You Don’t Have to Be in Hollywood to Make a Movie that Makes You Famous

I currently support more than 40,000+ entertainment industry pros through face-to-face and online events, the majority of whom are filmmakers, writers, screenwriters, and performers currently working here in Los Angeles.

That said, a growing number of the people I support are screenwriters, actors, and performers elsewhere in the US who hope, one day, to sell their films and television shows to audiences worldwide.

I enjoy supporting these folks because, the truth is, making movies is usually easier and faster when you don’t live in the “movie cities” of Los Angeles, Atlanta, Albuquerque, or New Orleans. It’s perfectly possible to learn how to make an affordable movie you can sell right where you are that gets great distribution.

Here are some concrete reasons why this is true:

  1. In most places across the US, making a movie is an unusual and exciting thing to do.  I’ve spoken to filmmakers in some states that have towns close streets so they can get a shot and theaters that host their screenings for a nominal fee. Filmmakers in the movie cities yearn for that kind of support.
  2. Many locations across the US are free or very cheap to film in.  Whether it’s the abandoned house or barn, the empty cornfield, the deep woods, or the local truck stop, you can find hundreds places to shoot that you will pay little or nothing for.
  3. You can show the world something they’ve never seen before. We haven’t been to quarry near your house, the ravine in the national park with all its zip lines, the abandoned factory or military base just up the road. We haven’t seen your Main Street on Christmas Eve, sat around your dinner table on Thanksgiving, or gone to your school for the prom. Where you come from is exotic and the stories you can tell us are new.  That makes you and your work really valuable and you can only do that work right where you are.
  4. You can get distribution for your film or TV show without leaving home. I tell people how to that every day. Whether you are making a feature film, feature documentary, episodic shows, or animated cartoons you can find a paying market for your work as long as it’s correctly made.  (Tip: Everything filmed at the same frame rate, Apple ProRes 422 or 4444, and at least HD if not 4K).
  5. You probably already have equipment you can use to start shooting. For example, your phone is likely a 4K camera and you can get a lighting package on Amazon for under $200. People have won awards and earned great distribution with films shot just that way.

My resources for creative pros features an in-depth primer on how to make a movie you can afford to make. It covers everything from how to get a screenplay you can shoot, acquire the cast, crew, and locations you need, handle production and get distribution.

People have followed the instructions in this guide to make a lot of projects. The tools and techniques it shows you have been used to make award winning movies in wide release.

Don’t wait to start your career as a filmmaker. Whether you want to make feature films, feature documentaries, episodic content, or animations you can reach the whole world from right where you are.

Show us wonders and horrors of the places you live in and tell us the secrets and stories only you know.  We’re all waiting for you to begin…

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