Building a Filmmaking Career: How to Find Success as a Video Creator | Simon Cade | Skillshare

Building a Filmmaking Career: How to Find Success as a Video Creator

Simon Cade, Filmmaker, Producer

Building a Filmmaking Career: How to Find Success as a Video Creator

Simon Cade, Filmmaker, Producer

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16 Lessons (1h 32m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:26
    • 2. The Easiest Way to Get Paid as a Filmmaker

      6:41
    • 3. How to Win Paid Filmmaking Jobs

      5:21
    • 4. How Much Should I Charge for My Work?

      4:22
    • 5. How to Negotiate

      6:19
    • 6. Tips for Crowdfunding

      6:49
    • 7. How to Earn Money With Sponsorships

      4:18
    • 8. How to Win Sponsorship Deals

      7:41
    • 9. How to Fund Projects Without an Audience

      10:21
    • 10. How to Find Cast & Crew on a Budget

      8:03
    • 11. What Equipment Should I Buy

      4:08
    • 12. Tips to Reduce the Cost of Filmmaking

      2:51
    • 13. How to Avoid Client Disasters

      7:10
    • 14. How to Build an Audience

      6:56
    • 15. I’ve Finished My Film, Now What?

      6:02
    • 16. Final Thoughts

      2:43
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About This Class

What does it take to build a sustainable career as a filmmaker or content creator?

Many people want to make money while doing creative projects, and thanks to modern technology, it’s become more accessible and competitive than ever. So creatives must have a clear business strategy to avoid unfair, and exploitative deals.

In this 90-minute class, you’ll learn how to meet your financial goals in the digital creative industry. This isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, I want to share strategies that can help you make the most of what you have. If you’ve got skills and creativity, how can you build a career around them? If you’ve got time to invest in your projects, how can you best use it to build an audience and a network of collaborators? 

Whether your projects cost $50 or $50,000, smart financial decisions will ensure that you can spend your time on the things you care about most. 

The key lessons include: 

  • How to find paid filmmaking jobs and funding opportunities without compromising your creativity or values.
  • Practical advice on how much to charge clients and how to negotiate better deals.
  • How to build a skillset and reputation that will sustain a long and fruitful career.
  • Strategies to harness modern technology to cut costs and retain ownership of our projects.

Simon Cade built his career around freelance filmmaking, collaborating with many clients over the past eleven years while working on documentaries, YouTube channels, and commercials. He believes that any filmmaker and content creator can build a career on their own terms.

By the end of this class, you’ll have learned from Simon’s biggest mistakes and successes, and you’ll have a clear strategy to meet your creative and financial goals. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Simon Cade

Filmmaker, Producer

Teacher

Simon Cade is a self-taught filmmaker and producer best known for being behind cadevisuals and the hit YouTube channel DSLRguide.

His love for visual storytelling led him to share what he’s learnt about the creative process. As a teacher, he draws from industry experience to show you artful storytelling in a budget-friendly way. 

Simon has extensive experience filming independent projects, advertisements, documentaries, and edu-tainment content. He’s spoken at film festivals across the world, and produced hundreds of projects including many with over a million views on YouTube, and two Vimeo staff picks.

