Monday, March 31, 2014

Making It Easier To Make An Independent Film

By guest writer and filmmaker, Alexia Anastasio.

My favorite kind of movie is the kind that makes me think and feel. That is my essential criteria - if it gets me so intune with the story or character that I am crying, the movie has done it’s job.

Now that I am making movies myself, I am rethink how to get people to feel emotion. I am finding that it is very much planned out. Like composing a symphony.

I am in the midst of finishing my feature film, Little Fishes and jumping over hurdles everyday. Every step of the way I am pushed to challenge myself to make key decisions. Even in the misstep like running out of money. I am finding a way to make it fun.

Making decisions painless and effortless are:  

1. Hiring a lawyer to look at your contract before you sign it. I know I said painless but you will be happy down the line that you did this.

2. Casting choices - Ask yourself, Who is this character? What is my presupposition? Do you want a blonde with big boobs that is tall or does it matter. Could it be a male who plays that exact same character? How am I marketing this movie? Who is my audience?

3. Locations to shoot the film - What locations are available? Does it fit the scene? Can you change a scene to make it work in that location?

4. Hiring the right professional crew that understands your movie. Whether or not the crew shares your vision they should be on your page as far as your goal. If your goal is to tell a dramatic story your lighting guy for instance can assist in setting that tone. Remember: even sad scene happen in broad daylight just like in life.

5. What film festivals to enter or are you not going that route? Every festival has there favorite genre - does your film match their themes? Is it a local film festival? If you are not going that route and self-distributing your film - how many sold out screenings would be considered a success to you?

6. Costumes/Wardrobe - What are your color themes for each character? Would that character wear that and why? How is it rooted to their personality?

7. How are you raising the money to make your movie and How much do you really need? Break it down. Make two budgets - one is your dream budget and the other is the minimum or base cost. Are you using crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo? Do you have a list of people organized so can easily contact them when you go live? Share your goal with everybody.

8. It’s personal. What is your big WHY? Why should you specifically make this movie now? Is the timing right in your life and is there interest in this project? You only grow as an artist when you put your energy towards serving your audience. Park your ego on the side and make art.

9. What are your goals for your movie? Is it to play it locally or internationally? What would a success mean to you? What does it look like?

10. How does this film fit in your universal themes in all of your work? For me, I tend to go toward diaristic work and making film that inspire others that they can be an artist too. I must reinforce that all work is about contribution and growth. I have contributing to my credit card growth all along. :)
You can see my last film, Adventures in Plymptoons! on many platforms like Hulu, Vimeo, Amazon by going here:
You can sign up for my email list and get updates whenever I have a new project on my website:

And you can view the new trailers and sneak peak scenes and even give to the campaign for Little Fishes here:

BIO: Alexia Anastasio is an artist, actress and filmmaker. She was featured in HBO's Bored to Death, VH1 “If you like...” commercial and Vetiver "Everyday" music video. Her work on the feature documentaries includes: Editor of Vampira: The Movie; Associate Producer of The Wild World of Ted V. Mikels; Co-producer of Beyond the Noise: My Transcendental Meditation Journey; Director of Adventures in Plymptoons! documentary on Oscar nominated animator Bill Plympton; Director of documentary, Ginger Girls: The Secret Lives of Redheads and Director of narrative, Little Fishes.


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