Monday, June 24, 2024

The Top 10 Costliest Mistakes in Filmmaking

The success of a film depends on many factors coming together during production. Filmmakers risk losing their credibility and, more significantly, their budget if even one detail is wrong. That’s why it’s so important to avoid the industry’s most typical (and expensive) blunders. 

The ten most expensive mistakes that filmmakers make will be discussed, along with advice on how to avoid them. Let’s go into the world of filmmaking gaffes, from faulty scripts to a lack of a social media plan. Here is my rundown of some of the most costly blunders I’ve seen filmmakers make:

1. Incorrect Script

‘In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God.’ This verse in the Bible is a hidden treasure for indie filmmakers. A film’s production cannot begin without a screenplay. If your screenplay isn’t excellent, there’s no reason to turn it into a movie. I can’t count how many times I’ve held back the tears during the premieres of films starring my best friends because, despite excellent direction, acting, and editing, the script just sucked.

I don’t mean to come out as arrogant, but the reason Raindance puts so much emphasis on its script writing courses and why it has developed what it considers to be a world-class script reading service is because it considers the screenplay to be the film’s first and most important stage.

2. Your Pals Aren’t Actors

Do you want to waste the nest egg your producer has cooked up for your budget, even though you think your script is pretty damn amazing (let’s face it; none of your friends has the balls or the know-how to tell you it sucks)? Here’s how to completely botch things: cast your friends instead of actual performers. I’m going to have to shake my finger at you to make sure you’re competent in the art of directing actors.

3. Mismatched Costs and Objectives

Don’t forget the phone booth! The film’s star power necessitated a hefty budget, and that’s just okay. However, it could have been made for very little money as an independent film.

4. The Legality of Music Ownership

How could you possibly expect no one to notice that you changed Maria Callas’s version of the Puccini overture so that she doesn’t sound like herself in a remix? Or perhaps you simply didn’t know where to start when it came to clearing the music rights for your film. Either way, you’re making a big error that will have serious consequences.

The Musicians Union is the most powerful of the music unions, and it has organised the business of making music so that it can better protect its members and profit from their work. Who else is in the know? Suppliers and broadcasters. Without the music rights, they won’t give your film the time of day. You may forget about selling your film without the soundtrack rights. Done and dusted.

5. There is Not a Social Media Strategy

At festivals like Cannes and Berlin, I’ve noticed that sales agents and distributors are more and more impressed when a filmmaker comes to them with a sizable social media following. The explanation is straightforward: if there is already an audience for your picture, the distributor will have an easier time selling it. The filmmakers who use the excuse that they are “too visual” to use social media like Twitter and Facebook annoy me.

False, as filmmakers are merely communicators, I insist. And in this bold new digital age, you should take advantage of any means of communication at your disposal. When did you last visit Raindance’s profile on Twitter? Learn how to use social media by following us or your preferred profile. Then improve upon it.

6. Unclaimed Rights to a Story

A novel or short tale already in existence cannot be adapted into a film. The same goes for a biopic you plan to make on a living person. Verify that you have the necessary permissions for using the content.

7. No Effective Marketing Plan

The filmmaking process entails more than just mingling with A-listers like Kiera Knightley on the set. Knowing your target audience is essential when selling a film.

The marketing manager of the distribution business you hope will buy your film should be contacted directly, as recommended by common sense. The marketing manager is responsible for developing the strategy to promote your picture. All of the advertisements, such as posters, artwork for the DVD case, trailers, and the campaign on social media. Put yourself in their shoes and consider what would impress their superiors the most.

8. Tactic for Avoiding Festivals

Your film’s eventual release strategy may benefit from submissions to specific festivals. Films can lose at other festivals. The film festivals you submit must provide you with publicity and a profile, as these will help you land a distribution agreement and, if you so desire, a film sales agent.

9. Ignoring Public Relations

After a director realises that shooting is the most enjoyable part of making a film, the real work of promoting and selling the finished product begins. Determine early on how you want the world to see you by familiarising yourself with the 7 components of a press kit.

10. Tendency to Disregard Investors

The folks who gave you the money to make the film should not be forgotten. In Hollywood, there’s a saying that bankers should be treated like stars and stars should be treated like bankers.

Spending time courting them throughout production increases the likelihood that they will reinvest in the film after its completion. Your investors will remain on fire if you provide them with things like backstage tours, a weekly newsletter with sales and festival updates, and any other bonuses you can think of. You should be aware of the challenges faced by television networks worldwide if that is the market you have chosen to focus on. Censorship and topical restrictions vary from country to country. If you can master these, you’ll be popular in no time.

This is the Magic of the Cinema

Don’t overthink it; simply wing it, and avoid these ten common but costly blunders in filmmaking. You’ll be light years ahead of the rest of the pack.