See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction : Hi, my name's Simon Cade. Growing up, I wanted to be a filmmaker ever since I was 11-years-old. It started as a hobby but very quickly I realized that I wanted to spend my working hours on set too, but my dreams were crushed when I found out a few years later that there's no college degree that will guarantee success in Hollywood and there's no such thing as a stable career if you're a YouTube content creator. So what does it take to break into this notoriously tough industry and stay sharp enough to maintain a career? Over the past decade I've given this a lot of thought and so I've put together this class based on what's worked for me so far, and the best lessons that I've learned from people who I look up to in this field. So today, we're going to look at lots of different ways to earn money as a filmmaker and get our projects funded. I'm going to share the formula that I use to figure out how much to charge clients for my film making jobs and all of my favorite negotiating strategies. I want to tell you everything I've learned about winning sponsorship deals, and how we can monetize our work without compromising our values. We'll even look at how I approach spending money. What do I do to squeeze as much value out of even the smallest of budgets. Towards the end, we'll talk about how I deal with clients, and how I use contracts to avoid disagreements and exploitation. I'm excited to share practical tips about everything from planning to marketing, while getting honest about the mistakes that I've made and the challenges that I've faced. But before we start, you should know that these financial topics are going to pass through the lens of three long-term goals that I think are essential for anyone who's looking to build a creative business or career. The first one is creative growth, which to me means practicing our skills and creativity. But film making isn't all about skill though. So if we want a creative career then building a reputation is also vital. Finally, there's financial security because while we're building our skills and reputation, we still got to eat. Some projects may not help us financially, but they may help us build our reputation. Others may pay the bills without helping us grow creatively. So I don't expect every project I work on to help me progress in all three goals but I try and always consider them when I'm choosing the projects to focus my energy on. Now before we get into it, you should know that I've put together a downloadable workbook, which goes through lots of the key questions that I'm going to be asking about any project I work on. Hopefully it can be useful to you when you're planning your next project. Either way, by the end of this course, my hope is that we'll have a strategy in place to make sure that we're working towards our creative and financial goals. 2. The Easiest Way to Get Paid as a Filmmaker: There are many ways to acquire funding for our projects, but there was one path to a film-making career that is the most accessible. In my experience, the easiest way to make money while filming is by making branded content or advertising. With a bit of practice and some inexpensive equipment, it's relatively easy to get a freelance job filming events, corporate videos, or promotional videos for local businesses. I spent a few years doing this and it wasn't my dream job, but it gave me the chance to earn some money while I improved my film making skills. Before we get into the more ambitious ways to build a film making career, let's talk about why making branded content is such a good starting point, how to get paid freelance jobs, and how to elevate your work and attract bigger clients. We'll start with why making branded content is such a great starting point. Although promo jobs may not seem as artistic or prestigious as narrative films, they can really help us progress towards the other two core goals, creative growth and financial security. Creative growth is key because whenever I look back at my projects from 10 years ago, I cringe at how terrible my work was. If we can film a mini commercial for a local business, we'll gain the experience of overseeing a project from start to finish. We'll develop skills in planning, filming, and editing, all while working under the pressure of a deadline. Although filming branded content may not qualify us to make a feature length film, there's still a lot of opportunity for creative growth and best of all, we can learn these lessons while earning money rather than spending it. Working towards another goal, financial security. Next, let's talk about how to get paid freelance work. The big question is, how do we get lucrative commercial jobs? When I first go into freelancing aged 15, I started by contacting a small business and offering to spend a day filming a video with them for free. I reckon any filmmaker who makes a few free promotional videos, will not only build skills and gain confidence, but eventually they'll have a portfolio that they can use to attract paying clients. We can set up a social media page or website for our business and then we can just start cold calling or e-mailing businesses with a link to watch our previous work. The next step would be to start telling people we know about our service. When I was 15, my focus was on my parents friends or my friends parents. I made some business cards and I would just hand them out every opportunity. Weddings are really good for that. If we can spend just one hour every day writing those emails and making those calls, then our tenacity is bound to pay off. As we film more projects, we can update our reel and establish a stronger portfolio of work. If we're polite to our clients and do our best on every single job, then it's likely that they'll want to work with us again, or at the very least, they'll recommend us to someone else. I will admit that I did a lot of dull freelance work early on in my career. By the time I actually enjoyed filming simple client interviews and editing B-roll shots to illustrate their company values and I definitely learned a lot from it. But once I developed my fundamental skill set, making informative promotional videos did start to get boring. This is when I realized that the ads I saw on TV were usually a lot more emotive and memorable. They actually told stories and I realized I wasn't going to learn any of the cinematic storytelling techniques by making infomercials. I wanted to make ads that were closer to what I'd seen on TV. But the problem was, all of my clients were quite happy with the simple videos that I had been making. They didn't see the value in increasing the budget to hire actors or crew and so I decided to take a risk by creating my own opportunities to tell a story. Let's discuss how to elevate your work and attract bigger clients. I think a good place to start is by injecting our creativity into every project we work on. Even if our clients have low expectations, there's no reason to make something mediocre. We can do this by story-boarding and considering the creative impact of our lighting, editing, and music. Why not apply the same high standards that we have for our personal work to a corporate job. This probably won't earn us any extra money on this project, but it definitely increases our chances of being recommended to another client and it will make our portfolio so much stronger, which opens us up to bigger clients in the future. Let's say we're filming commercial for a local shoe store. One approach would be to film an interview with the owner asking what makes their shoe store stand out, but that could get dull. So, what do we do? This is a great opportunity to get creative within the parameters of our client. Maybe we noticed that there's an eccentric customer who visit the store every week and chats with the employees. Could we film them in a documentary style showing their personality and their heartwarming connection to the store? Another idea would be to write a short script about someone who needs shoes more than the average person. Maybe an athlete, or a nurse, someone who stands on their feet all day. Then we could put this together, we have just a couple of actors and a script approaching it like a micro budget short film and then put the company's logo at the end. If we talk to the client about these ideas and share our passion for the story, hopefully they'll see the value. However, many clients just want the simplest and least expensive video. In fact, the first time I hired actors for branded content, the client really liked the idea, but they weren't able to increase the budget. I took the risk of spending my own fee on the production itself. I was essentially volunteering my time in exchange for being able to hire some actors and of course, that project didn't help towards my long-term goal of financial security, but it meant that my portfolio could build my reputation with future clients and I had the chance to learn how to work with professional actors for the first time. Fortunately, the risk paid off and my future clients saw these videos and asked if I could make something similar for them. That time I quoted a large enough budget to pay for the actors as well as my fee. That taught me an important lesson that I've continued to put into practice ever since and it's this, make the kind of work that you want to attract. It's a shame really but I think it's true that no one want to hire us to film their exciting story if our portfolio is full of dull interviews. If you're happy making corporate training videos, then obviously your portfolio should include that but if you're like me and you want to work on bigger more creative projects, then we've got to think about improving and expanding our portfolio. Investing my own money into someone else's project seems crazy but it's allowed me to improve my portfolio much faster than if I was just waiting for clients with bigger budgets to come along. Plus along the way, I've been learning to communicate with clients and to be decisive when working with budget and time constraints. All of those skills are totally transferable to projects outside of branded content so I'm really glad I spent those years focusing on freelance film making. 3. How to Win Paid Filmmaking Jobs: Once we're in contact with a client who's seeking our services, we'll usually need to give them an idea of what we can offer them before we start a project, and that means making a proposal. A projects treatment or proposal can be as simple as writing five bullet point sentences in an email to explain our concept for a video. Or it could be as complex as a 50 page document with visual references and diagrams. Let's talk about treatment strategy. Firstly, we'll look at how to write a basic proposal and then how to extend our concepts into longer treatments, and finally, we'll finish with a few extra tips to remember. How to write a basic proposal. I'd like to start by finding out the client's marketing goals. Are they trying to sell a specific product or broadcast a particular message about their brand? That way, I can tailor my ideas and my presentation of those ideas in a way that will hopefully resonate with them. Sometimes a client will already have a very specific concept in mind for the project. In those cases, our treatment aims to convince them that we understand their vision and that we're able to execute it. But for most projects, the client is actually hiring us for our ideas. One of my favorite parts of the process is trying to come up with a concept that's going to hit the right notes for their marketing goals while being something that the viewer would enjoy watching, and if I can come up with a concept that I will enjoy making as well, then that's a golden project because it will hit all three of my long-term goals. If you'd like a detailed list of the questions I usually ask clients before a job, then feel free to download the workbook, print it out, fill it in, whatever works for you. Here's an example of a short proposal for a pretend client. Let's call that company FileShare. Now let's imagine FileShare wants to produce a commercial to promote their app. Maybe the app makes it easy for users to send videos and photos between all mobile and computer devices. What would the basic treatment look like for them? We might start our email by writing we'll produce a 30-second cinematic commercial to promote your app. It's always good to start with a bird's eye view of what we're proposing and what it will achieve so the client can imagine our ideas in context. Here's the storyline. A variety of young people in different parts of the city receive a file request from FileShare, and this inspires them to drop everything and get moving. We see them traveling by bus, down alleys on foot and on bikes. They begin to pair up, eventually forming small groups. By the time they reach a large outdoor basketball court, they each place their devices on the tarmac, tapping play on the video file each of them received. As more devices are added, we see that the tablets and phones of varying sizes begin to take shape like a puzzle. Each screen plays a small segment of a video, together creating one large display. Once the devices are placed, everyone sits on the fence for a higher vantage point to watch their creation, enjoying the big screen. We've got enough detail here to imagine the fundamentals of this commercial. But at this stage, I'm leaving out any details like camera techniques or sound design. I'm just focusing on the storyline. Hopefully this has got them excited about the concept, and so we can finish our email by explaining how this concept fits in with their product or campaign. We could conclude by writing, this concept naturally demonstrates the speed and ease of use of the FileShare app while visually demonstrating how files can be sent to all kinds of devices. Depending on the client and the scale of the project, 250 words could be enough information to get them onboard, and then we could move on to discussing costs and a timeline of the project. But unless the client has worked with us before we'll usually need to give them a bit more assurance that we know what we're doing before they can greenlight the project. Now that we have the basics down, let's talk about extending that concept into a multi-page treatment. To show that we're capable of making this commercial, we can take our 250 word summary and add extra detail about how the