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Indie Film - Making an Indie Movie

Updated on September 11, 2015

Different Steps in the Process

Green Screen filming
Green Screen filming
One Page. Industry speak for Movie Poster.
One Page. Industry speak for Movie Poster.
Scouting locations.
Scouting locations.
Character design.
Character design.

It's No Secret, Just Not Talked About.

I make Independent Movies. (I use the term 'movies' because there are people out there that get really, REALLY offended when you say 'film' and you are not using actual film; to them I say, "Pththththththththt!")

There are few people (about 1.8 quadrillion) that would love to make movies, but they don't have any idea on how to get started. Well, I'm going to tell you. Eventually. First listen to some pointless ramblings which I have carefully (carelessly) slapped together about the subject.

To the right, you will see a few photos (thank goodness I was able to make the last minute edit and remove the vacation photos wherein I have a hideous sunburn and actually burst into flames right there on the beach). Notice the captions under each. They are all valid, vital steps in the movie making process. Do you know which one should be done last?

A lot of you are probably saying to yourselves that the One Sheet is the last thing you do since it deals with advertising. To you I say, "Neener, neener neener!" Of course it's not the last thing. Seriously, though, you are absolutely not alone. It actually may be the first or second thing you do. YES, the FIRST!

The idea of the One Sheet is to generate interest in the movie and gain backing for production. But it's not always what you will use with an Indie film.

So what is the first thing you usually have to have in order to begin a movie? An idea.

Anyone remember "Speed 2: Cruise Control"? Well, that whole movie was written because Jan de Bont (I believe it was) had a vision of a ship crashing into a crowded dock. (That kind of explains the story.) But he had a vision (probably induced by massive amounts of beer or tequila) and he sold the idea to a producer who green-lighted the movie.

When YOU are working with an Indie movie however, you are probably not working with a budget, so the next thing you want to have is a complete script. I say complete, because if you begin shooting a film with only a partial script, it can lead to the movie not being made and any actors and crew you have will NOT be happy with you and you'll be burning bridges you can't afford to burn.

Have that script done before you look for cast and crew. You can always rewrite as you go along. It's done in the industry all the time. Seriously, all the time! Some scenes are even re-written as the scene is being shot or afterward, making it necessary to RE-shoot.

I've had to do this time and time again due to location, actor, and effects limitation. And this brings me to another point which I need to make very sharp: "Kill your darlings."

I don't recall who said this, but it means that you do the movie by whatever means you have. If you love a scene or a character, but there is a production or timing problem due to the darling in question, you need to change or "kill" them. You can always make the movie again when you are famous our you can simply include the shot or character in the bonus materials of your home video release or make a "director's cut" of the movie.

But back to the process: You will have a great deal more to do before you can even hold auditions for the characters. I made the mistake of not doing some of these things on my first large scale movie. I made some actors angry and had to recast several timed because locations and such were not ready when the actors were available.

You must find the locations where you will shoot. You must make sure that all release forms are signed for your actors, locations and anyone whom gives you a service during the movie. This is partially for legal reasons during the release of your movie AND to make sure that credit is given where credit is due. Since many actors and crew members give their services in return for a credit and, usually, a copy of the movie, you want to make sure that you get their personal and business names CORRECT! Wouldn't you? Once I was credited as Ray Neshe. Maybe that would be a good stage name, but it's a far cry from Roy Nestle (pronounced Nés-ul, like 'a bird will nestle in a tree to lay its eggs). I am a distant relative of the chocolate company, but don't have the accent on the final 'e' nor do I have all the chocolate. Sigh.

You have all sorts of other things to do which you will probably want to get help with. The current film I'm working on, "Akumu", is a good example. I have advertising, editing, audio, effects (written from here on out as fx) and other considerations to juggle which are just WAY too involved for one person to handle. Believe me, I've tried. And found myself under my desk, sucking my thumb, and asking for my mommy. Only after an hour of my wife trying to coax me out of my hidie-hole with fresh coffee did I reluctantly come back to join the human race.

I want to clarify something; this particular entry is not an 'in depth' discussion of the movie making process. That will come in later entries (if I get around to it - or a square one for that matter). This is just an introduction to the topic which will be discussed in future entries.

I hope that I can be of some little help to anyone wishing to make Indie movies. It's so much fun and is so fulfilling.

Look for my next entry which will cover the first things you need to do when embarking on the movie making journey (Coffee, check. Nap, check. Sing karaoke, well, maybe if no one is looking). Best wishes to all who take on this exciting challenge! See you next time!

Have You Ever...?

Have you ever wanted to make a movie?

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    • www.lookseenow profile image


      6 years ago

      To Brother R G Nestle:

      Not doing it for the money, besides it’s not the content of my writing that generates income. That is so noticeable, but most fail to see who is in power to benefit from my content. They place adds on what I own. Sure it’s there website, and it’s free, but in a sense they are profiting on my labor as they receive the benefit.

      Is that usury, or is it my posts, your posts, and thousands of other posts like mine make up an undisclosed amount. It’s like a trucker who gets a percentage of the revenue, but no one ever discloses what the revenue is.

      Why do I do it then? I needed a place to share my Bible highlights. I have posts on Psalms Genesis, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Jonah, Daniel, and the list goes on. These posts are Bible highlights for the public, not for the Theocratic Ministry School.

      I received the truth free, so I give free. I slant it for the public. This Good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all of the inhabited earth as a witness. Who is to say the internet is no place to preach when the territory is vast? One of my posts can be read global! I have followers in U K, and in Northern Ireland. I live in New Jersey where you can see the tops of buildings in Philadelphia from Route 130 South in Cinnaminson, N. J.

      When I get done with Malachi, I might gather all of my posts together into a book find a place to publish it. As one brother said: You’ve got to make it happen!

    • RGNestle profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Seattle

      I understand the money making thing. I have yet to see a single cent and can't for the life of me see how to make more.

      I recently shut down all my social networking because there has been absolutely no benefit from it.

      I don't understand how you are supposed to get enough traffic to make money unless someone's using ad sharing to get click-throughs.

      Thanks for reading.

    • www.lookseenow profile image


      6 years ago

      This is strange, and way out of my expertise. All I’m good at is a machinist, tractor trailer driver, and pioneering. I started writing Bible Highlights 35 years ago. It took me about 25 years to complete. Now I’m modifying it. It’s my database out of which I get my posts. I do not write for Witnesses, some sisters do not understand how I slant for the public.

      I do not believe Hub writers who claim to be making $1500.00 per month So far this month I’m making $ .97

      But, I’m not in it for the money. I figure I received free—I give free.


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