five important Things They Didn’t Teach You in Film School

Film schools are great for learning the techniques and tools to get you started in the film industry, but they do not prepare you for the realities of the motion picture industry or the art of production solutions.

Not until you begin filmmaking that as a professional are you going to understand how much they truly didn't teach you. That being said, do not worry, Picture Block’s got you!

Here are five important things your film school probably didn't teach you:

1. How to Fund your Movie

First thing’s first, you need money to make your movie, and raising money is probably the toughest task for an independent filmmaker. Every script could get financing from one studio or another in the motion picture industry, but it doesn't work that way in real-life movie production world. In fact, you may need to use a combination of approaches to finance your movie production.

Tax credits can be used as one of those strategies. Various countries and some states offer tax benefits for shooting a part of your motion picture in their region or area. This is a great method to organize "soft currency" for your project. As an example, if a state or country offers tax credits that are 50% of your $500,000 motion picture budget, you now only have to arrange for $250,000.

Now you can apply for gap financing, once you've secured a few other options for financing. Some banks offer loans for film production services, if it is possible to show them that your project already has some funds but requires a bit more cash to bridge the "gap" between what you have and what you'll need.

2. How to Budget your Motion Picture

You have to plan your budget before you can begin raising money for your motion picture. It shouldn't be too far off from the reality, though your budget will just be an estimate. Investors will want you to follow your first budget created for your motion picture, which is precisely why you should create it by taking into consideration some of the expenses that may be hidden away and pay attention to every detail.

To that end, you ought to do a proper script breakdown for your motion picture. Begin with developing a scene report in the arrangement of your screenplay, which means you’ll develop a play-by-play summary of the motion picture film. Ensure that of the important info is mentioned by your scene report about every scene. It must incorporate a page count, a one-line description, cast, and props for each scene.

As soon as your scene report is prepared for your motion picture, it will become easy to breakdown your script according to location, availability of the actors, etc.

3. How to Estimate your Time to Shoot your Motion Picture

On a movie set, time is money. So without degrading the production value you need like to complete shooting your motion picture as soon as possible. Just like on your student film project, you don't have the luxury to spend months or days to make every shot perfect.

When making a time estimate on how many pages you will shoot daily, based on your script and your motion picture budget, you can opt to shoot anywhere between one page and five pages each day. Additionally, remember that not all scenes will require equal shooting time. Some scenes could be more complex than others. For instance, you can pull off a dialog scene way faster than an action scene. Bear those types of variables in mind when creating the time quote for your motion picture.

4. The Ways to Properly Communicate

Filmmakers often need to wear multiple hats. You are probably the producer, writer, marketer, and distributor of your motion picture - unless you are working on a big budget Hollywood film.

As you can imagine, you are going to need to interact with a great deal of people that are from all walks of life, and you cannot do that properly without good communication skills. But film schools typically do not teach you how you can write scripts that are actually good, pitch your story, or speak with the investors.

If you have ever been on a film set, you must have seen people speak in a strange language full of jargon and lingo. You will need to learn the motion picture jargon and use that language when talking to your team members. Therefore, if you would like to be a filmmaker, and work your way up in the motion picture industry, you need to build your people skills and know that communication is key.

5. How to Get your Motion Picture Distributed

Producing your movie is only half the battle. The other half is finding a distributor for your motion picture. Either way, getting your motion picture distributed is no easy feat. So now what?

Well, you can submit your title to name film festivals, such as Cannes and Sundance, but there's no guarantee that they'll accept your motion picture. And still, there really is no telling if your title will get picked up for distribution even if they do. One thought would be to submit your movie to festivals, which can snag you a good distributor.

Another means is to reach out to distributors all on your own. You can do online research and use online resources such as IMDbPro to find contact information of acclaimed distributors. Contact them via email with a link to your film's trailer. They may respond to your email, if they like your content.

Make certain that you're contacting businesses that focus on distributing if you do use this strategy. So in the event that you've created a zombie movie, don't pitch it to a supplier that does romantic comedies.

As soon as you've discovered a few parties interested in your motion picture, they will then send you a supply contract. Ensure that you read their terms and clauses in full detail. You don't want to land a deal where you need to surrender your rights, including VOD rights, DVD rights, and theatrical rights. It should be a win-win bargain for both parties.

All in all, be patient, be persistent, leverage your network of colleagues and connections and never, ever give up.