The Self-Funding Approach
There are many filmmakers who are scared or worried about their ability to write, direct and produce a feature-length film, especially when at risk of losing someone else’s money– and this is where the self-funding strategy works best. The idea is to write a feature film that you can afford to shoot tomorrow, regardless of how much money you may have access to today. Funding your own film is, by far, the best approach for many first-time filmmakers, and it’s the same approach that I took. It’s the one I endorse the most, and it’s what this book is about. Had I not had the money to make Pickings, then I would have made it anyway, but for less money. I refused to allow anything or anyone to discourage me from making the movie that I wanted to make, and so I did it anyway.
“I have a strongly visual mind. I visualize a picture right down to the final cuts. I write all this out in the greatest detail in the script, and then I don’t look at the script while I’m shooting.I know it oﬀ by heart, just as an orchestra conductor needs not look at the score... When you finish the script, the film is perfect. But in shooting it you lose perhaps 40 percent of your original conception.” ~ AlfredHitchcock
So, if you don’t have the money to make your dream film, and you’re worried about the funding process – don’t make your dream film! Put it aside, keep it in a drawer, and know that you’ll return to it once you have gained the experience needed to make it the right way! For now, focus all of your efforts on writing, directing, and producing your first feature film on a budget that you can afford with no producers or equity partners – just you and your team, whoever that may be. It’s not going to be easy, but it can be done, and it should be done, and you are the only person who can do it. No one is going to make your movie for you.
“You can take a handful of dollars, a good story, and people with passion and make a movie that will stand up against any $70 million movie.”
~ Jason Patric