The easiest, fastest and safest way to reach a goal is to follow someone who is already there. The 7 steps I followed to make my first feature film, without a star or big budgets, are the following:

  1. Taking a Decision
    I quit my day job and decided to become a full time filmmaker.
  2. Learning and Doing
    I learned whatever I could on filmmaking and put it into practice by making short films with friends.
  3. Connecting With Like Minded People
    I made friends with actors, cameramen, and other technicians. I helped them out with their projects in whatever ways I could.
  4. Working Where You Wish to Work
    I assisted 2 feature films, through the contacts gained through previous steps, and gained even more technician friends.
  5. Writing and Rewriting
    I wrote and rewrote a kickass script. I rewrote it again to make it possible to produce it in ₹500,000 (~ $7,000) along with all the resources and experiences I gained from the previous steps.
  6. Funding Calls
    I asked over a hundred of my friends and family. We ended up with 28 producers putting in from ₹5,000 to ₹50,000, which included everyone from myself, my parents, sister, grandmother and a lot of friends and friends of friends. All of who believed in me because of all the previous steps.
  7. Making It Happen
    We made the film in my house with my actor and technician friends and post produced the film with the support of my technician friends, for ₹500,000.

FYI This took 4.5 years. Patience.

When I was starting out as a filmmaker, I searched everywhere to know the steps I needed to take. All the established filmmakers were far ahead from where I was—an absolute newbie starting out with nothing but passion. Their baby steps were unrepeatable. You might not need some of these. Or you might need more time with some. Or you might need some different ones altogether. Lemme know in the comments below.

I hope this article gives you a framework to follow. I will expand on each of them in the following days. Wishing you a prosperous year ahead with challenges, and strength to fly over them, to a life filled with passion and joy.

Happy New Year

Hey Aspiring Filmmaker,

I debuted my film career making a feature film for ₹5 lakhs ($7,000) on an iPhone. I’d like to help you do the same. So I wrote everything I learned into a book. It is now available on Amazon, called The Indian Indie Film (or Make Your Film for rest of the world). Enjoy!