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Ben Yennie: 9 Ways to Skyrocket Your IndieFilm Career in 2019

Happy New Year!  Since it’s the first, we thought we would share a bit of advice on how you can skyrocket your career in the new year.  We did this last year, and while there are some overlap this years goes into a lot more detail.  You can read 2018’s blog here.

1. Make a list of goals.

If you want to make something happen, first you must have an idea of what it takes to get there.  Generally, I’ll have between 5 and 10 goals for an annual basis, then break each of those into 5 quarterly objectives.  Generally, you want these goals to be Ambitious but achievable, as well as very well qualified.  

2. Make at least a little bit of measurable progress towards your major goals a week.

Just having grand goals won’t help you get there.  You need to break them into attainable chunks.  This is helped by creating quarterly objectives, but breaking them down into monthly and even weekly goals can be quite helpful.  It’s a lot of work, and it’s easy to overload yourself though, so be careful.  

3. Watch at least two movies you haven’t seen before a week. 

If you want to make great content, you need to know what great content looks like.  Most successful filmmakers recommend watching 2-5 new movies a week.  I personally think that while this is an important part of bettering yourself as a filmmaker, it’s not the only way you can do it.  Generally, I would recommend watching one movie older than 10-20 years every week, and one movie made within the last 5-10 years every week.  

You need to know where film comes from, but you also need to know what’s working in the current market.  If you plan on making indie films, make an effort to watch recent successful indie films as part of the latter category.

Here are some lists of our favorite movies to give you ideas.

5 Movies Every Filmmaker needs to see

5 MORE Movies every Filmmaker Needs to see

YET ANOTHER 5 movies every filmmaker needs to see.

4. Read at least one educational or informative article on filmmaking or the film industry a day.

You need to keep your skills sharp as a filmmaker.  You also need to keep track of changes happening within the industry.  If you’re looking for good content, you should know that I tend to publish 2 new blogs a week.  One here, and one on my other site at TheGuerrillaRep.com.  The blogs here tend to be more around community building, general filmmaking, and sometimes more entertainment based.  My blogs on TheGuerrillaRep.com tend to be around packaging, financing, marketing, and distribution.  Our blogs cycle through both my twitter and the official ProductionNext twitter.

This blog contains some of our favorite filmmaking blogs

As an aside, I’ve also written a few blogs that are probably of interest over on my blog at TheGuerrillaRep.com.  You can find hem linked below.

Where the Film Industry is headed in 2019

How to Finance your film in 2019

The Hot Genres of 2019 (Out tomorrow!)

5. Listen to one podcast a week.

A common thread I’ve noticed from my more successful clients is listening to podcasts.  They’re a great way to grow your skillset while driving to set, doing the dishes, or going for a walk.  

Some of our favorites can be found in this blog, and we might have some announcements about this soon.  

6. Read one book a month.

You’re either growing or you’re dying.  So continue to educate yourself.  Reading one book a month is a good way to do that.  Using audiobooks is a great way to make that easier.  Here’s a blog with some of our favorites.

7. Attend one filmmaking event a month.

This industry is at least equally about who you know as what you know.  Attending good filmmaking events will help you expand both.  You can find out about these events in regional groups on ProductionNext.  Check them out once you join or log in.  

If we don’t have a regional group for you, use the feedback tab in the corner to let us know.  We might even make you an admin.  If we do, you should host your own filmmaking events.  Here’s a guide to help you with that.

8. Grow your community and social media following.

There’s no money in making movies, there’s only money in SELLING them.  If you want to sell your film, you have to have a base to sell them to.  That’s where social media comes in.  You should focus on growing both the total size of your social media following as well as the engagement.  If you do this throughout the filmmaking process, you’ll have a much bigger base to sell your work to when the time comes.  

Also, if you want to grow your community of filmmakers, you’ll want to check out the community section here on ProductionNext.  You can get your questions answered by relevant people,  find stuff you need for your shoot like crew, equipment, locations and more, you can even discover new events in the group functions (as we mentioned above.)

Sign up to check it out.

9. Get at least one new member of your email list per week.

Growing your email list is vital for running any kind of business.  It tends to convert much better than other platforms, and it’s always going to be something you own.  As such, you should be growing that list.  The minimum you should try to grow by is one a week, but realistically you should be trying to do much more than that.  

Thank you for reading!  If you really want to skyrocket your career, you should check out our project management tools.  They do everything you need to make a film like breakdown, budgeting, stripboard scheduling, call sheet generation, animatic generation, and a whole lot more.  You can even get started on our forever free plan with budget projections, task management tools, and basically, everything you need for development in addition to all our community functions we’e listed above.  

Do yourself a favor and join now using the banner below.

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