How to Shoot & Direct an Indie Feature Film in 24 Hours
4.1 (14 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,151 students enrolled

How to Shoot & Direct an Indie Feature Film in 24 Hours

Learn How to Make an Indie Feature Film! Your Filmmaking, Video Production & DSLR to the Next Level. Film School Online.
4.1 (14 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,151 students enrolled
Last updated 7/2018
English
Current price: $11.99 Original price: $174.99 Discount: 93% off
1 day left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 6 hours on-demand video
  • 1 article
  • 7 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • You will acquire the building blocks and the insider knowledge of how we shot Friends, Foes & Fireworks in a single night, and what we have learned about filmmaking in our decade long careers.
  • How to plan an improvised film from the very first steps such as story concept and casting, right through to how to shoot, promote and attract sales.

  • How to plan, schedule and work with your cast and crew to make the shoot as efficient as possible and achieve so much in so little time.

  • A unique and quick turnaround approach to filmmaking that will give you the know-how and confidence to go out and get your own film made.
Requirements
  • You should be an aspiring filmmaker who wants to produce and shoot an indie film on a small budget.
  • An interest in low budget filmmaking and working closely with actors to create characters.
  • You should have some basic knowledge of how a film set operates or have been on a film set at least once in your life.
  • Basic organizational and time management skills will be useful to you during the shoot, especially during the producing and planning stages.
  • You need to have a ‘can do attitude’ and the courage to step up and do something creatively innovative.
Description

Join over 25,000 students learning from our courses!

Making a feature film does not require a script. Nor does it have to take years, months, or even weeks. Learn how to take your ideas and get your film made right now.

Do you have a feature film inside of you just dying to get out? Don't know where to start? Do you think you need millions of dollars to make a feature film? The answer is NO you don't. Would you like to learn how to make a feature film in 24 hours and actually sell it as well?

In this informative ‘how to’ course, award winning independent filmmaking duo, Sarah Jayne and Ivan Malekin from Nexus Production Group, take you through ten chapters, covering every step they took to plan, shoot and market their first improvised feature film Friends, Foes & Fireworks, which they shot in a single night over New Year’s Eve. This is an inside look with nothing held back, from success to mistakes and everything we learned along the way, and which we now share with you so you too can get your feature film made right now.

They DON'T teach you this in Film School!

  • Mike Leigh is a Palm d’Or winning director famed for his improvisational approach. 
  • Joe Swanberg has built a 13 year career on improvisation, culminated in a series on Netflix. 
  • Improvised filmmaking is a captivating and immersive filmmaking process known for its quick turnaround time.  
  • So quick, in fact, you can film your idea in a single night.

And that is exactly what Ivan Malekin and Sarah Jayne did, filming their ambitious feature Friends, Foes & Fireworks, entirely improvised, in one night, on New Year’s Eve.

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“In an era of superhero blockbusters and feel-good schmaltz, this is a rare, truthful film. Don’t miss it.” - Mary Costello, Audience Member, Melbourne Cinema Release.

So if you are an aspiring filmmaker who wants to not only get their films made now but sell them too, and utilise a low budget, but high production value approach - one that is unique, innovative and proven to be successful - then this online filmmaking course is just what you need! 

This course includes:

  • 2.5 hours of talk-to-camera discussions about the entire filmmaking process - from concept to planning to filming to post to distribution - divided into 10 lessons.
  • Behind the Scenes videos, pictures, and scenes from the film demonstrating discussed techniques
  • Supplementary resources like outlines, character backgrounds, call sheets, dialogue and action beats, schedules, and character audition videos for Friends, Foes & Fireworks
  • Full lifetime access
  • Mobile access

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This course will cover:

CHAPTER 1. IDEAS & OUTLINE

In this chapter you will learn how we found our inspiration and how you can find yours. We also take you through the first steps of building the story for the film, how we work with the actors and how to do this without a script. Topics covered: 

  • How we Think of Ideas
  • Location & Character Inspiration
  • Outline
  • Character Backgrounds
  • Scene Descriptions 
  • Script vs Improvisation

CHAPTER 2. CASTING 

In this chapter you will learn how we tackled casting and what we look for in actors, how to use social media for casting calls, plus insights into the audition and selection process. Topics covered: 

  • How We Find Actors 
  • Our Audition Process
  • How We Choose Our Cast

CHAPTER 3. CREW & EQUIPMENT

In this chapter you will learn about crewing for an improvised feature film, what equipment you will require and the crewing positions we utilised, plus other crew roles you need to consider. Topics covered: 

