How to Start an Independent Movie Production Company

Independent Movie Production Companies are production companies that operate without a studio or distribution contract or budget. Most commonly, indie movies are made with a budget of 2M – 5M or even less. Independent production companies are usually run by 1 – 10 people depending on budget. Most indie filmmakers have their own production company but work in affiliation with other indie companies to get their work completed.


  1. Decide on the genre of film you wish to concentrate on such as: horror, drama, comedy, sci-fi, etc.
  2. Come up with a name for your production company. Choose something that is easy to remember but also stands out from the crowd like, “Beauty and the Geek Productions” or “Lovable Varmint Productions.” Search around on the internet to make sure you aren’t infringing on copyright laws. Yes, even movie production companies have a trademark or copyright on their name to secure it so that no one else will use it.
  3. Learn by doing. If you do not know how a film set is run, look around your local area and see if you can be a Production Assistant on set and learn by total immersion. Some cities have filmmaker meet up groups that help connect you with people who can answer your questions and put you in contact with people who need extra hands on set.
  4. Determine your role and input. Once you have decided on what genre of film you would most like to do you must decide what your role will be. Are you going to be the writer, director or producer? Do you want to be behind the camera or running sound? If you do not have any expertise or talent in any of those areas you should network with people and search for projects you can attach yourself to and to build your resume and your production company.
  5. Write your own script or option a script from a different writer, maybe a friend.
  6. Hire your production team. If you are lucky, you may just be able to make movies for free and pay everyone with meals and film credit. Most indie movies are made this way. Don’t forget to give screen credit to the people who have done the hard work to make your dreams into a reality. It is just rude not to do so, and will give you a bad name, making it harder for you to find people to help you next time.


  • Books are a helpful tool, along with the internet. The most helpful book you could read is “How To Make A Movie For Under $10,000: And Not Go To Jail” by Bret Stern.
  • Women filmmakers are a rare commodity, so if you are a daring chick willing to get her hands dirty and rise to the top in the movie industry, don’t start out as a production assistant or an office assistant; instead, become an editor’s assistant or a second assistant director.
  • Try to get a role as an extra on a major motion picture set to see how things are run, then get a role as an extra on an indie movie and compare how different and diverse the two worlds are.
  • Work on pitching your ideas to family and friends, once you are satisfied with your pitch, pitch it to a producer, director or writer and see what comes out of it.
  • Network, network, network. It’s the best way to meet people, important people too.


  • Being in the movie industry is a tough business. You’ve got to have thick-skin and not be afraid to take (often unwarranted) criticism.
  • Just because you’ve put a lot of time and effort into making your films and building your production company doesn’t mean you’ll be seen by big time Producers. You have to take the time to “shop” your film around. It is always best to make a movie you are most passionate about. The more passionate you are about it, the more passionate other people will be about it and potentially the more passionate they will be to invest money into future projects.
  • Filmmaking is stressful; it is important to remember that movies are a visual art and take time, passion and patience.

Things You’ll Need

  • Business cards
  • Website
  • Strong optimism
  • A few good friends
  • Cunning tactics
  • Fresh new ideas
  • Some type of video camera or film camera
  • Loads of daring ambition and a “take-no-prisoners” attitude.

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2 Responses

  1. Apple says:

    Nice article!

  2. Palladiumbarren Kaufen says:

    Hi there! This is really an interesting article about starting an movie production company. Thank you for sharing this tips 🙂 Best regards, P.K.

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