Maverick is used to describe people that are seen as unconventional and independent, and do not think or act in the same way as other people. There are many aspiring indie filmmakers out there that take a maverick approach to and end up failing. They waste their talent, time, and money trying to run a marathon before they can walk a mile.
Wanting to be a maverick filmmaker is cool so long as you understand what it takes to succeed in the indie movie business. “Know the rules before you break them” says it all. You can’t make a splash in the movie business if you do not know how where to jump in. If you’re the type of person that does not like to listen to practical advice or is a know-it-all, then there is no benefit in continuing reading this. If you’re the type of person that is open-minded to new information then this is perfect for you.
Some aspiring movie makers are influenced by what they hear about famous filmmakers. So and so refused to compromise their movie vision and made the studio cave in to their demands. That’s how they game might be played in Hollywood, but at the true independent film level it’s different. A independent movie maker that lets their ego control their actions is doomed to fail big time. The cast and crew working on a indie movie are not being paid enough, if they are being paid at all, to deal with a indie filmmaker that does not listen to reason.
They will either walk off your project or turn in lackluster efforts that will be painfully obvious when you go to edit your movie. Independent film budgets are tight. Many times the seed money to make a indie movie comes from friends and family of the filmmaker. Not to compromise your creative vision when it’s absolutely necessary to finish the movie is insanity, not to mention selfish. If I personally invested money into a friend or relatives movie I would hope they would control their ego in order to finish the movie.
I’ve always felt producing a indie movie does not give someone the creative license to waste other peoples hard earned money. Especially if that money comes from friends and family. I treat investors money as it were my own. Before you shoot your movie it’s a good idea to highlight scenes of your script that are crucial to your creative vision. This is only my opinion, but I have yet to see a movie where every scene is epic. I have yet to talk to another screenwriter that told me that every bit of dialogue and scene they wrote is amazing. Some dialogue and scenes are simply there to keep the story moving. I hang out with an honest bunch of indie filmmakers and we pretty much agree every movie has filler written into it.
It might hurt a unrealistic filmmaker to think that way, but brutal honesty is good for the creative spirit. When you are going through your script highlight filler scenes that are not crucial to your overall creative vision. Those will be the first scenes to be cut down or removed all together when time and money begin to run out. At the indie movie making level time and money always run out. Be prepared to make changes to your movie and creative vision if push comes to shove. During production of my first feature Consignment I had to rewrite scenes on the spot or the movie would die. I do not feel I compromised my creative vision by making radical changes on the set. I was able to overcome obstacles to finish the movie. Isn’t finishing a movie what it’s all about?
What I hoped to get across with you is not to be a inflexible film tyrant. Sometimes a situation will demand you change your creative vision for the good of the film. Coming in with the attitude that you are flexible will help you deal with problems that can stop you from finishing your movie. Like an actor quitting, a difficult crew member, the lose of a location, or a equipment problem. Many things can go wrong when you are making movies. share here The more open you are to not to waste energy fighting against what can’t be changed and finding a real fix, the better off you will be as a independent filmmaker.
By no means do you have to be a doormat when making your movie, but you don’t have to be a razor blade either. Blessed is the indie filmmaker that can find their creative balance. In a follow up to my book The First Movie is the Toughest, I am currently writing The Filmmaker’s Mentality for a Rewarding Life. There are a lot of solid life lessons I’ve learned making movies. If you take nothing else from what you’ve read here, take this, “control your ego, do not let your ego control you.” This is indie filmmakers Sid Kali typing FADE TO BLACK.
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