commercial is going to look, sound, and feel. We can add reference images to help convey our commercial storyline and visual style. Or we can sketch simple storyboards for complex concepts that need explaining. Beyond that, it depends on how much time and effort we're willing to put into pitching for this job. For example, I've seen large budget TV ad treatments that have more than 40 pages of beautiful images to set the tone, location, and textures down to a minute level of detail. Tips for making treatments. Now, the treatment itself doesn't have to have nice fonts and a good layout if the content is killer. But in many cases, I reckon that agencies or clients are considering a few filmmakers for any project or job. Most of the directors that I know who work on high-end commercials will actually hire graphic designers to help them pitch for a job, which tells me how important presentation must be. At the very least, we should take the time to layout our ideas in a logical and clear way while making sure that all the text is very easy to read. I like to imagine the worst-case scenario. If my client is reading the treatment at the end of a long day, I don't want them to have to strain their eyes to read my treatment. I make sure my color scheme and fonts are very easy to read. Making sure the text stands out from the background, making sure there isn't too much text on a single page or any loud elements that compete for the reader's attention. Now, I've put a little checklist of design tips in the workbook. That's helpful. At the end of the day, if I can get my ideas across in the simplest, clearest way, then I've done my job. 4. How Much Should I Charge for My Work?: One of the most mysterious parts of filmmaking is deciding how much to charge. Trying to figure out a fair quote for clients can be very stressful. Let's discuss asking the right questions as well as choosing a fair hourly rate. Before giving a quote, I always ask a few questions about the project so I can estimate how long it'll take for me to plan, film and edit. Here are some of the questions I included in the workbook. Number 1, what is the goal of their campaign? What are they hoping to achieve by making this content? Number 2, what are the deliverables? For example, are we making one 30-second video or three 15-minute videos? Number 3, which aspects of the production do they need me to oversee? Is it planning, filming, and post-production? Number 4, who has creative control? How many rounds of feedback do they want after seeing the finished video? Number 5, what kind of style of video do they want? Can they send me a link to a commercial or video that's similar to what they're hoping to make? Finally, number 6, what is the timeline for starting and finishing the job? These questions are mostly designed to find out how much time and energy is required for me to complete the job before I move on to making a quote, because too many times I've quoted for what I thought was a fair rate. Then by the end of the project, I realized my actual hourly rate, if I'd divided it by the number of hours, was way below minimum wage because the product took so much longer than I had expected. Once we've got our questions answered, we can draw up a quote by multiplying the number of hours we've estimated by our current hourly rate. Now, this is the trickiest part of setting rates for a job. What is a fair hourly rate to charge? I usually set my hourly rate after considering several factors. I'd like to start with minimum wage and then increase it based on how difficult it would be for the client to do the job without hiring me. For example, how much time and money would it take for the client to train one of their employees to make a video as good as I could make? Would they need to buy any equipment? Each of these factors are fair reasons to charge more than minimum wage. If the client wants to film underwater, we can increase the hourly rate a lot because not many people are qualified or have the equipment necessary to pull that off. If the job involves any skills that have taken us years to develop, then that's a good reason to increase the hourly rate too. Once you've determined a starting point for your hourly rate, then you can use a positive or negative multiplier depending on how much you really want the job. For example, I can increase my hourly rate by as much as two times if I'm really busy and the job's going to be time-consuming. But if I'm desperate for work and the project is quite simple, then my hourly rate could be 30 percent below my estimated typical cost. Sometimes I'll quote lower to increase my chances of getting a job that I think would be a really good opportunity for my portfolio, or if it can open the door to a great network of people. But ideally, every job should be a networking opportunity and a chance to learn in addition to simply getting paid. However, in some cases, working for free can make sense if those non-financial benefits are particularly valuable. But before I work for free, I always run through the same price estimations to figure out how much money I'm essentially donating to the client in exchange for the benefits I'm getting. So I can weigh up if it's really worth it. As usual, you can find some extra questions to think about in the workbook PDF. Once I've established an estimate for the cost of my time, I'll then add to that any production costs such as travel, crew, insurance, etc. In the end, I'll have a simple total price that I can quote the client for the entire project. Then they will either accept it, reject it, or try to negotiate with me. Now for some projects, it makes sense to break down the cost so the client can see where each part of the budget is going. But in my experience, the vast majority of clients are most interested in a flat total amount and prefer that rather than paying me a flexible rate depending on how long the project will take. Unfortunately, that's as much of the formulas I can give you for how to set your rates. But anytime when I'm unsure if my quote is too high or too low, I'll check what other filmmakers and production companies are doing in my area. Looking at job listings can give us an idea of how much other filmmakers are charging, and I can adjust based on their rates and the quality of their work. However, setting our rates is only the beginning. It's all up for negotiation with the client. So let's talk about that. 5. How to Negotiate: When negotiating, it's important to consider how long the project will take and the value of non-financial benefits before accepting a counteroffer. On certain projects, I've come down a lot from my initial quote because the non-financial benefits was so valuable. That can mean anything from how much fun it will be to work on the project and the networking opportunities we might get, how many people are likely to see our work, and how valuable the final product will be in our portfolio. If the project has a few of those non-financial benefits, I might be willing to work at a lower rate than usual. But in plenty of cases, I can actually negotiate to reduce the total budget of the project by simplifying it rather than reducing my hourly rate. This way, I'm making the project easier to complete rather than doing the same job for less money. Let's talk about three ways to reduce the budget without losing money and my seven tips for negotiating. Sometimes clients will simply accept our quote for the project, and we're able to get started right away. But if we're ambitious with our quotes, and I think we should be, then there's a good chance that the client might tell us they can't afford to spend so much on the project. This is where if you enjoy negotiating, it gets fun. Here are three ways to reduce the budget without actually losing any money. First, we could consider cutting certain production costs. Expensive equipment rentals could be the first thing to cut, or we could change the location of the shoot or film with fewer crew members to reduce the project's total budget significantly without affecting our effective hourly rate. It's a careful balance though because any of these changes could affect the quality of the final product and therefore hurt our chances of attracting clients in the future. The next option would be adjusting the deliverables. For example, making a five-minute video instead of a 15-minute video. We're going to be careful though because sometimes making a shorter video can actually take much longer to edit. The goal here is to adjust the deliverables until we can save time and/or money. If I was filming a specific event such as a wedding or a music festival, I could simply arrange to arrive later or leave earlier so I can maintain the same hourly rate while saving the clients some money. However, I want to make sure that would actually be helpful. Would I be able to work on another project during the time that I've saved? Will I still be able to deliver a high-quality video if I've got less time to film? Each of these decisions will depend on the specifics of your project and they're informed by our early conversations with the client. We're in the best position to consider which sacrifices they're most likely to accept if we know what their primary goals are and which elements of our original concept they liked the most. We can also consider our own end long-term goals. Is this project valuable to me because of the potential creative growth, building my reputation, or simply getting paid as much as possible? That's very helpful to consider when negotiating. There's a lot to think about, but with practice, it becomes easier to estimate how much time and effort a job would take. At the end of each project, I make sure I look back at my initial quote and think about whether my estimate for the complexity of the project was correct or not, so I can adjust for next time. Seven tips for negotiating. Here are seven of my favorite negotiating tips that have worked for me over the years. Number 1, don't believe every excuse that a client gives for not having the budget available. Remember, it's usually the client's job to get the best deal possible and so they may say things to try and lower the budget despite being very happy to pay more. Number 2, if the client wants to save money, it's often easier to adjust the project to fit their budget, rather than trying to convince them to increase their budget. Number 3, when making a counteroffer, you can always sweeten the deal by offering your client something that benefits them but doesn't cost you very much time or money. This could be as simple as offering them an extra version of the final cut without any background music, so they can easily post clip to their social media or it could be promoting their company on your website. Number 4, if there's a disagreement, I usually like to offer an easy way out for the client. Let's say the client wants to postpone the filming day after we've already agreed and planned for it. I might be tempted to try and convince them to stick with our original dates. But I found that giving them an easy way out is usually more effective. I could say, "Sure, let's shoot later, we'll just need to extend the project's deadline and increase the budget a little bit." That way, I'm accommodating for what they want, but I'm still able to complete the job without losing money or affecting my other projects. Sometimes the client will go back to the original plan to avoid paying extra. But plenty of times I've noticed that clients have been very happy to pay the extra, so they can get what they want. Either option is good for me. Tip number 5, negotiating is a careful balance of compromise and so I find it difficult to negotiate if I really want or need the job. As much as I will try to reassure myself that other opportunities will arise, it's a simple truth that is much harder to negotiate if I'm in a state of desperation. That's why my favorite times to quote for jobs is when my calendar is already full because it's much easier to send a high quote and negotiate boldly, knowing that I can happily walk away from the deal if I need to. Number 6, it's human nature to find rejection difficult, so I make a point to remind myself that I should expect some rejections. After all, if every quote I'm sending is being accepted, then I'm probably undervaluing my work. Lastly, tip number 7, the client might have more money than we expect for reasons that are totally outside of our control. Such as the company could be hoping or expecting to grow a lot in the next year and so they'd be willing to invest a lot in their advertising. Or maybe the company might have had a lot of revenue in the past and so they're actively looking for a tax write-off. At the end of the day, we can estimate what a fair rate is for a certain job. But the truth is we'll never know what a client's real maximum budget for a project is. I'll often quote too high and never hear back from the client. Inevitably, there must have been times I've quoted too low when the client was willing to pay far more and I'll never know how often that's happened. The point is whether client accepts our quote, could have as much to do with the timing of the project or the financials of that company, as it does my abilities as a filmmaker. I try my best not to take it personally. Just do the best I can with the information I have and trust that this job or client won't be my last ones. We'll come back to working with clients and signing contracts later on. But first, let's look at some other ways to fund our projects. 