6. Start with a great hook
The Film: The Blair Witch Project
The Filmmakers: Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez
The Story: “We came up with a story we wished we'd heard around a campfire,” says Sanchez. “A 200-year-old legend about an outcast, a cursed town and a series of child murders and unexplained disappearances.'”
Myrick and Sanchez started the buzz on their movie with an eight-minute pseudo-doc about the legend and filmmakers who had gone missing looking for the witch, fooling the likes of veteran indie film promoter John Pierson and even a New York police detective, who called offering to help in the hunt.
The Warning: Making people paranoid and afraid these days can lead to physical violence. Plus, what if your legend turns out to be true and the “star” comes looking for their cut?
7. Win a lawsuit
The Film: Roger & Me
The Filmmaker: Michael Moore
The Story: “I decided after a certain point, after writing about this for so many years, I'm thinking, ‘I'm not getting anywhere writing about it. What else can I do? Well, let's see. I like going to the movies. Maybe I should make a movie.”
He did – Moore used $58,000 from a lawsuit he won after being fired from news magazine Mother Jones.
When that money ran out, he mortgaged his house and sold his bed to keep the film going.
The Warning: Not everyone wins lawsuits. And you don’t want to have to shoot your film entirely on courtroom CCTV.
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