Looks like you are a new visitor to this site. Hello!

Welcome to Hope For Film! Come participate in the discussion, and I encourage you to enter your email address in the sidebar and subscribe. It's free! And easy! If you have any suggestions on how to improve this website or suggestions for topics please don't hesitate to write in to any of the blogs.

You can also follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

(If you keep getting this message, you probably have cookies turned off.)

May 30 at 8:30am

10 Ways To Turn That Script Into A Movie ASAP

By Ted Hope

We often wait and wait, strategizing and hoping, but for what?  Most scripts never get made. Even if they “finish” a script, many people stop less half way before they get it done.

I would argue that most scripts don’t become films because the people behind them aren’t willing to face reality and do what is necessary to get them made. The dream of the knight sweeping down and rescuing them for their beauty/wisdom/talent/genius is a toxic poison.  Wishing for privilege, wishing for good fortune, these dreams get in the way of recognizing the hard work that can often get things done.  

Okay, money, connections, talent — they all have a great deal to do with success, but it is also a state of mind that is needed to make things real. Much of that mindset is preparation.  Some of it is process.  And some is that heady cocktail where action and philosophy mix.  You want to get your movie made? Change how you are thinking, and then change your actions.

WARNING: The myth of hard work earning just rewards is equally false and debilitating, but if you want to change your outcomes, preparation is probably the key influencer.

Here’s my list for today of ten short cuts to production.

  1. The best way to raise a budget is to cut it in half. Know how low you can go, and stop hesitating.  It will be easier next time when you have this one to show.
  2. Build a body of work.  Make it clear you are a generative person.  If you consistently create, everyone will believe you will get it done.  Even better of course is to make work consistently of quality.  You create atmosphere where the industry will actually fear your next work will be even better and you will compel them to join up with you.
  3. A movie comes together in one way and one way only; it may be more bumpy ride than perfect storm, but you have to recognize it when it is in front of you.  If you have 50% of the budget and you know how to make it for that, make it for that.  If you have an actor who helps get it funded and they want to do it and you don’t think it is a compromise, then what are you waiting for. I have had several movies die because I thought I could do better than I could.
  4. Put yourself in the investors’ shoes.  Think of what they would want to hear or see.  Don’t let them look foolish to their friends or the world.  Treat investors as your partners.  Give them what they need to close the deal — and to look smart in doing so.  If you think they may want something, you better have that ready to give.
  5. Make the film seem as inevitable as possible.  Do EVERYTHING possible to help them visualize your movie happening (which is very different from visualizing your movie). Create realistic business plans.  Create image books.  Create extensive cast lists.  Select locations.  Run budget alternatives. Build a website. Aggregate your audience.  Demonstrate a proof of principal. Do anything that helps people visualize the film.  And of course the easiest time to raise money is when you are in production (but this is very very dangerous).
  6. Build a coalition of support around your project before introducing it to heavy hitters.  You want a “yes” from as many people as you can regardless of whether they can get the movie made or not.  Set the table for the meal you want to serve.  The truth will bubble up.
  7. People want most what they can’t have.  Manufacture desire for your project before you go out with it.  Once the package is complete, spend a good month speaking about it before sending it out, just telling people you are almost done with it. Denial feeds desire.  A road block makes you want to journey to the other side.
  8. Build an environment of authentic urgency around your project.  People act when they need to act.  Why do they have to make a decision on yours now?
  9. Be more than a filmmaker.  Start with being a member of a community.  What do you provide people?  Why will they want to help you?  Your good acts will inspire others and lead them to action.
  10. Make it easy for people to know who you are.  Movies are stressful situation but they aren’t surgery.  Your team needs to know you won’t crack under pressure.  They need to know you can be depended on for a good long time.  They need to know that it will be enjoyable or at least rewarding to be around you for such an extended period.  Help them understand that.

Any other suggestions you’d like to add to the list?


  • Digg
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • Print


leave a comment
  1. Chrissy McDermott / May 30 at 8:30am

    This is my favorite article on Hope For Film since I started reading! It’s exactly what I needed to read being just at that point in developing an indie feature.

    It might be a little repetitive but maybe in addition – Just as you perpetuate the notion that your film is inevitable, believe that you and your wonderful film will be a big success. Imagine yourself in each stage of pre-production – through releasing the film. If you don’t completely believe that and exude it when speaking to people regarding your film, no one else will either.

    And don’t be afraid of rejection or getting a “no thank you.” In my experience, and I believe most indie filmmakers’ you’ll always get more no’s than yes’s in the process of developing and raising funds. The upside is each time it happens you know how to handle your approach and communications better next time.

