Do his own cinema

Faire son cinema

Make his cinema tout alone

This week, I want to respond to two blog readers who ask me two different questions but who, in fact, meet. I would like to answer them by this article : ” Make his cinema all alone “ because I am sure that many of you ask yourself these same questions.

The first part of one of the questions is : ” Imagine that the film is 100% done. How the film landed in theaters ? “

If you have managed to direct and produce a feature film all by yourself, bravo ! But you just lose…precious time andmoney not to mention all the energy that you have put in.

Why ?

Because a 1st feature film turns a minimum of 4 weeks to 5 weeks, or 20 to 25 days. It must necessarily have the equipment, qualified staff, etc…so for the money, if only for the food, lodging, gasoline, insurance, etc…not to mention the preparation, and then the editing, the mixing , and the list goes on.

But mainly because for a film to arrive in the dining room and shown to an audience requires two things :

– A visa operating

– A distributor

The visa operation is obtained easily. In contrast, for the distributor it is another pair of sleeves. The dealer is not just there to do the promo and to produce and distribute copies of your film. It is a true partner who knows the market and which has its word to say on the scenario and especially on the cast !! Because taking a film distribution is a risk for him every time. He advance the sum for the promo and the copies without being sure of recovering costs. Of course, make a blank operation has not really of interest to a distributor. The goal is to earn money (see article on the PBSR and how the price of a square film is to be distributed). This means that if your movie has a scenario suitable, but that the distributor does not believe a minute of your cast, your film will remain in a drawer !

Then you also have the option of putting it on the internet and make the buzz…ok but after ? Either you do the buzz and you have some interesting contacts for your future projects…but nobody will put a penny of euro to the film that you’ve directed and produced , given that everyone has seen on the internet, you do not make more buzz than this and you have lost everything.

You do NOT NEED to direct and produce a film without a distributor, and even less alone. It is money thrown by the windows, lost time and you do not move forward !


The second part of the question was : ” If I create my own production company, what do I do in the film ? “

Create a production company, it is extremely difficult because like any craft, you can’t do anything, no matter how. This is a profession that is based on the nose, a good knowledge of the market, trends, as well as having a well-developed network. This does not invent. To amplify my point, I created a few years ago a production company. I wanted to, just like some of you, I start and produce young directors and scriptwriters. I thought that being in the middle I was going to have an easier time (which was not totally untrue by the way). I was able to set up projects : short films, documentaries, and movies commands. But to mount a feature film, it really is a whole other story ! Result : I lost 54 000 euros !!! Because I was not strong enough and I had not the confidence of the distributors and banks !!


If you mount a production company, don’t expect to produce a film the next day. Once again, if you decide to generate equity to fund your film, you’re going to pay for years.

So, if you create a production company, it will be necessary to find a associate producer, find a dealer and go look for all the possible aid, a tv channel etc… suffice to say the obstacle course and inevitably during that time the money does not fit in your crates.

You have a film project ? Then do the things in order and make sure your back in case of failure or/ and arm yourself with patience.

2nd Round ;o)

A second apprentice director/ screenwriter , I have also asked a question whose summary is this : he would like to make a small 30 minute film financed with equity (that is to say, with HIS money). Then he knows that I does not recommend it, it wants to pay some people, some actors and asks how much it coûte….de more he did not of structure (association or prod) to support his project.

For those of you who know me and know this blog for a while, you can imagine already the reaction I had when I read his question ;o)

How can you stand on your head to do a thing while the world tells you ATTENTION, YOU’re GOING to CRASH !!! it’s beyond me…But I know that sometimes there is no other possible choice, but in this case it is necessary to be careful and prepare well (CF read the article : a producer, a distributor for what ?!!)


In addition, to achieve a ” small “ 30 minute film is a heresy. There are very few festivals that accept films of this period and even less of a TV channel who purchase. Today, put a film of 30 minutes online on You tube or Daily motion, is to be sure not to be seen no more. Today everything goes very fast and it is very difficult to keep a user 30 minutes in front of a screen, in front of a short film.