6. Tips for Crowdfunding: Working on branded content is a great way to earn some money, while building skills and connections. But if our goal is to film narrative stories for a living, we'll need to address our second core goal, Building a Reputation. It's my least favorite goal to be honest, but impressing the right people is pretty essential in most areas of filmmaking. Building a reputation means sharing our work and building the prestige that's essential for bigger projects. I'm not talking about trying to impress clients or investors for the sake of our ego, it's so we can get our projects funded and spend more of our time making the things we want to make. Otherwise, we could spend decades making commercials and corporate videos, but it would be difficult to earn the reputation required to convince an investor or production company that we're qualified to make a narrative film. We need to prove that we're capable of telling fictional stories in a longer form. Let's take a look into some options for funding our own projects. Video on-demand services, such as Vimeo Pro or Amazon Prime Video, can be great ways to sell our films after we've made them, so long as we can afford to front the production costs. Fronting the costs makes us entirely independent and if the film is watched by enough people, we'd keep all of the profits. Of course, the flip side though, is that if the film doesn't make its money back, we'd be out of pocket. Films are very risky investments. That chance of losing a lot of money is what pushes many filmmakers into crowdfunding, where we can retain full ownership and creative control without needing to take on so much risk. One of the best ways to start the crowdfunding process would be to self-fund a micro budget short film or proof of concept trailer, which can be the backbone for a crowdfunding campaign. If enough people see the campaign and are sufficiently excited to pre-order their digital copy of the film, then we'll have a production budget and the film's promised release date, is the only thing we'll be bound to. Let's talk about finding our crowd, establishing trust, and effective rewards for backers. Finding our crowd. The obvious but often ignored challenge of crowdfunding, is that it works best when you've already got access to a crowd. If we assume that only a small percentage of the people who see our campaign page will donate, then we'll need to convince a lot of people to click on our campaign in the first place. Let's put the numbers in perspective. I have a friend whose web series gained 100,000 subscribers and 10 million views on YouTube. These numbers translated into about 5,000 people signing up for their newsletter e-mail list, which resulted in 935 crowdfunding backers raising 50 percent of that 100,000 pound target for the second series. Raising 50,000 pounds is definitely an impressive achievement, but it wasn't enough to meet their production budget, and so the project never happened. Now, there are many factors as to why any campaign succeeds or fails. But it's clear to me that having a passionate and fairly large audience, doesn't guarantee success with crowdfunding. There are, of course, a few lucky first-time filmmakers who have found overnight success via crowdfunding. But typically, those with an established audience have better odds. Thinking back to our three core goals, successful crowdfunding requires a certain level of Creative Growth to conceive and pitch an idea that resonates with a lot of people, but would also benefit from any Reputation we've been able to build up to that point. Before launching a crowdfunding campaign, it's strategic to start building an audience by making low budget, micro content, and small-scale self-funded films. To reach the biggest audience possible though, we'll also need to invest plenty of time into marketing and managing the campaign. Running a crowdfunding campaign can easily turn into a full-time job. But, we'll go into much more detail about marketing later on in the class. If we haven't been able to build an audience before starting our film, then we can either trust that our film's campaign will go viral on its own, or we might make efforts to connect with someone who already has an established audience. For example, if we could attach a well-known actor or co-director to the project, then we can find a shortcut to building our team's reputation, which would be very helpful when finding an audience for a campaign. Establishing Trust. Convincing lots of people to pay for a movie long before they ever see it, is no easy task. Most of us don't pay for a movie ticket way before the film has been made, and so building trust with the audience is vital. Our film's concept and campaign video, can go a long way in demonstrating that we are capable of making a good film, but that alone may not be enough. If we can show that we've already got a team of collaborators and that the script is ready to go with locations chosen, then that's some good evidence that we are capable of making the film. In fact, some of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns were based on raising money for post-production, after the film had already been shot. That way the filmmakers were able to include footage in their campaign, and were just asking the crowd for one last push to bringing the project to life. In short, the more work we've done before the campaign, the more likely the audience is to trust us to finish the project. Alongside this, it's also worth noting any awards or previous successes that the people involved with the campaign have achieved. Since a filmmaker who's won lots of awards at film festivals or worked on high profile projects, is usually perceived as more capable and trustworthy. In the campaign, it's worth highlighting any of the achievements we've made towards our second goal of building a reputation. Finally, one of the easiest ways we can convince people that we are the right person to make this film, is by just being honest about how much we care about this project. It sounds kinda obvious, but if someone has enough enthusiasm and moxie, that can be pretty convincing. Effective rewards for backers. So, once we've found our crowd and designed a campaign that looks very promising, we can think about what to give back to the people who are backing our project. Most of the successful crowdfunding campaigns include exclusive rewards for project backers, as well as a downloadable version of the finished film or show. We might also offer limited edition movie posters, a special thanks in the credits, or even tickets to a small in-person premiere. But before offering any awards, we must first consider the logistics of fulfilling these promises. We'll lose trust and damage our reputation if we can't keep up our end of the deal. We need to seriously consider what is realistic to offer. For example, we might choose to limit the number of time consuming rewards, such as one-on-one Skype calls with backers or physical products that require manufacturing and shipping. If the campaign reaches lots of people, we could find ourselves spending weeks doing one-on-one calls instead of actually making the film. Digital rewards such as video downloads or Q&A live streams, are far more easily scalable, because whether 50 people or 5,000 people sign up, our time investment would be the same. Fortunately, we can get ideas for rewards by looking at examples of other crowdfunding campaigns on websites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. We can get some ideas and see what has worked in the past. 7. How to Earn Money With Sponsorships: Crowdfunding is the dream for a lot of filmmakers, but sadly, it doesn't work for every project. An alternative option for independent funding is through advertising and product placement. Now, the most important thing to remember about funding through advertising is that the amount we can earn is entirely dependent on the size and the quality of the audience. Even if we have a huge audience watching our documentary series about the dangers of sugar, it's unlikely that a sugary ice cream brand would want to sponsor it. Whereas even with a small audience, we could probably find a sponsorship deal with a healthy snack's brand because our documentary's themes integrates so nicely with the brand's values. In the workbook, I've listed out some questions I usually ask myself to figure out the best sponsorship integrations for a project. Now when done right, sponsorship or product placement can give us the opportunity to earn money while we develop our filmmaking skills. That could lead us to build the reputation we'll need to convince people that we're qualified to make a film the traditional way. While the revenue from the advertiser provides some financial security or allows us to increase our production budget. That's progress towards all three of our long-term goals, so it's definitely worth considering sponsorship as a source of funding. Let's look at how to find the sponsorship deal and how to create value for advertisers without selling out. If I'm looking for sponsorship for a project, I like to start by putting together a list of potential sponsors in a spreadsheet. This way we can have all of the information in one place and keep track of who we've contacted and what their response was. If I was looking for sponsors for that documentary about sugar, I'd include names of nutritional snack brands, healthy restaurants, supermarkets, and any other companies with values that align with our content. The next step is to look for companies that have already sponsored similar projects. If we're looking for funding for a short film, we might watch the credits of recently popular short films. On YouTube, it's even easier to find the companies that are sponsoring similar channels. Once we've saved a few names into our database, I like to approach potential sponsors via email. I'll find email addresses by looking through each company's website for a contact form or address. But googling to find the names and details of their marketing manager is often more effective. On some occasions, I have even managed to figure out people's email addresses by testing the typical "first name [email protected]" formats. Once I've got a couple of contacts ready, I'm expecting plenty of rejection. I'll just write a short and clear template email enthusing about my project and outlining what I can offer for the company in return for their sponsorship. Then I'll adapt the template to fit with each company. Ideally mentioning the name of the person I'm contacting and talking specifically about that company, so it's clear that I'm not just sending the exact same message to thousands of people. If there's no reply, I like to follow up within about a week and we'll try a third email, or messaging them on social media, or even try a phone call before giving up and moving on to the next batch of emails. If anyone responds, I'll answer any of their questions and try and figure out what would be most valuable to them. Creating value without selling out. If I'm working on a sponsorship deal, I'll have to carefully walk the line between making something that makes the sponsor happy, but I can still be proud to put my name behind. For example, if we were looking for sponsorship for an online web series, we could offset our production costs by including a simple message like, this web series is sponsored by ____ at the beginning of each episode. Or we could go as far as integrating a product into the content itself. Maybe a smartphone company would pay more if our characters use their smartphones on-screen with the logo visible. There's a fine line between providing maximum value for your advertiser and retaining our artistic integrity. I reckon that favoring the advertiser can be lucrative in the short-term, but prioritizing the audience will sustain us in the long run. But what does prioritizing the audience look like? First of all, we should be honest and openly disclose any advertising. Not only because it's a legal requirement in many countries, but because we don't want to lose the trust of our audience. Secondly, we should respect the audience's time by keeping the advertising to a minimum and avoiding promoting irrelevant or controversial products. 8. How to Win Sponsorship Deals: Now, we've already looked at setting rates and making proposals as a filmmaker for hire, but I like to build on that with some pricing and pitching techniques that are unique to sponsorship deals. Let's look at setting sponsorship rates, and then how to make a sponsorship proposal. So if I'm making a video for someone else, I price based on an estimated hourly rate. However, if someone is paying to sponsor one of my projects, then it makes more sense to think about pressing in terms of cost per mille or CPM, which for online video, usually refers to the cost per 1000 views of a sponsored piece of content. This means that if we usually reach an average of 10,000 viewers, then quoting for CPM of $20 would mean setting the sponsorship fee at $200. If we charge a CPM of $50, then we'd asked for $500. If the size of our audience doubles, then we could charge $1000 at the same $50 CPM. That's what makes CPMs so useful. But who sets this CPM rate? A company contacting us about sponsorship may have their maximum cost per thousand views based on their own internal budgets, but we can still negotiate the rates based on what's fair to us. Where do we start? Well, generally, we can charge higher CPMs if we're expecting to generate more revenue for the sponsor, either because we're promoting their products heavily, or because our audience is very likely to purchase their product. For online video sponsorships, I've worked with four main types of sponsorships: shout-outs, integrated sponsorships, dedicated videos, and affiliate marketing. Let's briefly discuss what each sponsorship format entails. A shout-out is a short sponsored segment, which includes a product or brand, and usually encourages the audience to sign up for a free trial or to buy a product. This form of sponsorship usually coincides with a lower CPM since the majority of the video has nothing to do with promoting the sponsor's campaign. It's just that little shout-out segment. Unlike shout-outs, integrated sponsorships usually involve weaving the product into the topic of the video, and promoting the product more substantially. For example, a company might ask me to promote their productivity software, and so I can make a video called "10 Productivity Tips", while using their software all throughout the video. This type of sponsorship is usually more deserving of a higher CPM since the advertising is more substantial. The most expensive type of sponsorship is typically a dedicated video. This is where a brand sponsors an entire video that is solely focused on their product. CPMs for dedicated videos can easily be five or 10 times higher than the CPMs for shout-outs since the entire video promotes the sponsor's campaign. Now, affiliate marketing is the odd one out since the creator earns a commission for generating sales of the sponsor's product. Typically, the audience is encouraged to use a special discount code or purchase via an affiliate link. The content creator then earns a percentage of the revenue that their audience was responsible for, often somewhere between five and 30 percent. If the product doesn't sell well, our effective CPM