  2. Mike C / May 30 at 8:30am

    Thanks Ted, this list is perfectly timed! I’m also working on something I’d like to get financed and in the works. I was wondering what your thoughts are about inquiry letters to producers you don’t have a connection to, but who may have done similar work in the past? Or what about approaching a producer with smaller, more transmedia/viral video teaser films which you’re hoping will attract an audience (and some funding) to a larger feature project?

  3. Ted Hope / May 30 at 8:30am

    I think they are a great thing to do, but so much depends on the timing. Most successful producers are overwhelmed with submissions. The more you can show someone what you want to do, and in a concise & frictionless way, the more likely they can respond. This is also a good idea for a post. Thanks.

  4. Ted Hope / May 30 at 8:30am

    Thanks. Let me know if there are other suggestions for posts. I do think you are right as to what helps make something feel inevitable. Also it was once said to me that in terms of getting investment it was more important to work towards a quick NO than anything else, since that is always the most likely scenario and many investors are just trying to get an education and will string you along forever until you force the no.

  5. BK Garceau, III / May 30 at 8:30am

    Great stuff! Feeling inspired!

  6. Jason Wolos / May 30 at 8:30am

    Ted- what Chrissy M said earlier is also true for me- this is one of my favorite posts that you have written since I started reading.

    All of these points are spot on, I learned exactly these getting my script made into my first feature film. I took each one of these “short cuts”, or rather they happened with me… and my script got made. If you said to me- “Write down what you learned about getting your script produced into a feature movie”… this article is what I would have wrote. I learned a whole lot more, of course. But it’s as if you summarized the key points of what I learned from getting my script made into a movie I am proud of. Filmmakers- print this article and hang on your wall…

  7. Chrissy McDermott / May 30 at 8:30am

    Thank you. That’s really fantastic advice too. I’ll definitely keeping that in mind when speaking with potential investors. Much appreciated.

  8. Mohammad Gorjestani / May 30 at 8:30am


  9. Stephen Escudero / May 30 at 8:30am

    Beautiful gonna print this up and stick it on my wall. thank you.

  10. Miles Maker / May 30 at 8:30am

    Thanks for THIS. It’s so very confirming.

  11. Susan O'Connell / May 30 at 8:30am

    It always worked for me to believe that the film was actually completed – out there in the future somewhere – all I was doing was finding the people who were interested in walking with me down the path towards this reality. Urgency is great. Desperation is something unpleasant that people can smell.

  12. Dani / May 30 at 8:30am

    Thanks for this list. I would love to see an example of a successful business plan.

  13. Incognita / May 30 at 8:30am

    Really helpful post and applies to other areas in the arts…music, etc

  14. Ted Hope / May 30 at 8:30am

    Most business plans for film are total hogwash. Referencing any comparison to anything released prior to Sept 15, 2008 when Lehman Bros. almost destroyed the world has no relevance. A good plan would model out revenue from any potential stream as well as engagement plan to turn passive audience into active community.

  15. Ted Hope / May 30 at 8:30am

    Glad to be of help.

  16. Keith Romine / May 30 at 8:30am

    Great post! I would love to hear more about getting named talent to help you get funding. Another thing that would be great to hear more about would be fiscal sponsorships. My film Trapped received a fiscal sponsorship through IFP fall 2012 http://fiscal.ifp.org/project.cfm/560/Trapped and we are still trying to find our way.

  17. Dean / May 30 at 8:30am

    I am glad you acknowledge the devastation of the economic collapse in relation to film, I was making a film in 2008 ( Feature ) that fell apart despite great talent involved and commitment ( hoping to remake it someday as it should be seen ).

    There are benefits to the current economic climate, deals can be struck for locations and equipment and there is less protectionism when it comes to filmmaking and resources ( that might just be a UK centric thing ) .

    My business plan for my next feature which I am to shoot at the end of this year is “Just do it”, “try anything” ( when it comes to promotion ), that may sound very vague and I guess it is, but I feel now is a time for experimentation and the old adage “nobody knows anything” is more apt now than ever.

    I feel that building community as you often say, is incredibly important, however, I personally am not seeing the correlation between community and sales, at the very least though, it is good to talk about movies and experiences with others.

    Thanks for the post, helpful as always.