More importantly, most of the time, you don’t know very well writing story and techniques, playwriting , etc…because Of this, you tell a story in 30 minutes, while 10 would be largely sufficient…the result, you have a film with no pace, long etc..

A 30-minute film, it’s going to be at least 10 days of shooting and I’m nice. What would make a 3-minute useful a day ! Either ! This will cause a problem for equipment rental, personnel and logistics…

If you are to finance a film in own funds, do it as short as possible and be smart ! But again…it would be a poor solution but may be a lesser evil.

The second part of his question dealt with the fact to pay some people, including actors…and no other….

The price of a comedian, the rate of trade union by day, is of the order of 351 euros ! This is the gross salary, you need to add the employer’s contributions.

The major problem is that to mount a short film, pay people or rent equipment and take insurance, it must be a structure : association or prod.

If you find it already complicated to mount a simple association…you have not finished ! Up an association law 1901 request a form, edit a office and pay a fifty euros for the publication in the official journal…in short, much more simple as mounting a budget, equipment to rent, make payroll, and statements of all kinds, to make a film and direct actors and a technical team.

To pay or not…and who ?

But back to the paying of actors or technicians. And not others. That is what justifies that such and such person is paid or not ?!

Are you going to pay an actor a pro and not an amateur ? An actor who speaks and not a comedian dumb ? You are going to pay the sound engineer and not an assistant director ? Or the machinist , but not the electrician ? Where you are not going to pay the actors and not technicians ? After all they are the comedians that we see on the screen !! …It’s not the issue !


If you want to put all the chances on your side to successfully mount a team of pros, you either pay everyone or you pay person !! And don’t worry about the rates, day, night, holiday and the list goes on !! You made the short film ! Prepare properly for your film and be honest with your actors and your technicians. All the people who work on your film deserve to be treated the same way ! Each person who works on your film invests the same energy. They bring different skills and or can not decide between paying some and others not.

If you are in the case of our first reader who has produced and directed his feature-length film, it will be necessary to propose a participation contract to the team and to the actors. Like that, in case of success, or sale of the film, the team will be paid based on the income of the film.


Stop believing that to be of interest to people on your projects, or to make it ” more pro “ you need to pay !! If you can do it, so much the better, if you can’t do this is not serious. Maybe a few times, you’ll be able to make your mind up and you can offer a film with pay at the rate !!!! With a true prod !!

All of these questions prove one thing, it is that you do not know how to work a film, its production, its dissemination, its realization or its preparation. This is not serious in itself as it learns. But don’t start projects that are going to cost you. You may not raise you or then with difficulty. Then listen to the valuable advice that you give !

If I tell you not to put money in your films, to a maximum of 10 or 15 minutes of film, or not to produce or realize a feature film outside of the circuits, it is that there are reasons. The first is that I’ve been there. The second, is that I know dozens and dozens of examples of people who have broken teeth, then do not come to swell the ranks !

If you have the money to spend, I’m happy for you, but use it wisely. Do you train, for example, or do you associate with other people to be stronger or give it to me lol



To finish, I don’t want to be a donor of lesson. I don’t want to sound like an old fart…I barely 40 years old lol. But if you come here, it is to be guided, in order not to fall into the traps the most common. I only wish for one thing, your success ! Why ?? Not only, I take great pride in, but it may be that tomorrow, you will remember the hand that I stretched, and maybe one day, your turn, I’ll tend yours !! Don’t forget that I’m assistant director and I also need to work. lol


I thank the two readers of the blog who asked me these questions. I’m sorry if my words are a little hard. Once again, this is nothing compared to the violence of some of my friends, distributors, producers, or colleagues ;o) believe me. Sometimes, it is necessary to know to reset the clock to the hour ;o) You allowed me to speak of issues of concern to a large number of the readers of this blog. Understand that I was addressing to all of you and not just you two ;o)


That’s it for this article on ” Making his cinema all alone “. If you have any questions on this topic or if you have an experience to share, leave a comment below this article.

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Thank you to those who will make it ;o) and that are already doing that ;o). You are, every day, more and more numerous. Thanks to you, I live an extraordinary adventure made for sharing and the cinema ;o)

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