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A Guide to Making your First Feature Film - Part 1

So, you’ve decided to make your #firstfeaturefilm - that’s fantastic! But what comes next?  

Now that you’re ready to get the ball rolling, it’s time to decide what you want your film to be  about.

What Is Your Film Subject And Who Is Your Audience

Whether you’ve already written your script, or you’re still searching for the perfect idea,  it’s important to know what you want your film to be about and who you want to see it. Making a  feature film isn’t just about writing a compelling story that audiences will connect with, but also  creating something that viewers will be interested in buying. 

Genre Helps Define Audience

When choosing an idea for development, a filmmaker or producer must first consider #moviegenre, the  potential #audience, film #budget, and the marketability of the film concept.  And keep in mind, different types of films are intended for varying audiences.  

So basically, there’s a lot to think about. Start with just one thing at a time.

First Steps To Get Going On Your First Feature

To simplify things a little, try answering these questions:

  1. What’s the theme of my script, what do I want to say?  

  2. What demographic is this film for/who do I want the audience to be?  

  3. What current trends seem to be circulating right now? (Do a little research into what people  are watching right now and what movies are popular.)  

  4. What would I, as a viewer, want to watch?  

As #trends and tastes change in the marketplace, film genres rise and fall in popularity,  influencing which material is chosen for development. And you'll likely be working on a nominal or microbudget - so keep that in perspective. For example, currently popular genres  include comic book–based movies such as The Eternals, Black Widow; as well as action films  like Free Guy; franchises such as The Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean; biopics, such  as Rocketman, and Respect; and the horror films including Candyman, Get Out, A Quiet Place  Part II. For producers, an awareness of the marketplace is crucial to the development process. And make sure the subject is something you would enjoy! You'll be working on this for a while so you need to maintain ongoing enthusiasm.

Believe In Yourself And Your Film

But try not to stress too much. At the end of the day, the film only works if you believe in the  story that you’re telling. So write something that you’re #passionate about, and go from there.  If you're interested in learning more, feel free to check out my book, The Business of Film,  which breaks down the filmmaking process from start to finish.

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