Independent Film Producer? 5 Basic Tips to Become a Success and Make a Profit

So you want to make money as an independent film producer. Do you even know what it takes to get a film completed? There is an old adage in Hollywood, that it takes "an extreme amount of talent to make even a bad movie". With that in mind, making a movie is a daunting task and each and every day, movies are being made and sold to a variety of audiences.

Just because you have a story or a screenplay and the talent to make a movie doesn't necessarily mean you can make money with the film. Today there is a plethora of movies being made: and among those being made, only a small percentage of the films actually make any money for their independent producers.

Sure if you make a movie for $10,000 and get a deal that is worth millions such as "Paranormal Activity" you definitely will make money. But "Paranormal Activity" is the exception not the rule. Plus the advertising budget for that film was in the tens of millions of dollars. With that type of promotional dollars the movie was bound to make the filmmakers money.

So what can you do to make sure your film is a success? And can you do it without spending your inheritance? Well yes and no. Audiences are fickle. Make a movie you think is great still may flop because no one watches it.

Keep your eye on the goal: to make money as an independent producer. If you have never made a film before and are out to set the world on fire, good luck. It probably will not happen. And if your goal is to make a living as an independent producer you must follow a few basic rules towards that goal.

First of all have a great story and after you turn it into a script have someone advise you on it. The story must have a beginning, middle and an end. Sounds easy and straight forward, but it isn't always the case. First time filmmakers (and those that aren't first timers) are typically shooting too much and editing too long and lose the impact of a good story by putting in too much material

Second keep your budget low and use actors that know how to act. This usually means getting actors that have credentials and have been in films before. If you can't afford to use SAG actors then ask local community theaters for actors and beg them to be in your film for the experience.

Third, rehearse and rehearse again. This is related to keeping your budget low and being able to put money where it counts. Rehearsing is one area that can keep the number of takes to a minimum.

Fourth, start looking for a distributor or sales agent before you start to film. If you have not talked with a distributor before you start your film do so now.

And finally, keep a good paper trail. Many films are never distributed because the producer had hand shake deals with everyone. That may work in school, but in the real world it doesn't work.

These are just a few tips to get you on the road to success as an Independent Producer...In fact this barely scrapes the surface of the process. For more info email me with questions. Check out the resource box below.

Bob Willems is an Independent Film Producer and Director and President of Champion Entertainment Inc. ( ) a film production and distribution sales agency company with offices in Houston and Los Angeles.
Through Bob's many contacts, he advises filmmakers throughout the world on getting their project completed and distributed through the proper outlets. You can email Bob questions Bob will personally answer every email he receives and is constantly looking for co-production projects and unique scripts to get produced. Visit his IMDB page at

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