Independent Filmmaker's Toolkit | Raindance Film School

Want to make a movie and want to know how to start? This Independent Filmmaker’s Toolkit will give you some of the essential tools you need in order to compete with the big boys.

Step one: Get a script

You can make an average film from a great script, but you can never make even an average movie from a shitty script. If you are feeling isolated as a writer, you could always take advantage of our popular Script Coach series with acclaimed author and screenwriter Jurgen Wolff.

Read as many screenplays as you can.
Watch as many movies as you can.

Reality Check – Why Scribes Should Also Write Lo-To-No Budget Movies
10 Stupid Mistakes Screenwriters Make
5 Things Screenwriters Need to Know About Filmmaking
Writers on the Verge: How To Succeed In Screenwriting – The Do List
30 Things About Screenwriting

Step two: Produce

Next you need some money.Its at this point that many trip up by waiting and waiting for the big cheque. But if you follow the principals of Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking, you won’t need as much as you might have thought.

You will also need to Create A Business Plan, and get your Basic Legal Contracts and your Budget and Schedule together.

12 Tips for Indie Producers from M. Elizabeth Hughes
Breaking in as a Film Producer
15 Tips for Producers from the Cannes Film Festival
Veteran and Indie Producers Offer Tips to Young Filmmakers at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival
Zero Budget Software Suite for Filmmakers
10 New Commandments of Low Budget Films

Step three: Direct

Do you want to become known as an indie auteur?
Your challenge as a director is to give your film a strong visual style. Again, my advice is to watch as many movies as you can. No independent filmmakers toolkit is without hundreds of scripts read and hundreds of movies watched.

50 Filmmaking Tips From the Director of Calendar Girls
What A Film Director Does After They Say “CUT”
Director’s Check List Number 2
Cybel DP’s 15 Unconventional Tips to Making a Low Budget Film More Extravagant
Production Tips: 10 Ways Directors MUST Think like a Line Producer

Step four: FILM!

Cameras are so incredibly cheap right now. Choose a camera – either rent for the days of the shoot, or use the popular and highly versatile smartphone camera.

The fact is with new digital equipment filmmaking can be cheaper than ever before. The question is – can you use the equipment the right way?

Fortunately there are some terrific bloggers out there that can teach you:

One of our favourites is Philip Bloom. Another that we check out nearly every day is No Film School. Then there is FilmmakerIQ.

We keep adding to this list of amazing website, and if you have a favourite, please ping it to

Step five: Distribute

In order to create a public profile for your film, you will need a poster and a trailer.
Once you have this, you can choose to send your film to film festivals. Once you have a buzz going for your film, you can hope for a distributor to come along, or you can self distribute using your social media and internet marketing skills.

The Four Reasons You Attend Film Festivals
World’s Top Film Festivals
The ABCs of Content Marketing: A Glossary of Terms
3 Golden Rules of Salesmanship
Financing Independent Movies with VOD Sales Projections
Is Kickstarter the future for indie film distribution?

OK – What did we miss?

You can add in your tips and comments in the boxes below!
And happy filmmaking!

As us about Raindance Film School



Raindance aims to promote and support independent filmmaking and filmmakers.

From new and emerging to industry pros, Raindance connects, trains, supports, and promotes visual storytellers through every step of their career.

The Raindance Film Festival runs each Autumn in London's Leicester Square.

Raindance has been delivering film training since 1992. A wide range of Open Classes to a 2 year HND Level 5 BTEC in Moving Images to a Postgraduate Film Degree are delivered to students on five continents, both in person and online.