  • Crew Positions We Use
  • Additional Crew Positions
  • Finding Crew
  • Our Equipment 

CHAPTER 4. REHEARSAL 

In this chapter you will learn about the in-depth process for rehearsals we created to help everyone prepare for the shoot, all without a script. Everything from meetings with the actors, to ice-breaking games, right through to how we recreated character history to give our actors grounding and shared truths to draw upon. Topics covered:

  • Our Rehearsal Process
  • One on One Meetings
  • Actor on Actor Meetings 
  • Group Meetings
  • Improvisation Games 
  • Recreating History

CHAPTER 5. FINAL PREPARATION 

In this chapter you will learn how to go into an improvised shoot as prepared as possible. We will cover everything we did before shoot day to get ourselves and our cast and crew ready, which you can do too. Topics covered:

  • Schedule
  • Catering 
  • Transportation 
  • Locations
  • Dialogue & Acton Beats 
  • Call Sheets 

CHAPTER 6. THE SHOOT 

In this chapter you will learn how to take everything you have prepared and turn it into action. We talk about on set etiquette and how we worked with our cast and crew to capture the footage needed, keep the story on track and the schedule on time, and draw the best possible performance from the actors. Topics covered: 

  • Welcoming the Team 
  • Working Efficiently 
  • Shot Setup 
  • Takes

CHAPTER 7. TROUBLESHOOTING 

In this chapter you will learn about a number of things that can and will go wrong when shooting any film - improvised or not - and how to work to correct these errors. Through experience and hindsight, we talk about how to avoid mistakes on set and correct those mistakes in post-production that you couldn’t avoid. Topics covered: 

  • Coverage
  • Continuity 
  • Overlapping Dialogue
  • Cameras in Shot 
  • Reflections & Shadows
  • Security 

CHAPTER 8. POST PRODUCTION 

In this chapter you will learn how to move from the shooting stage into the many phases of post-production. We will discuss all the necessary steps that need to be taken right through from editing the footage to sound design to the final touches needed to complete the film. Topics covered:

  • Editing
  • Sound Design 
  • Visual Effects
  • Automatic Dialogue Replacement 
  • Colour Grade

CHAPTER 9. MARKETING & DISTRIBUTION

In this chapter you will learn how to distribute and sell your improvised film. We talk about the importance of marketing within the early stages, how we marketed our film, and what you can do to gain an audience for your film and the steps you can take to sell your work. Topics include: 

  • Website
  • Social Media
  • Poster
  • Distribution Streams 
  • Sales Agents & Aggregators
  • Film Markets

CHAPTER 10. LEGALITIES 

In this chapter you will learn about the important legal things that you need to consider as a filmmaker. This may be the boring stuff, but not getting this down can jeopardize your shoot or even your film’s future prospects. We will take you through the basics, covering everything from the contracts and permits, right through to discussions on logos and branding, plus more. Topics include: 

  • Contract 
  • Deferred Payment 
  • Clearing Music 
  • Permits
  • Public Liability Insurance 
  • Logos & Brands
  • People in Background

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What people are saying about our courses: 

"By far, the best director and cinematography course on the Internet." - Nate Carroll

"I really enjoyed taking this class. It wasn't just that the subject was interesting to me, but the teacher also made the class intriguing. I would gladly recommend this class to anyone who would be interested." - Leah Ames

Very helpful. Adds depth to your understanding and intuitive insights which you surely had if you happened to play with video shooting and editing without doing any learning beforehand. It's enriching. The movie samples are great as the clarify the points. Love it! - Yosi Tsitsu

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So what are you waiting for? Whether you are fresh out of film school, a screenwriter who wants to create his/her own content or just someone who wants to make a feature film this course is for you. Join over 25,000 students that have already taken Indie Film Hustle filmmaking and screenwriting courses. 

If you've got the dream.

If you've got the drive.

If you've got the passion - but you're missing the knowledge and experience...this course will help you make your feature film into a reality.

Enroll NOW and learn how to make a low budget feature film! Let's get started!

Who this course is for:
  • Indie Filmmakers
  • Content Creators
  • Screenwriters
  • Film Students
  • Anyone interested in making a feature film
Course content
Expand all 33 lectures 05:53:26
+ Introduction
1 lecture 02:15

In this informative ‘how to’ course, award winning independent filmmaking duo, Sarah Jayne and Ivan Malekin from Nexus Production Group, take you through ten chapters, covering every step they took to plan, shoot and market their first improvised feature film Friends, Foes & Fireworks, which they shot in a single night over New Year’s Eve. This is an inside look with nothing held back, from success to mistakes and everything we learned along the way, and which we now share with you so you too can get your feature film made right now.