could be very low even if we promote the product heavily. If the product does sell, it's inevitable that some purchases will fall through the gaps, for example, if someone decides to purchase the product months after watching our advertisement without clicking our affiliate link. Even so these deals can be lucrative if the product aligns with the audience's interests. Remember, there's no guarantee of any earnings. The kind of sponsorship we're offering makes a big difference to our sponsorship rate. But the CPM can also be influenced by the interests of our audience. For example, a web series about professional cyclists could quote a significantly high sponsorship CPM since they have access to an audience with a very niche interest. I suppose the reason being that a company selling cycling products would be more willing to pay a higher CPM so they could reach that audience since they have a good chance of selling lots of products for each 1000 viewers. Quality is just as important as quantity. You can find some typical CPM price guidelines online that will give a good starting point for the different types of sponsorship. But even with those in hand, you know me, I like to consider a few more factors. For example, I might be willing to offer a lower CPM if I think my audience will be really excited to hear about a product, or if a particular sponsorship deal provides me with the chance to make an exciting video that I wouldn't normally be able to make. With sponsorships, everything is up for negotiation. For example, the majority of the sponsorship deals that I've sold had a flat sponsorship fee, which I quoted based on my estimated CPM for the video and its audience. However, occasionally I've offered combination deals where I discounted the flat sponsorship fee if the brand was willing to pay an affiliate commission as well. That said, not everything is up for negotiation. If a company asked me to promote their product for free and just promises that they'll do some paid advertising if the first one performs well, then I'm not going anywhere near that deal. I believe there is inherent value in promoting a product or a service to an audience, even if that doesn't lead to measurable purchases of that product. Plus, I believe the internet advertising is already undervalued compared to the cost of television and magazine advertising, and so I'm always striving to increase my rates. The final guiding principle that I am to use when quoting for sponsorship is a simple case of supply and demand. If every quote I offer is accepted, then I should probably raise my prices. There's a lot to think about there, but in practice, what this really boils down to is estimating sponsorship quotes for each type of sponsorship, and then increasing the rates when views go up, or if I think the company would be likely to pay a higher fee and vice versa. How to make a sponsorship proposal? We've already looked at making proposals for client work, and much of that applies to sponsorship too. So finding out the sponsor's goals for the campaign and striving to communicate our ideas clearly and concisely is definitely worthwhile. However, sponsorship proposals are a little different compared to the treatment for, say, a music video or a TV commercial. We still want the sponsor to fall in love with our ideas, but to put it bluntly, in my experience, plenty of sponsors are more interested in the numbers than the ideas. So when writing a sponsorship proposal, I don't think we need to go into so much detail. For example, I think companies generally only contact filmmakers or creators who they believe are making the right content for their campaign. There's not such a need to convince them that we are capable of making a good video. Practically, this means I'll often pitch the topic of the video in a few sentences of bullet points, but I'll save the detail for explaining how I present their product or integrate it into the video's topic. I often share links to similar popular videos from the past that indicate the chances of success for the video I'm pitching, and I'll always make sure to highlight what they're getting in return for their sponsorship fee. Often that means telling them that I'm going to add a purchase link in the video's description or introducing their product within the first two minutes of a piece of content when the most viewers will be watching. For bigger budget campaigns or more ambitious projects, I'll happily make a multi-page PDF with sketches and visual references, but 90 percent of the time I've found, it doesn't take much more than an email proposal that focuses on marketing and answers a couple of their questions to seal a sponsorship deal with a company's marketing manager. Thanks to modern technology, we have many options for financing our projects: self-funding, crowdfunding, and sponsorship deals. But each of them rely heavily on building a large or at least consistent audience. So we can invest time and effort into making and marketing good content, but until we've built that audience, we might struggle to become profitable. Next up, let's talk about some funding routes that don't require a large audience. 9. How to Fund Projects Without an Audience: Let's say that we've practiced our craft and learned from our mistakes by producing some no budget short films. We've made efforts to build our reputation in the industry, and we've even found some financial security in commercial filmmaking or an unrelated day job. We've reached the point where we're pitching to film something bigger. We've got a clear idea of what we want to make and we're ready to take the next steps. Let's talk about making a business plan, some pitching tips, reducing the investor's risk, and how to get a foot in the door. We'll start with making a business plan. If we're looking to make a larger budget project without using sponsorship revenue or running a crowdfunding campaign, then we can go down the more traditional route of indie filmmaking by finding an investor. But before we even think about contacting an investor, it's worth developing a simple business plan because if we can't see anyway, the project will make a profit, then it's unlikely that an investor would fund our project. We can start with an estimated budget for the production costs and then calculate how many people would need to buy a ticket or watch it on a streaming platform before those costs are recouped. If we're selling our film online, it's pretty easy to run these calculations. Let's say our total production costs were $15,000 and if we're planning to sell the movie on Vimeo for $4, then after Vimeo sales commission and the payment processing fee, we could estimate earning $3 from every sale. Therefore, to recoup the $15,000 production costs we'd need approximately 5,000 Vimeo sales at $3 each. Once we know how our film could make its money back, we need to find a way to pay those upfront costs. Now, unless you're a millionaire, it usually makes sense to ask for investment from a production company, studio, producer, or even a wealthy individual. What does it take to convince one of these people to invest in our project? Well, it usually starts with a pitch which is a brief verbal summary of our project. It's designed to pique interest and spark questions. Everyone has their own pitching style that's entirely dependent on what they're making and who they're pitching to. But I've picked up a few general tips that I'd like to share with you now. Pitching tip number 1, give the headline details at the very beginning of the pitch. The investor or producer will need some key questions answered before they can evaluate the details of the story and how we're going to tell it. I Always make sure I've answered the following questions right at the beginning of my pitch. What are we pitching? Is it a TV show, a feature film? What genre is it? A comedy, a drama? It's also wise to lead with a logline or hook before diving into the minutiae of the plot. A logline usually consists of what does the main character want and what gets in their way? Another key detail for a pitch that's easily forgotten is what we're actually looking for. Do we simply need cash to produce the film or are we looking for someone who can connect us with actors, crew, distribution? If we don't answer these questions early on, the person we're pitching to might love our story, but get distracted wondering what we're actually making and what we actually need help with. Of course, I've listed these questions and a couple of extras in the workbook. Pitching tip number 2, practice with friends and family. A good way to test our pitching skills is by telling our friends and family about the project. While they may not be industry experts, it's helpful to read the room so we can gauge a few people's enthusiasm. One of the best pieces of advice I got from a producer was to do these tests pitches as early as possible, even while writing a script so you can see which parts of the story and which parts of the pitch are resonating with people the most. Then as we develop our pitch and our story, we can pitch again to see how people respond. Pitching tip number 3, use comps strategically. Conciseness is very important when pitching and using a comp, which is short for comparable, can quickly build a picture in people's minds of what our project is. An example of a comp will be something like this film is Romeo and Juliet meets The Exorcist set on Mars. However, we should use comps carefully as they can backfire if it's not clear how our project is similar to those films or if we fail to establish our own projects originality. So comps can be useful, but they're not essential for every pitch. Pitching tip number 4, investors are investing in people, not just projects. As important as it is to sell our story, if I'm pitching, I also need to convince the investors or producers that I am the best person to tell that story. We can start by showing our enthusiasm for the project, letting it come through in our tone of voice and the things we're saying. But we can also demonstrate our ability to tell a story during our pitch. If our project is a comedy, we'll aim to get the room laughing rather than just telling everyone how hilarious the script is. This principle applies to any genre. We should deliver the pitch in a way that gives a taste of how the audience is going to feel when they watch the finished film. Reducing the investor's risk. Although we're likely to focus our pitch on a story, in some cases, we'll need to establish that our project has a good chance of being a profitable investment. The financial side becomes far more important if we're asking for investment in our own production, rather than simply selling a script or collaborating with the production company or studio that will take care of the financial side of our film. Let's imagine that we've written a movie script about a fictional tennis player. In this scenario, we're confident about crowdfunding $1,000 and we're able to contribute another $500 from our own savings. We've made a budget for this hypothetical tennis movie and the total production costs are $30,000. In that case, we'd need to convince investors to give us a total of $28,500 in return for a percentage of the film's profits. How are we going to make that profit? Well, if we use the Vimeo On Demand model, we could estimate earning $3 for every sale. To recoup the $30,000 production costs, we'd need 10,000 Vimeo sales and more if we want to make a profit. We could use our research about the popularity of playing and watching tennis to see if 10,000 is a realistic figure. If it's not, we could reduce the production budget or look for alternative revenue streams, such as product placement with a sportswear company. If investors are trusting us with the financial side of our film, we'll need to show them that we understand marketing. One of the best ways to do this is by highlighting any clear selling points of our project in our pitch. If a famous actor, popular director, or well-known producer is on board, that star power can be a huge factor to bring audiences to a film or TV show. It'd be crazy not to mention that in our pitch. When pitching a small project, we might not have any world-famous act as attached, but we can highlight any accolades or awards that the team behind this film have achieved. We can also highlight other aspects of our project that could be appealing to an investor, harrisome ideas. Firstly, how relevant is our film to the hot topics of today? Stories that capitalize on recent trends and unexplored topics could be valuable as studios and networks compete for audience's attention. How does our storyline differ from other films and TV shows? Stories that subvert audience's expectations or bring a fresh approach to the genre can be very valuable as they tend to generate buzz around to the story. Another thing to think about is whether there's a built-in audience for this project. The successive superhero movie franchises shows how stories that feature existing characters can be a very profitable investment. On an indie budget, can we find any aspects of our story that would be appealing to a group of people in a similar way? Finally, are there any innovative special effects or filmmaking techniques involved in our film? Investors recognize the value of stories that are at the cutting edge since this is something that gets people talking. For example, many blogs and media outlets gave the film, Tangerine, free publicity because it was the first award-winning feature film to be shot on an iPhone. There's plenty to think about when preparing a pitch. But it's no good having a killer pitch if we can't secure a meeting with the right people. How do we get our foot in the door? Once we know what we're hoping to get from an investor or producer and we've practiced our pitch, we still need to find an opportunity to deliver our pitch. Making a short version of our movie or TV show could be our ticket into pitching for a bigger project. We can take our proof of concept short to festivals or publish it online in the hope that someone capable of making a film will see it. Plenty of directors or projects have found success off the back of a micro budget short film. Making a great short film is one way to demonstrate the strength of a project and the team behind it. But we'll probably have to also be proactive about networking with people in the industry. Who can we meet who might know someone who could invest