Filmmaker’s Process Is Dead. Long Live Filmmaker Freedom

Filmmaker’s Process Is Dead. Long Live Filmmaker Freedom

Today, Filmmaker’s Process is officially dead, a thing of the past.

But don’t worry. From the ashes, a new brand is sprouting up. A far more ambitious, meaningful brand: 

Filmmaker Freedom.

This is a hugely exciting change for me, and I hope it will come to energize and inspire you as well.

Because, if all goes according to plan, this will become the single most valuable place on the internet for independent filmmakers.

I know, I know. That’s a huge promise. 

But I’m confident that I’ll not only make good on that promise, but exceed all of your expectations for what a filmmaking blog can be.

What Filmmaker Freedom stands for, and what it means for you

Filmmaker Freedom stands for both artistic freedom and financial freedom. Not one or the other. But both, at the same time.

I’m hellbent on creating a better way forward for indie filmmakers. Because our current system just ain’t cutting it.

Put more directly, Filmmaker Freedom is the ability to make the films you actually want to make, and then earn a comfortable, consistent living directly from those films.

That’s right. No more day jobs you hate in order to subsidize your real passion. No more “working below the line” because that’s as close as you can get to your real dream. I’m talking about actually supporting yourself from your original films.

If that sounds like something you want from your life, read on, friend.

Why I’m staging a revolution, and how we're going to build a better system

Here’s the problem. The “indie film business” as we know it is a broken, frustrating clusterfuck of inefficiency and opportunistic middle men. It doesn’t serve filmmakers well, and it doesn’t serve audiences well. And that’s putting it gently.

Unless you want to be one of the small sliver of filmmakers who make $10–25 million “indie films,” this business ecosystem won’t continuously put food on your table. Instead, it’ll chew you up and spit you out and make you question why you got into filmmaking to begin with.

Yeah, I’m pretty cynical about this stuff. But I’ve watched countless friends give up on their filmmaking dreams because this business just isn’t worth the frustration. Hell, I nearly gave up myself.

That’s why Filmmaker Freedom isn’t about helping you succeed in the current state of the indie film business. It’s about fundamentally reshaping how the indie film business works from the ground up.

Filmmaker Freedom is the ability to make the films you actually want to make, and then earn a comfortable, consistent living directly from those films.

Yep, I’m staging a revolution, and you’re invited to tag along.

After all, we’ve got to be the change we want to see in the world, right?

And the world I want to live in is one where all indie filmmakers can thrive—both artistically and financially—if they put in the work.

But as things stand right now, your odds of financial success from your original work are dismally, astronomically, laughably low. 

Again, sorry to be so blunt, but we have to be honest and not delude ourselves. That’s the first step towards change.

So instead of creating another site that shows you how to beg for money or “pitch distributors,” I’m going to show you how to control your own destiny as a filmmaker. If you decide to stick around, you’ll learn how to…

  • Craft films you’re truly proud of, films you’re excited to put out into the world.
  • Build an audience who cares just as much about your films as you do.
  • Sell your films (even short films) directly to that audience. No middle men.
  • Create systems so that you can scale your indie film business and earn a comfortable, consistent living (both for you and your collaborators).

What’s even better, though, is that for all of this to happen, you don’t need to rely on film festivals or sales agents or distributors. You don’t even need to raise or spend crazy amounts of money. You just need a few things.

  1. The drive to keep making original films and creating intellectual property.
  2. An entrepreneurial sensibility and a strong work ethic.
  3. A working understanding of human psychology.
  4. The willingness to think outside the box, experiment, and do things differently than your peers.
  5. The dedication and grit to keep going, especially when things get hard.

Those aren’t easy requirements. And honestly, many of the indie filmmakers I’ve met don’t have them. At least not yet. 

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So if you just want to make your films and never have to think about business stuff, I get it. That’s totally cool, and I wish you the best.

But if you’re open to creating a better future for yourself, and you want to start cultivating those traits I outlined above, this site will be there to guide you on your journey. 