Preview 02:15
+ Let's Make a Movie
1 lecture 10:13

In this chapter you will learn how we found our inspiration and how you can find yours. We also take you through the first steps of building the story for the film, how we work with the actors and how to do this without a script. Topics covered: 

  • How we Think of Ideas
  • Location & Character Inspiration
  • Outline
  • Character Backgrounds
  • Scene Descriptions 
  • Script vs Improvisation
Preview 10:13
+ Casting
4 lectures 20:26

In this chapter you will learn how we tackled casting and what we look for in actors, how to use social media for casting calls, plus insights into the audition and selection process. Topics covered: 

  • How We Find Actors 
  • Our Audition Process
  • How We Choose Our Cast
Lesson 2: Casting
12:23

Casting Tape for the character of Fiona

Casting Tape: Fiona
02:17

Casting Tape for the characters of Sofia and Zoe

Casting Tape: Sofia & Zoe
03:02

Casting Tape for the characters of Summer and Lucinda

Casting Tape: Lucinda & Summer
02:44
+ Pre-Production
8 lectures 56:47

In this chapter you will learn about crewing for an improvised feature film, what equipment you will require and the crewing positions we utilised, plus other crew roles you need to consider. Topics covered: 

  • Crew Positions We Use
Lesson 3: Crew Positions We Used
11:17

In this chapter you will learn about crewing for an improvised feature film, what equipment you will require and the crewing positions we utilised, plus other crew roles you need to consider. Topics covered: 

  • Additional Crew Positions



Lesson 3a: Additional Crew Positions
06:32

In this chapter you will learn about crewing for an improvised feature film, what equipment you will require and the crewing positions we utilised, plus other crew roles you need to consider. Topics covered: 

  • Finding Crew
Lesson 3b: Finding Crew
03:35

In this chapter you will learn about crewing for an improvised feature film, what equipment you will require and the crewing positions we utilised, plus other crew roles you need to consider. Topics covered: 

  • The Gear and Equipment We Used
Lesson 3c: Equipment and Gear
07:12

In this chapter you will learn about the in-depth process for rehearsals we created to help everyone prepare for the shoot, all without a script. Everything from meetings with the actors, to ice-breaking games, right through to how we recreated character history to give our actors grounding and shared truths to draw upon. Topics covered:

  • Our Rehearsal Process
  • One on One Meetings
  • Actor on Actor Meetings 
  • Group Meetings
  • Improvisation Games 
  • Recreating History
Lesson 4: Rehearsal
13:24

CHAPTER 5. FINAL PREPARATION 

In this chapter you will learn how to go into an improvised shoot as prepared as possible. We will cover everything we did before shoot day to get ourselves and our cast and crew ready, which you can do too. 


Lesson 5: Final Prep
03:45

CHAPTER 5. FINAL PREPARATION 

In this chapter you will learn how to go into an improvised shoot as prepared as possible. We will cover everything we did before shoot day to get ourselves and our cast and crew ready, which you can do too. Topics covered:

  • Schedule
  • Catering 


Lesson 5a: Scheduling and Catering
05:54

CHAPTER 5. FINAL PREPARATION 

In this chapter you will learn how to go into an improvised shoot as prepared as possible. We will cover everything we did before shoot day to get ourselves and our cast and crew ready, which you can do too. Topics covered:

  • Dialogue & Acton Beats 
  • Call Sheets
Lesson 5b: Dialog Beats and Call Sheets
05:08
+ The Production
3 lectures 10:23

In this chapter you will learn how to take everything you have prepared and turn it into action. We talk about on set etiquette and how we worked with our cast and crew to capture the footage needed, keep the story on track and the schedule on time, and draw the best possible performance from the actors. Topics covered: 

  • Welcoming the Team 
Lesson 6: The Shoot
04:17

In this chapter you will learn how to take everything you have prepared and turn it into action. We talk about on set etiquette and how we worked with our cast and crew to capture the footage needed, keep the story on track and the schedule on time, and draw the best possible performance from the actors. Topics covered: 

  • Shot Setup 
  • Reviewing Takes


    Lesson 6a: Shot Set Up and Reviewing Takes
    02:58
    Lesson 6b: Working Efficiently
    03:08
    + Trobleshooting
    3 lectures 12:58