in our project? I'd like to share my favorite piece of advice about getting a foot in the door. One of the easiest ways to get the opportunity to pitch a project is by asking someone who's further along in their career, if we can have a short meeting to ask for their advice about a project. After all, it's much easier to say yes to someone who's asking for some advice rather than someone who's asking for your money. If they agree to have a short meeting with us, then we'll have the chance to pitch our project and they might even ask us some questions or make some suggestions. There is a possibility that they'd put us in touch with someone who might be interested in getting involved with the project. After all, this industry is built on who you know. Plus, there's always a chance that they'd be interested in getting involved with the project themselves or maybe even investing. It's so easy to feel like a nobody in these situations. But anytime I'm pitching, I try to remember that if someone wants to get involved with my project, then they could benefit just as much as I can. If they want to take a chance by investing in us, it's not because they're doing us a favor, it's because they believe that the project is promising and they want to be a part of its success. Even so, it's tempting to over-hype our project when pitching. We could promise hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales and a sizable return on their investment but the entertainment industry is unpredictable and investors know that. The smartest thing we can do is be realistic with our projections and show why we believe there's a good chance our film will be successful. That's why our business plan and marketing research are so important. Finally, as with many parts of filmmaking, pitching involves plenty of rejection and that's tough. My next project might not be a good fit for the people I pitch it to, or I might need to go back and develop my craft as a filmmaker before I get the green light from anyone. That said, I've learned a lot from all of my unsuccessful pitches and I've bean able to meet some people who I may end up working with on future projects. Even just the process of preparing a pitch helps crystallize my vision for a project, and that's valuable even if I end up making it without any outside investment. In filmmaking, no efforts are truly wasted. 10. How to Find Cast & Crew on a Budget: Producing films is one of the easiest ways to burn money. A days filming with six cast and crew members, paid minimum wage plus food and travel expenses can easily cost as much as a decent used car. If we need visual effects or an experienced crew, well-known actors or six weeks of filming, the budget can quickly swell into the millions. I find it hard to believe sometimes, but I know filmmakers who have worked with much bigger budgets and they still feel like there's not enough money to make the project happen. This is why budgeting is so important. Budgeting allows us to compromise and make the best of the budget we have, whether it's $500 or 500,000. Let's talk about building a budget, spending priorities, how to find a crew on a budget, and how to find actors on a tight budget. When I'm budgeting, I usually start by making a spreadsheet to keep track of all the outgoing costs. There aren't really any set rates in independent filmmaking so we can check online for estimates and call up freelancers, businesses to ask for quotes. As we get a better sense of the filming schedule, our budgets accuracy will improve. The shooting schedule has a huge impact on the budget, cutting out just one filming day will save a lot of money, and so it really pays to balance our schedule with the budget in mind. For example, we might swap two scenes around in the schedule so that our most expensive actor can film all of their scenes in one day. If there are multiple locations, we may decide to organize our schedule to minimize travel between the various sets. Something as simple as catering for the cast and crew quickly gets expensive, but it's essential for keeping a good atmosphere on set. There are catering companies that will deliver hot foods, snacks, and drinks directly to the location, but if we're truly on a shoestring budget, we can always buy groceries and prepare meals before the shoot. There's a lot to think about when putting a budget together, and as tempting as it is to be a producer and a director at the same time, there are plenty of cases where hiring a producer could actually save money. Even hiring someone with no producing experience can be really valuable if they have some skills in money management and negotiation. Spending priorities. It's so exciting to me that we can operate cameras without a team of technicians and LED lighting has given us safe, if small lights that are ideal for small crews and small budgets. It's entirely acceptable and possible for beginner filmmakers to shoot alone. In fact, that's often our best option, we can place the microphone on a light stand and operate the camera and lights by ourselves. But as our project develop in complexity, working with the crew becomes more and more valuable. Even if our crew doesn't have a lot of experience, the extra hands and the extra brains make a big difference on the set. When I first started working with the crew, I found it difficult to trust other people with my projects. But I quickly learned that a team can usually do a better job and faster than one person trying to do it all. However, most of us indie filmmakers don't have the privilege of working with a 30-person crew, so I like to make a priority list. Typically this starts with sound, if we have a sound recordist on set, they can hold the microphone or listen in carefully through their headphones. They'll call out if they hear a distant train passing by or let us know if there was any unwanted sound on the previous take. This is incredibly valuable to any production because recording good sound is absolutely vital to a professional and high-quality film. For me, the next priority is usually a production assistant, otherwise known as a runner. They're the person who grabs a charged battery from our bags while we're talking to the actors. If someone needs to leave set to pickup or buy something, they can go while the rest of the crew continues filming. This is a fairly humble role, but should not be underestimated because a good runner keeps any production running smooth. From here, the hiring priorities depend far more in the project and the director. Some directors next higher would be a cinematographer or director of photography, commonly known as a DP, so they can focus their time with the actors while the DP sets up the camera and the light. If the cinematography is simpler, then a first assistant director, known as a first AD, could be more valuable as a third hire. The first AD keeps track of the schedule and can be the logistical mouthpiece for the director. For example, if the runner has a question about their tasks, then go to the first AD rather than interrupting the director. That said, every project is different, our story can inform our spending. If I'm making a period drama, we might prioritize hiring an art director or a costume designer first. Whereas an action film may hire a stunt coordinator or a fight choreographer. Now we've considered priorities, let's look at how to actually find a crew without spending too much money. The process of finding a crew is fairly straightforward if we're able to pay for people's time. We can start with personal connections, asking our filmmaker friends if they can link us with their best production system. After that, the Internet is an excellent place to find people. We can find freelancers with a quick Google Search of the job title, followed by the name of our nearest city. Alternatively, we can host a free advertisement on a job search site and choose from the applicants. Usually the best person for the job will stand out based on their previous work and we can contact them to figure out the details of the gig. Now, hiring a couple of people for a few days work can be cost-effective if our schedule is efficient. But sometimes, this just isn't feasible. If we lack the budget to hire people, then it's time to get creative. Back in the day, I used to ask my friends to help and I'd just promise them lots of food and a good time on set. Most people can be taught how to hold a microphone pretty easily, and so we can ask the people who are most likely to enjoy being part of the project. For example, if I know someone who just loves planning parties, then why not see if they'd like to organize the shoot? We can do even better by trading favors rather than asking favors. If we can offer to help on someone else's project in return for them volunteering on us, then we might do very well. There are online groups for finding filmmakers and we can volunteer on student films and go to film festivals, anything that connects us to the local film community. It is possible to find a crew who will work for free, but we've got a responsibility to find ways to support them without exploiting them. At a minimum, we should cover our cast and crews travel expenses and provide food and drink on set. Beyond that, we should be very respectful of their time and offer water and coffee breaks. We should make a real effort to give them credit for their work wherever we can and we should send the film and it's footage so they can use it in their portfolios. Finally, we should actively look for opportunities to hire these people to work on paid gigs or recommend them to other clients. Finding actors on a budget and for free. There are plenty of free casting websites where we can request showreels and self-tape scene readings for paid acting roles. It can take a while to come through the applicants but this approach gives us access to a huge network of talent without breaking our budget. If we truly don't have any money to give to the actors, then we need to find something else to offer them in exchange for their time. High profile actors occasionally donate their time when they fall in love with the story or when they care deeply about a films subject matter. So the first step is making sure our story is as strong as possible. After that, we can respectfully ask actors if they'd like to be involved with project. This humble approach tends to get a better response than if we oversell the project as if it's some huge opportunity or use the dreaded phrase of promising lots of exposure. Even so, the likelihood of someone you never met, donating their time to our project is slim, so we may need to think outside the box. For example, every up-and-coming actor is looking for fresh footage for their showreel. Why not offer to make some custom-made real shots in exchange for their appearance in our film. We can approach acting students who may be willing to work unpaid in exchange for the opportunity to network and expand their portfolio but I think it's important not to use any ambiguous promises of future paid work because it's easy to doubt that stuff and so it's worth being specific and honest. I find the best rule of thumb is to ask myself, would I take this job if I was in their situation? That's a wrap for spending priorities and we haven't even mentioned equipment yet. That's next. 11. What Equipment Should I Buy: I've put together a shopping list of the most inexpensive equipment that I would buy if I was starting as a filmmaker today. But first, I have to be honest about my addiction to purchasing camera gear and how that's affected my filmmaking over the years. When I first started making films, I had a bit of a gear addiction, and I'd spent every penny I could on equipment. Nowadays, I think this attitude is unhelpful as it implies that gear is the most important part of a production. My obsession with equipment meant that instead of paying to hire actors, I used to ask my friends to volunteer so that I could keep saving up for a new lens. Looking back, I wish I'd spent the money hiring a professional actor instead of buying a lens, because I think having a real actor on set which made it much bigger difference to the final project. It's easy to see the cutting edge equipment on a big Hollywood movie production and believe that expensive gear must be necessary to make a good film. However, I have to remind myself that Hollywood productions only spend a tiny portion of that total budget on equipment. The actors usually being paid far more than the total value of the gear that's filming them. Nowadays, I try to do the same and I do spend a small fraction of my income on equipment. Fortunately, filmmaking equipment gets better every single year, and so we don't need to spend much money to build a powerful filmmaking kit. There are lots of excellent and inexpensive cameras on the market today. When it comes to cameras, my opinion is that any camera will do. With good quality audio and decent lighting, even the cheapest cameras will be very effective. I filmed with this Canon T3i for many years and I never had any trouble from clients saying why I'm using such an old and inexpensive camera. Nowadays, the most expensive camera I'd recommend for beginners is something like a Sony A6100, but there are cheap offerings from Panasonic like the G7 that will be more than capable for most filmmakers. I'm a big fan of buying second-hand cameras too. Far more important than the camera is audio, and the basic audio recorder with a 3.5 millimeter microphone input costs around $70. If we can find some cheap headphones and tape a small shotgun microphone to the end of a painter's pole or a broomstick, then we'll have a solid audio setup that costs less than most photography lenses. Once our audio setup a strong, we can use literally any camera, smartphones included and free editing software. For example, DaVinci Resolve or HitFilm Express for high-quality results. To get started, we can film handheld and invest in a basic tripod if we need some more stable footage. The lighting, we can make use of the sun's natural light or the available light fixtures in most indoor rooms. This equipment may not be glamorous, but it's very powerful when it's used creatively. Later on, we can build up our lighting equipment so we can allow for more control and consistency in our image. The budget lighting kit could start with inexpensive but powerful LED work lights, which can be found at a hardware store. If we're willing to spend a little more, we could pick up a basic fluorescent soft box kit, which usually includes light stands as well. With that alone, we'll be able to control the light direction and can bounce it from the ceilings and the walls to change its quality. I believe that any equipment purchases we make should be run through our long-term goals. Is this gear going to help us grow creatively, learning skills that will help with future projects? Is having this equipment going to help us build a strong reputation? One thing's for sure, buying an equipment usually doesn't help without financial security. In fact, I would wager that there are plenty of things we can do to give our projects the best chance of success without investing money. We can spend hours developing our ideas, writing and rewriting, and the only cost would be our time. We can write a script that's tailored to our budget, for example, a modern day drama is usually less expensive to film than a war epics set in the 1940s. I believe that making those kind of decisions will help us meet our goals of growing creatively and building a reputation much more than buying gear ever could. 