Independent Filmmaker’s Toolkit
Independent Filmmakers Toolkit.jpeg

Would you like to make a movie and know how to get started? This independent filmmaker toolkit gives you some of the essential tools you need to compete with the big boys.

Step one: get a script

You can make an average movie out of a great script, but you can never make an average movie out of a crappy script. If you feel isolated as a writer, you can always take advantage of our advantages popular Script Coach series with the renowned author and screenwriter Jürgen Wolff.

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

Reality Check – Why scribes should also write films without a budget
10 stupid mistakes screenwriters make
5 things screenwriters need to know about filmmaking
Editing On The Edge: How To Be Successful At Screenwriting – The Do List
30 things about screenwriting

Step two: produce

Next, you need some money. At this point, many stumble while waiting for the big check. However, if you follow the principles of lo-to-no-budget filmmaking, you don't need as much as you might have thought.

You'll also need to create a business plan and put together your basic legal contracts, as well as your budget and schedule.

12 Tips for Indie Producers from M. Elizabeth Hughes
Burglary as a film producer
15 tips for Cannes film festival producers
Veteran and indie producers give advice to young filmmakers at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival
Zero budget software suite for filmmakers
10 new commandments for low-budget movies

Step three: directly

Do you want to be known as an indie writer?
Your challenge as a director is to give your movie a strong visual style. Again, my advice is to watch as many films as possible. No independent filmmaker toolkit is without hundreds of scripts read and hundreds of films.

50 Filmmaking Tips from the Director of Calendar Girls
What a film director does after saying "CUT"
Director's checklist number 2
Cybel DP's 15 Unconventional Tips to Make a Low-Budget Movie More Extravagant
Production Tips: 10 Ways Directors MUST Think Like Line Producers

Step four: FILM!

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

The fact is, filmmaking with new digital devices can be cheaper than ever. The question is – can you use the equipment properly?

Fortunately, there are some great bloggers out there who can teach you:

One of our favorites is Greenscreen. Another one that we review almost every day is No Film School. Then there is FilmmakerIQ.

We are constantly adding amazing websites to this list. If you have a favorite please send it to

Step five: distribute

In order to create a public profile for your movie, you need a poster and a trailer.
Once you have this, you can send your film to film festivals. Once you're in the mood for your film, you can hope a distributor will join in, or you can spread yourself using your social media and internet marketing skills.

The four reasons why you should attend film festivals
The world's best film festivals
The ABC of Content Marketing: A Glossary of Terms
3 golden rules of sale
Financing independent films with VOD sales forecasts
Is Kickstarter the future for indie film distribution?

OK – what did we miss?

You can put your tips and comments in the boxes below!
And have fun filmmaking!

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About Raindance

Raindance aims to promote and support independent filmmakers and filmmakers.

Raindance connects, trains, supports and encourages visual storytellers at every step of their career.

The Raindance Film Festival takes place every autumn in London's Leicester Square.

Raindance has been offering film training since 1992. A wide range of open classes through to a 2-year HND Level 5 BTEC in Moving Images for a postgraduate film degree is offered to students on five continents both in person and online.


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