    In this chapter you will learn about a number of things that can and will go wrong when shooting any film - improvised or not - and how to work to correct these errors. Through experience and hindsight, we talk about how to avoid mistakes on set and correct those mistakes in post-production that you couldn’t avoid. Topics covered: 

    • Coverage
    • Continuity
    Lesson 7: Coverage and Continuity
    04:08

    In this chapter you will learn about a number of things that can and will go wrong when shooting any film - improvised or not - and how to work to correct these errors. Through experience and hindsight, we talk about how to avoid mistakes on set and correct those mistakes in post-production that you couldn’t avoid. Topics covered: 

    • Overlapping Dialogue
    Lesson 7a: Overlapping Dialogue
    01:45

    In this chapter you will learn about a number of things that can and will go wrong when shooting any film - improvised or not - and how to work to correct these errors. Through experience and hindsight, we talk about how to avoid mistakes on set and correct those mistakes in post-production that you couldn’t avoid. Topics covered: 

    • Cameras in Shot 
    • Reflections & Shadows
    • Security 
      Lesson 7b: Cameras in the Way and Security
      07:05
      + Post Production
      3 lectures 13:26

      CHAPTER 8. POST PRODUCTION 

      In this chapter you will learn how to move from the shooting stage into the many phases of post-production. We will discuss all the necessary steps that need to be taken right through from editing the footage to sound design to the final touches needed to complete the film. Topics covered:

      • Editing


      Lesson 8: Editorial
      06:51

      CHAPTER 8. POST PRODUCTION 

      In this chapter you will learn how to move from the shooting stage into the many phases of post-production. We will discuss all the necessary steps that need to be taken right through from editing the footage to sound design to the final touches needed to complete the film. Topics covered:

      • Sound Design 
      • Automatic Dialogue Replacement 


      Lesson 8a: Sound Design and ADR
      03:25

      CHAPTER 8. POST PRODUCTION 

      In this chapter you will learn how to move from the shooting stage into the many phases of post-production. We will discuss all the necessary steps that need to be taken right through from editing the footage to sound design to the final touches needed to complete the film. Topics covered:

      • Visual Effects
      • Colour Grade



        Lesson 8b: Color Grading and Visual Effects
        03:10
        + Marketing and Distribution
        4 lectures 20:48

        In this chapter you will learn how to distribute and sell your improvised film. We talk about the importance of marketing within the early stages, how we marketed our film, and what you can do to gain an audience for your film and the steps you can take to sell your work. Topics include: 

        • Website
        • Social Media
        Chapter 9 - Marketing
        09:13
        Chapter 9a - Poster
        03:21

        In this chapter you will learn how to distribute and sell your improvised film. We talk about the importance of marketing within the early stages, how we marketed our film, and what you can do to gain an audience for your film and the steps you can take to sell your work. Topics include: 

        • Distribution Streams 
        • Distribber
        • Sales Agents & Aggregators
        • Film Markets


          Chapter 9b - Distribution and Film Markets
          06:07
          Official Trailer: Friends, Foes & Fireworks
          02:07
          + Final Thoughts
          2 lectures 09:52

          In this chapter you will learn about the important legal things that you need to consider as a filmmaker. This may be the boring stuff, but not getting this down can jeopardize your shoot or even your film’s future prospects. We will take you through the basics, covering everything from the contracts and permits, right through to discussions on logos and branding, plus more. Topics include: 

          • Contract 
          • Deferred Payment 
          • Clearing Music 
          • Permits
          • Public Liability Insurance 
          • Logos & Brands
          • People in Background
          Lesson 10: Legalities
          08:51
          BONUS: What DO You Want to Learn Next?
          01:01
          + BONUS: Indie Film Hustle Podcast
          4 lectures 03:16:31

          How to Shoot a Feature Film in 24 Hours with Ivan Malekin

          Imagine shooting an entire feature film in 24 hours. How could you do something like that and not make it a bad stage play? Today’s guest was not only able to do that but made a damn good film in the process. Ivan Malekin and his partner Sarah Jayne directed the feature film Friends, Foes & Fireworks in just one night (24 hours). Here’s some info on the film.

          An intimate New Year’s Eve reunion of five female friends in the independent acting scene becomes a test of relationships when old tensions spark, truths are told, and rivalries are reignited. Will the group make it through the night together or will their friendship fizzle out like an overzealous fireworks display?

