A Better Way
Write the $cript.
$hoot the movie.
$ubmit movie to festivals.
Network at partie$.
Sell the movie.
While the above is a formula to getting your story seen by others, the percentage of storytellers that have found success with that idea is significantly less now than it was 30 years ago. If you persist with that formula above, you'll be broke or your parents will be broke.
The hard truth is that the indie filmmaker world is made for those with money. Those aspiring indie filmmakers who have been blessed with good fortune have the luxury of not working to make ends meet. They can afford to throw money around on projects because they have that safety net of their bank accounts.
And good for them! I won't ever take that away from someone. The truth is that they simply can afford a misstep. Middle-income filmmakers often times cannot afford to make a wrong turn and throw away money. The results are career ending. If I had the opportunity to be bank-rolled by someone, I would've jumped at that chance.
I can feel you shaking your heads. Are there exceptions? Absolutely. But if you're going to keep lying to yourself about the facts, then you will soon become a statistic. I'm not advocating for you to quit. Tell your story! But understand that you don't need to follow the pattern set above.
You hear it all the time in marketing. Build your brand. Develop your audience. Produce content. Stop thinking of yourself as only a storyteller, only a writer, only a director, etc. You are a brand! You have an open window to the world with You Tube, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc, etc, etc.
You don't have to drop money on festivals that guarantee you the world in networking contacts, but forget to tell you about the massive amounts of coin you have to spend in order to attend the festivals, get a hotel room, pay for drinks, pay for food, attend random parties in hopes of meeting the right person at the right time. (Yes, "La La Land", it's so magical when it happens.)
But you don't NEED to do that! The way we tell stories is changing. Hollywood is slowly dragging its feet, because it doesn't know how to control the narrative. Stop looking to the "way it's always been done" and do it another way. A better way. A more cost-effective, smart-business way to promote the brand that is you.