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The Art of Lean Filmmaking: An unconventional guide to creating independent feature films

The Art of Lean Filmmaking: An unconventional guide to creating independent feature films

by Kylie Eddy, David Eddy


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Lean Filmmaking is an explosion of creativity, turning conventional wisdom upside down to vigorously shake out obsolete ideas revered by the traditional film industry.

Writing a script. Pitching to investors. Surviving development hell. Before even picking up a camera. All while juggling a family, a social life and a day job. No wonder making an independent feature film feels out of reach.

Lean Filmmaking is different.

It celebrates experimentation and inventiveness, while forging a sustainable artistic practice.

It saves time, energy and money (but it's not just for low-budget or cheap ideas).

It takes advantage of surprising - often counterintuitive - strategies to dramatically improve the filmmaking process, including:

  • Collaborating in non-hierarchical, cross-functional squads
  • Working in ongoing iterative Make-Show-Adjust Cycles
  • Validating assumptions with early fan feedback

If you're ready to transition from shorts, series or online videos to creating independent feature films, go from idea to launch with the five-step Lean Filmmaking method.

Get started immediately with tested techniques that will empower you to take action, bust through stumbling blocks and ignite your creativity.

"Lean Filmmaking kickstarts an entire generation of new filmmaking voices, arming them with the tools and self-reliance to create original, important stories, then connecting them with the audience who especially craves them." -Perri Cummings and Paul Anthony Nelson, producers Trench

"Lean Filmmaking revolutionizes how filmmakers work." -Melanie Rowland, producer Time Apart

Cheeky provocateurs and creative agitators, siblings Kylie Eddy and David Eddy have combined their filmmaking experience and agile coaching expertise to re-imagine the development, production and distribution of independent films in an uncertain world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780645200706
Publisher: Lean Filmmaking
Publication date: 06/30/2021
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.49(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: A new way to make films with creativity at its heart

Part 1: Core Values

The Lean Filmmaking Philosophy

Collaboration is key

Fan focused first

Story before production values

Learn by doing

Make-Show-Adjust Cycles

Values can transform creativity

What you need to start (and it isn't money)

Part 2: Step by Step Guide

The Lean Filmmaking Method

Step 1: Form Squad

Start with a squad, not a script

Recruit for skills, not roles

Choose the minimum viable squad

Align squad goals

A squad needs transparency and moxie

You're done with this step when...

Step 2: Discover Fans

Let's talk about talking to fans

Start with a spark

Conduct research interviews

Draft a fan experience

Make tester videos

You're done with this step when...

Step 3: Develop Drafts

Ceremonies empower the squad

Restructure work by overlapping activities

Delay decisions with just-in-time production

Construct the Story Scaffold

Run full-film draft Make-Show-Adjust Cycles

You're done with this step when...

Step 4: Produce Polishes

Ask fans to pay for it

Scale the squad (but only if you really need to)

Prioritize with the Impact-vs-Difficulty Matrix

Run full-film polish Make-Show-Adjust Cycles

You're done with this step when...

Step 5: Launch Film

Stop obsessing about film festivals

Demystify self-distribution

Run marketing and sales experiments

Release the film

It's out, now what?

You're really done when...



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