          Filmed in a single night, the craziest and most chaotic night of the year – NYE – and relying entirely on improvisation, Friends, Foes & Fireworks is an ambitious Australian drama exploring relationships, love, friendship and the truths we try and fail to keep to ourselves.

          We dive into what it took to make a film in 24 hours, did they use a script or scriptment? How many cameras? How many crew and much more. Get ready to be inspired and enjoy my conversation with Ivan Malekin.

          How to Shoot an Indie Feature Film in 24 Hours with Ivan Malekin
          29:32

          How to Shoot and Sell a $5000 Micro-Budget Feature Film with Claudia Pickering

          Today’s guest is writer/director/actor/producer Claudia Pickering. She recently wrote and directed the feature film “Frisky” for just $5000. I wanted to have her on the show to discuss the tricks of the trade when making a feature for such a low budget. The film has also played at countless film festivals and won a ton of awards. Check out the trialer below.

          Two twenty-somethings move to San Francisco to chase their career but end up chasing tail instead.

          When two twenty-something women move back to San Francisco, where they had met on exchange years earlier, their high career aspirations quickly become sidelined by their sexual interests. While wildly crass and charismatic in their public personas, they are in fact fundamentally at odds on many levels. Their opposing beliefs surrounding responsibility and romance, combined with their close quarters while crashing in an acquaintance’s living room, find them thrust onto a fast track to discovering what their friendship is really made of. Based on true events, Frisky is an honest, tongue-in-cheek look at what it is to be a woman in the limbo years between college and “the real world”. 


          ★★★★  “This fearless, fun comedy offers a welcome female take on twentysomethings finding themselves amid aimless drifting, partying and hook-ups, its simple story bolstered by a sharp script and charismatic comedic turn from writer/director Claudia Pickering.” – Empire Magazine

          Claudia Pickering’s Tips For Budget Filmmaking

          • Use Craigslist to advertise for cast and crew, also ask your network.
          • Offer profit share for people to work for free.
          • Use the majority of your budget for post-production sound and color.
          • Offer bigger credits for those working for free
          • Do most of the dirty work yourself.

          Enjoy my conversation with Claudia Pickering.

          How to Shoot a $5000 Feature Film
          50:22

          How to Make a $9000 Feature Film with Ed Burns

          Many of you might have heard of the Sundance Film Festival winning film called The Brothers McMullen written and directed by Edward Burns. Burns went off to star in huge films like Saving Private Ryan and direct studio films like She’s the One but what you might not know is he has been quietly making completely independent films on really low budgets. How low, how about $9000. 

          As with any smart filmmaker, Ed Burns has continued to not only produce films but to consider new methods of getting his projects to the world. In 2007, he teamed up with Apple iTunes to release an exclusive film “Purple Violets”. It was a sign of the times that the director was branching out to new methods of release for his projects. In addition, he also continued to release works with his signature tried-and-true method of filmmaking. Using a very small $25,000 budget and a lot of resourcefulness, Burns created “Nice Guy Johnny” in 2010. Again- he was the writer and director. This is a formula that may intimidate a lesser performer, but he has proven that it works perfectly for his abilities.

          The film “Nice Guy Johnny” was released at the Tribeca Film Festival. While he was releasing that film, Burns wrote “Newlyweds”, another film he directed and starred in. He filmed this on a small Canon 5D camera in only 12 days and on a budget of only $9,000.

          In his book Independent Ed (which I recommend ALL filmmakers read), Ed Burns mentions some rules he dubbed “McMullen 2.0” which were basically a set of rules for independent filmmakers to shoot by.

          • The film should take no longer than 12 days to film
          • Don’t shoot with any more than a three man crew
          • Actor’s use their own clothes
          • Actor’s do their own hair and make-up
          • Ask and beg for any locations
          • Use the resources you have at your disposal


          Ed Burns and How to Shoot a Micro-Budget Feature Film
          17:14

          The Art of the $6000 Feature Film with Joshua Caldwell

          I had the pleasure of meeting Joshua Caldwell, a brother in “indie filmmaking” arms. He directed a $6000 feature filmcalled LAYOVER, which World Premiered at the 2014 Seattle International Film Festival where it was nominated for the New American Cinema Award.

          The story of how he made the film was educational, rebellious and funny. Many things he said mirrored my experience making This is Meg. Josh really has a great philosophy about making films and content. Check out the trailer below to see what a $6000 feature film in today’s world looks like.

          If you are going to make a feature film in the near future you need to listen to this podcast. It will change how you think about making indie films.

          The Art of the $6000 Feature Film
          01:39:23