Occam’s Razor – is the principle that “entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity” (entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem). The popular interpretation of this principle is that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. Simplest is not defined by the time or number of words it takes to express the theory; “[simplest] is really referring to the theory with the fewest new assumptions.” Wikipedia http://ht.ly/2CoDWSo how do we apply this principle to independent filmmaking?
Every day there is something new to learn about making an independent film. Then there are elements to consider when a filmmaker decides to self-distribute his film. Add to that the nuances of traditional distribution, entertainment law, crowdfunding, navigating film festivals and insurance — the list can go on into perpetuity. There’s so much to learn that an aspiring filmmaker can literally become stalled trying to figure it all out. The most interesting story I’ve heard is an anecdote about a filmmaker who was interested in making his first indie film but stopped because he couldn’t hire a PMD. Every concern listed above has a legitimate place, and a filmmaker must have a some knowledge and awareness of the implications. But guess what? None of it matters if you don’t have a film!
You can learn all the marketing, distribution, legal, and crowdfunding tricks on the planet; you can attend all the seminars and workshops in Los Angeles, but all that knowledge means absolutely zero without a film. Again, how does Occam’s Razor apply to this? Just make your damn film. Don’t assume you must absolutely do this or do that. Just make your damn film. You can always adjust and change your strategy along the way. Always. Trust in yourself; you can take a moment, make a change and keep the momentum going. Chances are, most of the fancy mumbo-jumbo things you’ve learned won’t be applicable to your current film project anyway. Don’t get bogged down trying to get everything right. Just do it, and do it cheaply. One of situations below may be applicable to you or someone you know:
- Right now, you don’t need to know what kind of LLC to establish for your film because you can always do it later.
- Right now, you don’t need to know what kind of deliverables are expected by distributors because you don’t have a film yet.
- Right now, you don’t need to read another book on fundraising because you don’t have a thoroughly developed film project.
- Right now, you don’t need to begin casting because your script is still at the first draft stage.
- Right now, you don’t have to spend time learning about the Securities and Exchange laws that may be applicable to your film project because you don’t have a business plan or prospectus.
- Thinking about hiring a publicist, sales rep of PMD? Why? How are you going to pay them when you don’t yet have the budget to produce your film?
Make your film. Make it cheaply. Make it simply. And make it now.