Some Sound Advice on Making an Independent Movie

Independent Filmmaker Tom Durham recently sat down with the folks over at Red Giant and gave some very great advice on filming your very own independent movie. Tom has spent the last several years creating his newest independent movie, 95ers: Echoes and has endured both the highs and lows of independent filmmaking. Why not learn from his mistakes and successes? His biggest piece of advice when making your own independent movie... 'Whatever you do, don't go into debt!'

Tom explains how he transitioned from idea to distribution which can turn out to be a long, drawn out process that also turned out pretty costly. Going into debt can really be a drag on the whole filmmaking experience. He explains how using services like Kickstarter can really help preventing yourself from a ton of stress and also helps connect with your audience. He also goes over some experiences he had working with visual effects and the importance of planning.

You can find 59ers: Echoes at:

Their Website

Facebook Page



Via: Red Giant

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Mark Dub's picture

Hmmm.. Kevin Smith gave the opposite advice.

- Kevin Smith financed this movie by maxing out credit cards, selling a majority of his comic book collection and borrowing money from family and friends. 

Not saying thats the way to go, but there are exceptions to the rule :)

Rebecca Britt's picture

I wouldn't risk that with my family. :/

Smart_Alex82's picture

 Well, you haven't gotten the opportunities to be in Die Hard, or direct Bruce Willis either ;P.

Jon Uhler's picture

That is why it is called advice....and  not a rule. There are many ways to skin a cat, and each way needs to suit the person in question.

Ken Yee's picture

Pretty impressive that he could do an indy sci-fi movie...I would have thought VFX costs would have killed it so that's impressive that he it all himself.
Too bad that actress doesn't seem that great at acting (he used his wife? :-O )
And having 4 kids isn't a great thing to keep yourself out of debt either :-P

Thanks for the kudos kenyee!  I take full responsibility for any crappy scenes.  FYI, my wife Ali co-produced the movie and has been in lots of stuff.  She's gotten pretty darn good reviews so far...  But nobody is a bigger critic than herself! :)  And... kids seem much less expensive than movies!  If you like indie sci-fi... stay tuned on my blog...  Something very cool coming.

Chuck Potter's picture

Great information Tom! I understand the importance of not going into debt. I produced a documentary film about YouTube back in 2008 ("I Want My Three Minutes Back!"), and while my wife and I did not spend a fortune, we spent enough for all the necessary post production expenses (mainly legal, insurance, etc.) One thing I would also put out there is to make sure and budget for marketing. We did zero marketing, just hoping for buzz from the YT community, which was great at the start, but we could have made so much more in the beginning with a solid, funded marketing campaign.

Congratulations on the film!