12. Tips to Reduce the Cost of Filmmaking: Once we've got a team in place to help us with our film and we've got equipment to shoot it, the remaining budgeting decisions vary greatly depending on the project. Sometimes it makes sense to spend a big chunk of the budget on costumes, and other times, we should set aside most of the budget for post-production. Our goal with budgeting is to be as objective as we can and really assess where that money would make the most difference to our final project. That said, I do have seven pieces of general advice that I like to put into practice for my projects. Number 1. Always negotiate. When we're given a quote from a business such as a catering or location hire company, in most cases, there's some room for negotiating a lower rate, so just ask. Number 2. Look for less expensive ways to solve the problem. Thinking outside of the box can save us a lot of money. Can we use stock footage rather than hiring a helicopter to film aerial shots? Can we use visual effects to make virtual backgrounds instead of building a large set? Even if we decide to use the more expensive option in the end, I never regret considering the budget friendly options first. Number 3. Invest in sound. If the sound is half of the movie-going experience, and many directors have said that it is, then our budget should aim to reflect that. For example, I don't like to spend any money hiring a cinematographer until I've already budgeted for a great sound recordist. Number 4. Save some money for marketing. If we're going to invest our time and our money into making a film, it's wise to invest a portion of that into giving it the best chance of being seen. This varies from project to project, but 10 percent of the total budget is usually a good place to start. Number 5. Rent gear that's not going to be used regularly. Renting gear ensures that we can always choose the best tool for the job. We don't have to buy and store lots of expensive specialty equipment. Side note, DPs often have their own cameras and some recordists often bring their own microphone to set. It's totally possible to make a film without owning very much gear at all. Number 6. Save some money for post-production. If I'm spending money on the production, it's usually sensible to spend some money in post as well. Depending on the project's budget, I usually like to hand off the tasks that I'm least comfortable with. For example, I'm not very good at sound mixing and it takes me a long time. That's an ideal role for someone else to do. Number 7. Adapt to the project's needs. Like many parts of film-making, budgeting is something that changes dramatically from project to project. I bet there are projects where filmmakers have spent 60 percent of their entire budget just to pull off one elaborate scene, and I couldn't say that that was a bad idea unless I've read their script and watched their film. At the end of the day, the audience will only see what's between the frame lines and they won't know how we divided up the budget. 13. How to Avoid Client Disasters: For simplicity, anytime I say client in the next 15 minutes, I'm talking about anyone who's paying our bills. It could be the person who has commissioned us to make a video or a commercial, it could be the sponsor who's funding our show, or it could be the producer who's developing our movie. Let's briefly cover a few tips for avoiding client disagreements and some general practices for protecting ourself with legal contracts, as well as four clauses that I aim to include in most of my contracts. Sometimes, you'll come across clients who are very particular about what they are looking for. This can easily devolve into a battle for creative control, so it's our job to communicate with them in a way that develops trust and manages their expectations. Since plenty of clients won't have the filmmaking background that we do, there are bound to be times when their ideas simply aren't logistically possible or they may not have the effect that they're hoping for. Our job isn't just to blindly follow their instructions, we can use our filmmakers mindset to guide them in the right direction. In these cases, I do my best to try and tactfully explain my point of view and then give them a few options for them to choose from. Or we can even brainstorm together. But at the end of the day, they are the boss and so we'll need to respect and execute their ideas if we want to continue the project. For times when there is a significant difference of opinion, we could always give the client what they want and then donate some extra time to the project so we can make a director's cut and include that in our portfolio so we can use that to build our reputation. Finally, I've learned to accept that plenty of projects will just fizzle out. No matter how enthusiastic the client is, I do my best not to count my chickens until a contract has been signed. Some clients simply stopped replying to emails or decide that the budget is too high and I think this is just part of the lifestyle of a filmmaker. These things happen to everyone. I was taught that I should sign a contract with anyone I'm working with, even if there's no payment involved. This was an invaluable lesson. I've avoided so many legal nightmares by saying one simple sentence, please refer to Section X in our contract. Before we go any further, I have to say that I am definitely not a lawyer and the following is not legal advice. It's just some principles that have been helpful for me in my situation. But I'd like to start with a contract template that I found online and adapted to outline what each party has promised to do, that's me and the client usually. We can include deadlines for work, deadlines for payments, working hours, we might even describe what would happen if the project was totally canceled by either party. Ideally, we'd consult a lawyer for every contract we write or sign. However, on a low budget, I'll often just use a dictionary to decipher a contract that I'm signing, and if I'm writing a contract, I'll just try and make my language as clear and specific as possible. If we're hiring an actor or a crew member, we'll usually draft an agreement that includes how much we're paying them and the services they are providing us. Anyone who's going to be identifiable in our film will also need to sign a talent release form to give us permission to use their image and likeness. But with any contract, it's my responsibility to look out for my own interests. If I'm being hired for a job, I'm regularly shocked by what clients try to include in the first draft of their contracts. I've been asked to sign agreements that entitle the client to unlimited re-edits without any additional payment. Many of clients have snuck in little clauses that say they can terminate the agreement at anytime, even if I've already invested money and time into the project. My three simple contract suggestions are, number 1, prepare for the worst-case scenario. Before signing a contract, I look at every single clause and think if there's any way that it could be exploited against me. For example, if I have negotiated with a client that I will cover the cost of travel for the shoot, but then the client is the one who gets to determine where we're going to be filming, then theoretically, the client could choose a filming location in another country and I would be legally obligated to pay huge travel costs. Even if the client seems totally trustworthy, there's no need for me to sign something that puts me in a vulnerable position. If I'm unhappy with any part of the agreement, I'll suggest changes. For example, in this case, I might suggest modifying the contract so that the it will say that the client would pay for any additional travel expenses if they go beyond a specified maximum. Another way to protect myself would be to specify the filming location in the contract. Maybe I could limit it to one city or within a 10-mile radius of an agreed upon location. Tip number 2 is make your own contract templates. If you work with clients or hire crew members on a regular basis, you'll find yourself writing a lot of contracts. I like to have a few of my own template contracts that I can copy and paste from rather than starting from scratch each time. This ensures that I don't rush through such a crucial part of the process. Tip number 3 is get organized. Once a contract is signed, I'll usually make some notes of all the things that I've promised and I'll add some key dates to my calendar, as well as making a digital and physical copy of the signed agreement. This way, if there are any problems with the client during the project, I can refer back the agreement without needing to search for a piece of paper at the bottom of a drawer or digging through long email threads to find the agreement. When I work for someone else., I aim to include these four clauses in all of my contracts. Number 1, retention of full creative control. If I have creative control, then I can still take the client's feedback into account, but I'm not promising that the final product will be exactly as they expect. I'm very hesitant to sign contracts where the client is entitled to unlimited revisions or unpaid reshoots for vague reasons such as unsatisfactory work. In these cases, I might ask the client to remove the clause, unless they can define what they would class as unsatisfactory and include that in the contract. Number 2, ownership of the intellectual property rights to the work. In many cases, the client doesn't actually need to own the rights to my footage. Instead, I prefer to grant them a non-exclusive license to our video. This way I'm free to reuse or republish the footage without needing to ask for the client's permission. However, if the client insists on owning the footage, then I'll make sure that the fee is raised to reflect the extra value that they're receiving. Number 3, payment of at least 50 percent upfront. Filmmaking jobs often involve investing a lot of time into planning before the shoot even takes place. Getting paid upfront helps with cashflow ahead of the shoot, but it also financially commits the client to following through with the project. This way, if the project folds before production starts, we've still been compensated. Number 4, non-financial benefits. If part of the deal involves payment or benefits that aren't money, then we can include that in the contract too. For example, if the company has promised to credit our work with a link to our website, we can make sure the contract clearly mentions that. For some reason, I enjoy trolling through a contract to try and figure out if it's fair or not and I find negotiating revisions weirdly satisfying. But plenty of filmmakers really struggle with this stuff and so I think it's really important that if we're unsure about a contract, we should talk to a trusted agent or a lawyer, if possible. Or at the very least, we should talk to other filmmakers who can help us see if we're being ripped off. 14. How to Build an Audience: Whether we're running a crowdfunding campaign, releasing our work for free online, or selling tickets to watch our film, it is in our interest to spread the word about our projects. From video games to TikTok, there are more things competing for our attention than ever, and so marketing is more important than ever. I think many filmmakers neglect the marketing process because it seems so separate from the artistry of making a film. I'm guilty of this. In the past, I've avoided thinking about marketing because I thought it would hinder the purity of my creative process. I also figured that if I could just focus all of my attention and budget on making the best film possible, then my work would speak for itself. This strategy can work, since word of mouth is an effective and free way to get more people to see our film, but we'll still need that initial audience to get the momentum building. I'll be taking a risk to just trust that that will happen naturally. Nowadays, I think that if I spent weeks, months, or years producing a film or series, I'd be doing myself and the cast and crew a disservice if I didn't put some effort into marketing. So now with every project, I do put some energy into marketing, from the very beginning, and not just for financial reasons, after all, the more successful our project is, the easier it'll be to fund our next project. So let's talk about advertising versus publicity, and who is our core audience? How can we reach our core audience, and what do we say to our core audience? First up is advertising and publicity. I used to think that marketing was all about paying for some form of advertising that will hopefully generate some revenue later on. But marketing is so much more than that. It's true that advertising is fairly straightforward, for example, a Hollywood film may spend millions to have their 30-second teaser trailer broadcast on television during prime viewing hours. As indie filmmakers, we could create a poster or a trailer for our film, and pay a fraction of the cost to advertise our project on social media, independent websites or podcasts. Publicity, on the other hand, is the other side of marketing that doesn't cost any money. When an actor shows up on a talk show, that's not because the film's marketing team has paid for the opportunity. It's a trade. The talk show benefits from getting a famous person on their show, and in return, the actor gets to talk about the new film. The film and the chat show have both gained something. Now, most of us indie filmmakers won't be working with a cast or crew famous enough to do that, but we can still benefit from publicity in small ways. Anytime a local newspaper writes a review of our film, that's publicity. We can even take lessons from the smallest publicity campaigns by creating something so newsworthy that media outlets can benefit from writing about our project. These kind of publicity stunts either require a deep understanding of what is considered newsworthy, or a great deal of luck. But before we go spending money and time on advertising or publicity, we must ask, who is our core audience? If we have millions to spend, then we could run expensive ads to promote our work to the masses. Most of us don't have those kind of funds at our disposal. Research has proven that if someone's friend recommends them to watch a film, then that actually makes more of a difference than if a film has got wide critical acclaim. So with that in mind, we can be smart about how we use our resources to draw up a strategy that will kick-start our project's momentum, via word of mouth. I like to start by imagining who might be most likely to tell someone else about my film. Then I focus my efforts on marketing to those people. Let's call those people our core audience. It's impossible to make something that appeals to everyone, so we need to think carefully about who these people are. With the huge success of Disney's live action remakes and superhero sequels, it's clear that one way to get people to watch is by making a film about something people already care about. Nostalgia is a very powerful thing, and is very easy to identify the core audiences of a superhero film, fans of that superhero. As indie filmmakers, we can make use of a similar marketing strategy on a much smaller scale. Let's say we've made a documentary about the discovery of a vintage electric guitar that had been played by many famous musicians, and been missing for decades. Based on the subject matter, we can think about groups of people who might care about this film, more than the average person. For example, vintage electric guitar collectors, people who work at guitar stores, rock music enthusiasts, or more specifically, fans of the artists who are mentioned in the documentary. Finally, guitar teachers. However, the film's subject matter is just one marketing angle we can look at. If we're trying to identify the core audience for a period drama, then we might look to the fans of period dramas set in similar time-frames, or even the residents of the town that our film was set in. I made a list of questions that I like to use to determine my project's core audience, and I've put it in the workbook. So now that we've looked at our film from every angle to figure out who it might resonate with, we'll need to look for ways to reach those people. Let's go back to our documentary about vintage guitars. For that film, it'd be fair to predict that putting a poster for our movie in a vintage guitar store would be more effective than putting the same poster in a pet store, even if the pet store has three times more customers. Using the same logic, we can advertise at small websites or events where vintage guitar enthusiasts might visit. We could contact the Rockstars mentioned in our film, and see if they'd promote it to their audience on social media. By focusing our marketing efforts on the people who are most likely to get excited about our film, our marketing budget will go much further, no matter how small it is. After we found a way to reach the people who are most likely to love our film, we've then got to consider how we might convince them to spend their time, and possibly money, on our film. I start by asking, what might appeal to this film's core audience? Will people decide to watch our film because it's going to make them laugh or appeal to their curiosity for drama? Any marketing materials from the film's trailer, title, and poster should be carefully designed with this in mind. In most cases, it's an emotion that brings audiences in, its joy with a comedy, fear with horror films. But in some cases, the appealing factor could be the novelty of the production process itself. For example, Richard Linklater's film, Boyhood, make plenty of headlines because it was filmed over the course of 12 years, a decision that gave that film lots of free publicity. However, with any marketing campaign, we have to be careful not to misrepresent our film. If the appealing factor of our film is that it will be scary, then horror fans could be easily disappointed if our film did not deliver on their expectations. A misleading marketing campaign could result in people telling their friends how disappointed they were with our film, or even worse, not talking about it at all. The smaller our marketing budget is, the more important it is to be laser-focused on reaching our film core audience, so we can promote our film in a way that is most likely to appeal to them. 15. I’ve Finished My Film, Now What?: Film distribution is not something I'm going to talk about in too much detail today since it's often out of the hands of filmmakers. Decisions are made between producers, agents and distributors. However, as an indie filmmaker who has self distributed all of my projects, I've seen that it's worth having an overall understanding of how the big players do it and how we can apply that to our own smaller projects. Let's think about the best platform for our project and the best time to release our film. The platforms available to filmmakers are changing over time. Currently I think the four distribution methods, most relevant independent filmmakers are free online distribution. By making our project available for free on a site like YouTube or Vimeo, we have the potential for reaching the widest possible audience. This can be useful if we're making a short film as a calling card to get a bigger project funded. If our online audience is large enough, we might even earn revenue through crowdfunding, merchandise sales or advertising. The second distribution method is pay-per-view sales. If the project's budget is low and there's a large enough audience, we can sell digital copies of our film directly to the audience. The third method distribution is festivals and competitions. Entering film festivals can be a good way to gain some credibility as a filmmaker, giving our film an audience and possibly giving us valuable industry connections. The fourth one is streaming platforms. Finding success at festivals or other distribution platforms can lead to getting on Netflix or other streaming platforms like Hulu, Apple TV Plus, all of which are constantly searching for high-quality content that they can acquire. With at least four platforms to choose from and many different bridge to take on each one, how do we figure out the best platform for our project? I think it comes down to three main factors. The first one is duration. For film festivals, the most suitable duration tends to be feature-length films around 90 minutes, or short films, less than 40 minutes, but the ideal is around 10 minutes so that festivals can schedule their programs easily. Whereas for free online distribution, micro contenders between one and 20 minutes in duration, usually released more than once a week, has proven to be most effective for sustaining an online audience. The second thing is the audience. Each platform has its own audience. Younger people tend to use social media. Live television is generally more for older people and projects that are considered less artistic, like soaps or reality TV, have had more success on streaming platforms rather than in festivals. The third factor is budget. The cost of our production can also impact the platform. So free online platforms usually make the most sense for content that's cheap and fast to produce. Because it's usually unsustainable to invest a lot of money and time into content while building an audience. Thanks to the streaming platforms paying customers, they tend to usually pay for bigger, more expensive productions, as long as they believe enough people will watch. Whereas festivals are open to projects of all budgets, but the most prestigious ones have plenty of larger budget productions since winning can be so valuable. We can think about our project's duration, audience, and budget when considering the ideal home for it. Of course, there is no reason why our film, documentary or YouTube series can't be distributed across more than one platform. Most of the movies released by traditional studios use windowing for distribution, starting with cinema release, before moving to pay-per-view streaming platforms or DVD sales. Towards the end, they might license for television broadcast or subscription funded streaming platforms. To simplify drastically, if someone wants to see a film early, they'll usually have to pay more. This way the film's biggest supporters end up paying more and eventually the people who wouldn't have paid even a dollar to watch it, can see it for free on TV or Netflix. Indie filmmakers can apply the same windowing approach, for example, starting with a pay-per-view model to capture maximum revenue from the project super fans, and then eventually racing on Amazon Prime, where it would not earn as much per viewer, it could easily generate less than $0.1 per viewer, but they could reach a far larger audience. With free online distribution, there are even more ways to window content, such as using a platform like Patreon, so that viewers could pay to watch exclusive bonus content, or they can see the regular content a week before it's published to YouTube or Vimeo. When is the best time to release our film? In the UK where I live, films often generate more than 30 percent of their box-office earnings within the first three days. This puts a huge emphasis on the film's opening weekend and usually cinemas will determine the number of screenings to give a film based on its success during those first days. How does this apply to us indie filmmakers? On social media there's definitely an opening weekend equivalent, but rather than ticket sales, it's a complex algorithm that's measuring the success of a video or post. For example, if the people who click on the video watch more than 90 percent of it, then YouTube will take that into account and share it even more widely. These engagement based measures drive most of the online platforms. It's important to consider the opening weekend effect, even if we're releasing or marketing our projects online. What can we do to point our social media posts towards the people who are most likely to watch the whole trailer and comment on it or share it with like-minded people? Because we want those people to see at first. More broadly, we should consider the timing of our release to avoid the typical periods when our core audience might be at work or at school. With an international audience, we'll have to compromise based on the time zones where the majority of our audience will be. Outside of selecting the best time to release our film and marketing materials, we've also got to consider other entertainment that might be competing for our audience's attention. For example, a new release from a major game franchise has been trying to take up a lot of attention of many 16-24 year-old male audiences and the live finals of popular reality TV shows can also impact certain demographics. To avoid our project being overshadowed, we can look at the calendar of popular movies, TV shows, and video games to find the ideal release date based on what we think our core audience would be interested in. 16. Final Thoughts: Anytime I think about finances and career goals, it's really easy to get caught up in unhelpful thoughts. I compare myself to other people, and then I feel guilty if I haven't reached an arbitrary goal by an arbitrary age. I find it much easier to ignore all of that noise if I write down my goals, so I can stay focused on what's important, rather than chasing the biggest paycheck I can get this month or chasing after my ego. I think it's important to get even more specific than the three core goals that we've been looking at already. It's not always easy to know which one to prioritize. Even then, what creative growth or reputation would be most beneficial to us? Let's wrap up this class with some career based questions that I've been asking myself recently, maybe they'll be useful to you, too. When it comes to creative growth, which areas do I want to develop in most? Creative writing, directing, social skills, communication. What would it take to develop in those areas? Is it just a case of practice? What or who can I learn from? For building a reputation, what kind of reputation is required for the kind of work I want to be doing? Finally, for financial security, do I need to earn as much money as possible right now, or can I prioritize one of the other goals? For how long will I be comfortable with my current financial situation? Those questions are all in the workbook which I've decided to print and hang up somewhere so I don't forget what's important to me. The film, TV and online video industries are tough, they are ruthless. But it's one of the most fulfilling careers out there with opportunities to meet incredible people and tell stories for a living. There's a good reason why so many people want to get involved. Here's a consolidation of some key takeaways I'm going to be remembering for the future. When pitching, my goal is to present myself and my ideas clearly, concisely, and with plenty of personality. When quoting, I want to be confident enough to quote high, even if it's a little scary. With clients, I want to make sure I find out what's important to them without losing sight of what's important to me, so I can negotiate boldly but fairly. Finally, I don't want to forget marketing. Because even if we've done everything right before, during, and after filming, it'll be tough to reach any of my long-term goals if people don't watch what I've made. That's a wrap. Thanks for joining me on this class. If you want to learn more about filmmaking, then keep an eye out for my other classes here on Skillshare. This is actually my second one. There's a third class coming soon. I really hope you found this class useful and I wish you the best with your creative career.