  18. bezpieczne opalanie / May 30 at 8:30am

    Thanks a lot for sharing this with all folks you actually
    recognise what you’re talking about! Bookmarked.
    Please additionally consult with my website =). We could have a link
    trade contract between us

  19. Yanira / May 30 at 8:30am

    May I just say what a comfort to find someone who
    truly understands what they’re discussing on the net.
    You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    A lot more people have to read this and understand this side of
    your story. I can’t believe you aren’t more popular because you most certainly
    have the gift.

  20. Darin / May 30 at 8:30am

    Hi to every one, since I am really keen of reading this weblog’s post to be updated daily.
    It carries pleasant stuff.

  21. Eveline Penta / May 30 at 8:30am

    Having read this I thought it was very enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  22. action movie trailers / May 30 at 8:30am

    The Forex mt4 now happen to be at version 4 build
    224 with updates emergence occasionally from your broker, Version 5 should
    become accessible shortly this year and is likely to be more than just an update, it is going
    to be a big change. The recordings you make with Qik Video Camera can also
    be shared on social network websites such as Facebook, Twitter and You Tube among others.

    ori, people from lower socioeconomic groups, other priority
    groups for smoking cessation, other tobacco control
    programmes, and other health-related expenditure.

  23. Music Studio / May 30 at 8:30am

    I go to see everyday a few websites and information sites to read posts, except this webpage
    provides quality based articles.

  24. thingstodo.todayspulse.com / May 30 at 8:30am

    gostei seu tipo de design! qual você usa aqui?

    escrevo um blogue que escrevo sobre o mesmo raciocínio,
    quem queiser acessar..

  25. best under eye concealer / May 30 at 8:30am

    Hello, my folk and I study your website occasionally as well as my users.

  26. Trent / May 30 at 8:30am

    What if you wrote the script (me) and want to get a team and be involved in the making of it? I know it will be low budget and I can’t bother anymore with throwing money at contests. It is commercial and funny but I live in NC not LA. I’m concluded that if I don’t make it myself it won’t get made. How do I seek out the filmmakers or producer to team up with me?

  27. Luther Davis / May 30 at 8:30am

    Wrote a nice film what do I do next? got a lot of good feedback

  28. link / May 30 at 8:30am

    I simply want to tell you that I am very new to weblog and definitely loved your blog. More than likely I’m want to bookmark your website . You actually come with amazing articles. With thanks for revealing your website page.

  29. browse website / May 30 at 8:30am

    I simply want to say I am very new to blogging and site-building and definitely liked you’re web-site. Very likely I’m likely to bookmark your website . You surely have great articles. With thanks for sharing your web-site.

  30. follow this page / May 30 at 8:30am

    I simply want to tell you that I am beginner to weblog and really enjoyed this web site. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your site . You certainly have excellent posts. Appreciate it for revealing your blog.

  31. check page / May 30 at 8:30am

    I just want to mention I am very new to weblog and definitely enjoyed you’re web site. Likely I’m want to bookmark your website . You really come with superb stories. Regards for sharing your website page.

  32. article source / May 30 at 8:30am

    I just want to tell you that I am just very new to blogs and certainly savored your blog. Likely I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You really have incredible posts. Cheers for sharing your webpage.

  33. kitchen design / May 30 at 8:30am

    I am just writing to make you understand what a amazing encounter my friend’s girl undergone visiting your blog. She discovered numerous things, including what it’s like to have an awesome giving style to let many others effortlessly gain knowledge of a number of multifaceted things. You undoubtedly surpassed our own desires. Many thanks for displaying such helpful, safe, edifying and also easy guidance on that topic to Gloria.

  34. house plants / May 30 at 8:30am

    Very efficiently written story. It will be helpful to everyone who utilizes it, including me. Keep up the good work – looking forward to more posts.

  35. biżuteria artystyczna / May 30 at 8:30am

    Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your web-site is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you’ve on this web site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched all over the place and just could not come across. What an ideal website.

  36. www / May 30 at 8:30am

    After exploring a handful of the blog posts on your blog, I really appreciate your way of writing a blog. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my website too and let me know your opinion.

  37. www / May 30 at 8:30am

    There is certainly a great deal to find out about this issue. I like all the points you made.

  38. Tari Ni / May 30 at 8:30am

    You are my inhalation, I have few web logs and rarely run out from brand :) . “Actions lie louder than words.” by Carolyn Wells.

  39. www / May 30 at 8:30am

    Good site you have here.. It’s hard to find excellent writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Bronx Stage & Film
Leave a Comment

This site could not have been built without the help and insight of Michael Morgenstern. My thanks go out to him.

Help save indie film and give this guy a job in web design or film!