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IFH 243: How to Make SERIOUS Money as a Filmmaker

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How to Make Money as a Filmmaker

I always get asked,

“How to make money as a filmmaker or can you make money as a filmmaker?”

The short answer is yes, of course, you can but will it be easy, HELL NO! What’s a filmmaker to do? I’ve been able to develop an over 20-year career making money as a filmmaker. So if I can do it you can too. In this podcast episode, I go into details on all the money making ideas filmmakers can do to make money. I give examples, tell stories and show you how I and other filmmakers make money today. Here are a few things I go over in the episode.

Film Crew Work

  • Production Assistant
  • Department PA
  • Production Office PA
  • General Crew

Film Office Work

  • I go over the details of my film office job and what amazing things happen because of it
  • You meet and network with industry people

Film Production Company

  • I discuss my first job at a production company and how it launched my career
  • The value of interning
  • How you can leverage this job into a profitable freelance career

Skilled Freelancer

  • Learn a skill (Editing, Camera, Props, Grip. etc)
  • Find a skill and brand yourself

Building Your own production Company

  • Become a “Predator: Producer – Director – Editor
  • You and a camera, some lights and editing gear and you are now a production company


  • Corporate Jobs (Not fun but they pay)
  • Duplass Brothers Story
  • Music Videos (creative but little cash)
  • Create a web commercial for a local company for FREE at first, if you are just starting out
  • Build your showreel and gain experience
  • Weddings or Event Filming

Stock Footage Creation

  • Amazing Side Hustle
  • Passive Revenue Streams
  • Borrow a camera or buy a camera and shoot on your downtime
  • Find unique locations around where you live
  • B-Roll and RAW footage from old project sitting on a hard drive
  • BlackBox – Make Passive Income From Your Footage

Online Content Creator

  • Very creative
  • Find an audience and serve the audience
  • It’s a long game
  • Do it on the side hustle at first
  • You WILL NOT GET RICH but it’ll help build your brand and show your skills

Don’t write off doing FREE Projects

  • I’ll tell you my Snoop Dogg Story

Enjoy and I hope it helps you make some cheddar!

Right-click here to download the MP3 (Transcription of the episode below)
Download on iTunes Direct
Watch on IFH YouTube Channel

The DIRTY Secret – How to Make Money as a Filmmaker

As a bonus, I’ve included  Zacuto‘s amazing five-part series on How to Make Money as a Filmmaker. When it comes to traditional ‘passion’ careers, like filmmaking, no one ever wants to talk about money. But how does a full-time filmmaker make a living?

The Zacuto Duo, Steve, and Jens sit down with Executive Producer Phil Wnuk and Director of Photography Kevin Otterness for a frank conversation about money, filmmaking, experience and having a 5-year plan.



  1. BlackBox – Make Passive Income From Your Footage
  2. Studio Unknown Audio Post –  Mention the IFH podcast, and you’ll receive 50% off one day of ADR
  3. Filmmaker in a Box – Learn How to Make an Indie Film – 18 Hours+ of Lessons 
  4. Martin Scorsese Film Directing Masterclass
  5. Ron Howard Film Directing Masterclass
  6. Judd Apatow Comedy Writing/Directing Masterclass
  7. Aaron Sorkin Screenwriting Master Class
  8. (Download Your FREE Filmmaking Audio Book)


  1. IFH MASTERS CIRCLE – Filmmaking Community
  2. IFH’s Online Film School
  3. Six Secrets to get into Film Festivals for FREE!

Action Items:

BONUS: Filmmaking Resources

If you liked How to Make Money as a Filmmaker, then you’ll love: 

Joe Swanberg, Hannah Takes The Stairs, Happy Christmas, V/H/S, Digging for Fire, 24 Exposures, All the Light in the Sky, Nights and Weekends, Uncle Kent filmmaking, indie film, indie film hustle

$1000 feature film, mark duplass, the puffy chair, logline, screenplay, screenwriting, screen writer, movie script, robert rodriguez Guacamole Gun, indie film hustle, film school, independent film, robert rodriguez, indie film, moviemaker, red camera, arri alexa, cinematography, digital filmmaking, filmmaking, alex ferrari, guerrilla filmmaking, NYU, USC, Full Sail University, Sundance Film Festival, film festival, tarantino, kurosawa, cinematography, short films, short film, indie films, filmmaker, how to make a movie, short film ideas, filmmakers, filmmaking, film festivals, film production, guerrilla film, film distribution, indie movie, screenwriter, screenwriting, short film competition, film producers, short films online, how to make short films, film distribution process, great short films, good independent films, digital video production, list of film festivals, watch short films, marketing video production, indie filmmaking, filmmaking software, short film contests, short film festivals, how to make an independent film, david flores

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1 Comment

  1. Ricardo Islas on June 23, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    So okay, I’m half way through watching these videos, and I’m enjoying them. But I needed to stop and comment on the “No way in hell” one, when the main speaker says: I’d rather have 3 million people watch my movie on the web than a run in small theaters. I get it. But is there any money in that? I have a youtube channel where some of my movies have 14 million views and others 7 million views… and google doesn’t let me make a dime. They keep finding reasons to limit and restrict my monetization. Is there money on the web? I’m talking feature length movies here, not make-up tutorials, where you can make money in a different way. Here’s my channel: newalphastudios on youtube.