How to Become an Independent Filmmaker

Independent Filmmaker Job Description

Independent Filmmakers coordinate and produce the making of their own films, from concept to final production and distribution.



Independent Filmmaker Job Duties

  • Initiate the idea for a film
  • Create the script, or hire a writer to prepare it
  • Find financial support for the project
  • Hire key staff; including directors, writers and crew (if necessary)
  • Budget, schedule, set locations and plan film shoot
  • Coordinate the day to day production of the film
  • See that all editing and post production is completed on the film
  • Negotiate with potential distributors and broadcasters
  • Promote the film


How to Become an Independent Filmmaker

A good place to start when you are starting out as an independent film maker is to utilize your film school contacts to gain valuable information and guidance, and possibly a partner for one of your film making ventures.


You will then have to decide what sort of film you will make, and will likely have to wear many different hats while making the film, such as writer, editor, camera operator or director. Also, don’t forget to prepare scripts and production plans that match your budget.


Once your film is produced, you will have to contact distribution companies to help you market and sell your film. Keep in mind that although a film may be produced relatively quickly, it may take years to get a film distributed. This can be an issue even for the most renowned filmmakers.


You may also consider contacting film studios in an effort to land an entry-level job or an internship. If you are able to gain such a position you will make valuable contacts and learn much about the industry.




A Day in the Life of an Independent Filmmaker

Curious what it's like to work as an independent filmmaker, day in, day out? Meet John Montana, an independent filmmaker in Los Angeles. He'll show you the ropes!




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