Now here’s the best part. It doesn’t matter where you live. This business model will work for you if you’re in the US, Europe, India, Africa, or China.

Hell, it’ll work for you if you live in Antarctica. So long as you have an internet connection and the drive to make films, it will work for you. Pinky promise.

Fair warning, though. It’s not going to happen quickly. And it’s not going to be easy. In fact, parts of this journey will be just as frustrating as if you had gone the traditional route.

But in the long run, if you put in the work, you will earn your freedom, both artistic and financial. That’s my promise to you.

How will this site change, and what can you expect going forward?

There are quite a few changes coming your way. But the most obvious one is that I’m going to start talking quite a bit more about business.

Now, when I say business, I don’t mean it in a “Silicon Valley” or “giant corporation” sense. Nope, fuck that noise. That’s the antithesis of how indie filmmakers should approach their work.

Instead, I’m going to be talking about indie business. I’m going to show you how to build a small, but passionate audience of like-minded people. And I’m going to show you how to earn your living by producing films that make that audience (and you) quite happy. Plus, I’m going to show you how to make it all sustainable.

Instead of creating another site that shows you how to beg for money or “pitch distributors,” I’m going to show you how to control your own destiny as a filmmaker.

It’s a totally new take on how indie filmmaking can be profitable, but I’ve already seen in work in numerous other mediums, and I’ve seen it work for the handful of filmmakers who’ve been ballsy enough to try it.

Again, this stuff works. I’m not just pulling it out of my ass.

So from here on out, the content on this site will be divided into three distinct categories:

  1. Mindset: It doesn’t matter how good you are at making films if your mind isn’t in the right place. Luckily, no one on the internet is as good at teaching this stuff as I am. #humblebrag
  2. Craft: This is all about making quality work that you’re proud of with tiny budgets. That’s why there will be a huge emphasis on telling stronger, more engaging stories, because that’s the ultimate tool in the micro-budgeter’s kit.
  3. Business: The art of building an audience, then making your living from that audience. Plain and simple.

If you’re not already subscribed, these are the new categories in the weekly newsletter as well.

Beyond new written content and a new season of the Filmmaker Freedom Podcast, I’m also going to be building a few world-class courses to help you master these concepts. Anyone who’s taken the Filmmaker’s Guide to Success knows I don’t mess around when it comes to courses. I deliver the goods.

Right now, you can expect the following courses from me in the following 18 months or so.

  • Audience Building
  • Storytelling for Maximum Impact
  • Finding Talented, Dedicated Collaborators for No-Budget Projects
  • Focus & Productivity Strategies for Entrepreneurial Filmmakers

There will likely be other courses beyond that, but those are the only ones that are currently set in stone.

Lastly, I’m going to be offering coaching and consulting through this site. If you don’t want to wait for a particular course, or you just want to pick my brain, you’ll soon be able to do that for a reasonable fee.

I don’t know everything, but I promise to keep learning and growing right along side you

Ok friend, time to wrap up this little announcement post and get on with my work. But before we do, just a quick, honest note about who I am and what you can expect from me.

I wish I could tell you I had all the answers, and that achieving filmmaker freedom was as simple as following 7 easy steps.

But I’d be lying if I told you that. And quite frankly, I'd be a total douchebag.

Don't get me wrong. This site absolutely is a business, and I intend for it to help a lot of people. But if you think I'm acting like some stupid "internet success guru," please call me out and tell me to knock it off.

That's not who I am, and that's not who I want to be.

I’m just a dude who loves filmmaking, indie business, psychology, and who thrives on being rebellious and independent. And though I’ve learned a hell of a lot about business these past few years, I don’t know everything, and I probably never will.

Regardless, I’m hellbent on creating a better way forward for indie filmmakers. Because our current system just ain’t cutting it.

So my promise to you, dear reader, is that I’m going to dedicate the next few years of my life to figuring it out, putting the pieces together, and giving you the best possible information I can find so that you can earn your own sense of Filmmaker Freedom.

If that sounds good to you, I’d love it if you joined me.