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How to Make Your Own Movie

I started to write this blog post yesterday. I spelled out step-by-step how to make your own movie. And then I felt like a big fat hypocrite: here I was, telling you how easy it was to make a movie, when I haven't made a movie in 4 years. So I decided to make one. It took me one hour to write and shoot it. It took me about four hours to edit it, put in music, and all that stuff. Here are the tools I used:

  1. My iPhone 12 (to film it)

  2. A mini tripod, which I will hopefully never use again (to hold the iPhone still)

  3. A stool (to raise the tripod higher)

  4. My husband (to act)

  5. My daughter (to act)

  6. My neighbor (to act)

  7. iMovie (to edit)

  8. Royalty-free music (obvs for music, duh)

Total cost: 0 dollars

Total time: 5 hours


It's not exactly ready for the festival circuit, but it's good enough to show you here:


Clearly, making a movie doesn't require a $50Billion budget, a big name director, or even a full-length script. Write it, plan it, shoot it, edit it.


Step 1: Write It

Get a piece of a paper and a pencil (or a laptop- don't take me so literally.) Write your outline. What happens in the beginning, the middle, and then end? Who is your protagonist? What is their arc from start to finish? For more details on writing on outline, you can download mine (yes, for money- a girl's gotta eat.)


Step 2: Shoot it

No, don't worry about renting some huge piece of machinery for thousands of dollars. Use your fancy still camera (that also takes video, yes) or grab your iPhone (that's what I used to shoot this beauty.)


Step 3: Edit it

Hopefully you got some nice different angles, and all the reaction shots you needed. Now open up that free movie-editing software that came with your computer, and put the pieces together.


And if your movie sucks, it probably didn't cost you anything. Chalk it up to a learning experience, and go shoot another one.


What's the point of making a movie?

  • If you want to be a professional filmmaker, it's pretty much necessary.

  • If you're a writer, it makes you a better writer. It also gives you something to show people as a calling card for what you're capable of.

  • If you're an actor, you can cast yourself in it, and get more footage for your reel.

  • If you're an accountant, it's fun and you get to share your movies with your friends.


Need help planning your story? Book a session with me.


Happy movie-making!

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