1. Don't worry about getting your films into theaters. A theater release is just a marketing plan for the home entertainment release that’s it, no matter how much money it makes at the box office which most times it’s a loss.
2. Make Movies about stuff you like, love and would do for nothing because you are so passionate about the subject.
3. Be yourself and creatively brilliant. We all have a unique voice that’s what separates us. Use your own voice and ideas. Don’t try and copy someone else's style.
4. Talk about what you know when you decide to write a screenplay. At the core of every story the writer is always writing about himself.
5. Once you have a script, start filming. Use friends, houses, cars and places you have access to. Pay your crew. Get actors to work for free if you can and feed them all. Pay at least one well known or not so well known actor to appear in your film this will help with getting a distribution deal.
6. Get your film into as many film festivals as possible. Start with the big festivals first then go to the smaller festivals. Make your film premiere important at the right festival.
7. Now it’s time to start thinking about which distribution platforms are best suited for your film. (i.e. Youtube, Vimeo, Netflix, Hulu) or If you want you can go with a traditional distribution deal or theatrical release. An aggregator or sales agent can represent your film to buyers or stores.
8. Get on social media and drive traffic to your films, websites, press as much as possible. Do it yourself or hire a PR person who can start creating a buzz about you. If your fans are talking about your film on social media you might just be doing something right.
9. A good short film or feature length movie is worth its weight in gold. If enough people like your film someone will tell someone and eventually it reaches the ears of Hollywood producers who are always looking for fresh talent for their film productions.
10. Sometimes overnight success takes years. Be prepared to spend years fining tuning your craft of filmmaking, writing scripts and making the right connection.
11. Forget about becoming rich and famous, that’s just the result of the hard work you are going to put in following the first 10 rules.
12. Wash, rinse, repeat. You aren’t a filmmaker if you aren’t making films therefore follow the golden rule always be filming.
As a film producer that happens to be black, I've never produced or written a film only with or for blacks actors. True, I mainly produce indie films but that would be more of a reason for me to just have familiar faces I'm use to seeing in my films; or faces I feel comfortable around. Jesus, that one never gets old. When I'm producing my personal films for release or writing scripts for agents I considers all races. I cannot paint a picture of the world with only faces of one race. I'm baffled at how Hollywood studios do it on a major scale. It should be impossible, yet we still see it film release after film release mostly white actors and a jarring lack of diversity. This is an example of how studio execs, producers, casting agents and directors forget to look beyond the familiar face and comfort zone. Get out there and mix it up Hollywood. We are missing out on so much talent not including others. It's really disappointing when diversity brings so many perspectives of story telling to the table. What's even more startling is the acceptance of this being business as usual by nearly everyone in the industry. Most people don't speak up because they don't want to ruffle feathers or be labeled "difficult to deal with" and get blackballed out of working. Being told to "shut up" and know your place, this way really hurt those in a position to speak up. If Hollywood were to open a black run Hollywood Studio, and I do have the education and experience to run such a company, I would obtain scripts with a diverse cast of great actors of all races. I would most certainly fund stories about important black figures in history that have been looked over by Hollywood. I would tell storied from across the vast spectrum of the black experience, action, adventure, love, best friend, wedding, thriller, horror including Sci-fi. Yes, black people love seeing and have written Sci-fi films. Point being, we are a very diverse people and that is not reflected in the films we pay money to go see. I for one am tired of the lack of diversity. I want more from Hollywood. I want more from this world. It's truly time to stand up and be counted among the greats. Let us shout to the roof tops, we are here. Maybe a black run studio is the answer after decades of being looked over by Hollywood. Let's name such a great studio if it were to ever come into existence, Mahogany Studios. Yes, that can be my working title.