production is an exciting time. It’s really when your brain will be firing and finding solutions on how to get stuff done. It’s amazing the things that you find solutions to during production because there’s no other choice. You have to get it done.

If there’s something that I call the “crack” of filmmaking, meaning the addictive drug, this is it. It’s the production days. That’s the super high. And those are the things you’re going to miss.

Funny enough, production is the best time to raise money, and that sounds horrible because you go, “wait a minute, shouldn’t I have all my money before I go and shoot?” Well, yes, theoretically, but it doesn’t always happen that way, and you might need a little piece of equity or something like that to be able to get through.  Production is the best time to raise money because if you bring the investors to set, they see the lights and the camera and they see the actors.  Something magical has happened. Something incredible is in the air and people want to open their wallets. It’s an amazing thing that I’ve seen time and time again.

There’s that energy on the movie set and you can get investors to be a part of it. So remember that, that if you need that extra piece, do not wait until post production. Bring that person to set. Or if there’s an investor that’s invested before, make sure they’re on set as well.  It’s a trophy for them when they see the set and they go, “wow, I’m a part of this,” that’s a great feeling.

Another thing I want to tell you about is that you need to be understanding to the line items. You need to be cognizant of the line items in the budget and make sure you’re not overspending or you’re going over budget and understanding that you have to save money and you have to be smart.

On-set etiquette is something I wanted to discuss as well. There’s a great book called Acting in Film by Michael Caine, and I tell people to read it, even if you’re not an actor, because it talks about movie sets and it takes the perspective that you’ve already had success. You’re on a big studio set… and here’s how you act.

The movie could cost $50,000, or all the way up to seven, $8 million, and, in both cases, you need to play by the same rules. You need to understand that if you play by the same rules in the small movies, you’re going to be playing by the same rules in the big movies… and you’re gonna know what to do. I equate it to a basketball game. If you’re playing basketball on a court somewhere on a playground and you decide you just want to run with the ball and push people down and do whatever you want, when the time came for you to play in a professional level, like playing in college or something like that, you would have no idea what to do and you’d have developed horrible habits that you’re going to very, very tough to get rid of.

Understand one of your best strengths will be listening and learning. Try not to give or offer knowledge that you don’t have. That is a big mistake I’ve seen people make, especially on the inexperienced level. They try to pretend that they know what they’re doing and people can see right through that. If you don’t know what you’re doing, try to ask somebody that does.

That’s really what you should be doing anyway. If you’re a beginning producer, you should partner with producers that are more experienced so that you know you can learn from that person.  You shouldn’t be telling the camera man how to set up the shots because that’s not you. You want to hire somebody that’s better than you in that role.  You want to be hiring crew that knows what they’re doing so that you’re just sitting back and listening and you’re answering the questions and you’re overseeing everything.

You’re listening and you’re learning in each film and you’re going to get better and better. Production is an exciting, incredible time.

You can learn all about Production and Filmmaking at: