Want the short answer? Make another one!
If you haven't followed me on my journey of making a micro-budget short film you can get caught up here
So if you are like me and you just completed your micro-budget short film you are probably wondering what you should do next. Here are 4 tips to help you!
Tip 1 — "Share Your Film With Your Local Film Community"
Yes, you probably expected me to tell you that you should sell your short, get your distribution deal and hire representation and your are off to Hollywood! Well, that probably won't happen just due to the odds and all of the factors that have to play out BUT if it does, congratulations! If not, you should really consider engaging with your neighborhood film community. This can be local film showcases in your city or even online but the point is not really to receive accolades even though it will feel rewarding. No, the ultimate goal is to continue to build your presence in your town and increase your reach to collaborate with other talented filmmakers. The goal is to get better at your craft, not just receive an award.
Tip 2 — "Make Your Next Film"
You should be continuing that filmmaker high of creating and moving towards your next film. This is a great opportunity to analyze your previous production and what it took to create that film. Now if there were some things about your shot composition or production design that you wished you corrected while filming, well here is your chance to correct the areas that you missed on your previous film. Making films is about growth and having fun and it's important to know that now, because when the larger budgets begin to knock at your door you will need the fuel of love and passion for creating when you are also being demanded to be a savvy business man or woman as well (aka "the business"). So use this opportunity to not become complacent and entitled. In the words of Jay Z — "ON TO THE NEXT..."
Tip 3 — "Yep, Distribution"
Well, I know I said not to get fixated on this tip earlier but it just depends where you are in your journey. Ultimately, being a professional filmmaker means that we still need some sort of return on our investment because movies are investments. If you have made it to this point in your career then it's time to learn the business. I will be posting a much deeper discussion in the ways that you can learn about distribution and distribution deals but for now it's great to start researching "who's who" in the areas of online platforms and media and distribution companies. This can be done by visiting companies that you enjoy watching and finding out who sits in what seat at the company. Most of this information can be found on the company's website along with LinkedIn. Follow them, reach out and cultivate a relation for knowledge, not a sales pitch. They get those 200 times a day. Currently our film "Goodbye" was packaged for Aspire TV platform just off the years of networking and relationship building from our director Ashley Anjalique. See why TIP 2 is so important?
Tip 4 — "Create Your Brand"
I bet you weren't expecting that huh? Brand is so important as a filmmaker. Our films can contain powerful messages and can come from the heart and if that happens then those feelings and experiences should be associated with you as the filmmaker. For example, there are about 5 Batman movies with different directors and different Batmans but Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight resonates with many as the most articulate telling of them all. That can be attributed with Nolan's brand of storytelling that becomes very recognizable. Filmmakers like Spike Lee, Tarantino have a recognizable style of storytelling that their brand can be the hiring point before they even pitch their next movie for financing. In short, you should be that brand aware when it comes to your films.
Carlos Bradley is an Atlanta based filmmaker, and the founder and President of the Society for Cinematographers of Color. His work can be seen on network digital platforms, and in various publications. Be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram and reach out — "I love meeting new filmmakers!"