Learn the rules of the indie documentary industry, or if you already have a bit of experience, get your indie work in front of as many people as possible.
The rules of the industry vary from film to film, but there are a few basic principles that should be followed:
• First, you will want to work with a well-known person (such as a celebrity, and even if you are someone who was never on a major film project before, don’t forget to look at who they are as an artist and a human being).
• Have friends and family in the industry that you trust.
• Follow the rule of three, with a third person (your agent, editor or producer) also taking on a role, or in other words, not just one.
• Make videos, and share them as quickly as possible.
• Give your trailer and movie pitch to a friend or a network of friends in advance.
• Watch a lot of short films, and take notice when an indie movie is a hit.
• Check out an indie festival!
When should I shoot and how do I shoot it?
The best time to shoot an indie short film is between a holiday and the first week in February. You want to do it well before festivals and other events which may make a big difference in the release and success of your film. Your aim is to capture the right moment in a small area. When planning where the shot will be you first need to know the mood of the day. If the weather is really cold and rainy, do not shoot outside, but instead try to capture it using a camera mounted on a small tripod, with a small, unobtrusive lens (such as the cheap and often misused Nikkor lens that costs around £20). You should have this in an easy to handle and pack-able bag to avoid having to lug your gear around while on location. Try and shoot a short scene at this moment to gain as much footage from it as possible, then have this and the rest of the footage you capture during the day (including more shots to edit out) stored in a dedicated, accessible edit bay (such as within your laptop or computer), in a place which can withstand the rain and cold. If you use a bigger film camera, you should be using the same or a similar lens from the start as this will make the footage easier to find later on. You also should try and use more than
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