IFH 024: How I Made Over $90,000 Selling my Short Film + Video Tutorials

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How I Made Over $90,000 Selling my Short Film + Video Tutorials

Making a Short film can be tough but selling a short film can be impossible. Here’s my story on how I did both.

I directed a small action short film a few years back called BROKEN (Watch it FREE on Amazon Prime) I shot the short film on MiniDV Tape (yes I’m old) on the Panasonic DVX 100a, the indie film workhorse of its day.

My team and I filmed it in West Palm Beach Florida (not exactly the Mecca of the film industry) and it starred only local, non named actors.

Now once the filming was over I marketed the living hell out of that short film. It went on to screen at over 250 international film festivals, won countless awards and was covered by over 300 news outlets.

That little short film had a life of it’s own. I even got a review from legendary film critic Roger Ebert (to hear the full story on how that happen take a listen to this podcast: Getting Attention from Influencers & Gatekeepers)



BROKEN is essentially a demonstration of the mastery of horror imagery and techniques. Effective and professional.” – Roger Ebert

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Roger Ebert at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Now you must be asking,

But Alex how the hell did you make money with it?

Well, I knew that no one would pay “real money” for a 20 minute short film, shot on MiniDV, with no name actors and from a first time director to boot. So I planned to create a guerilla indie film school with over 3 hours of footage, tutorials, commentaries and more. 

By creating all the supplemental material and packaging with the short film on DVD I created a viable product for the marketplace.

VOD (Video on Demand) and digital download technology was just getting off the ground and still very expense, if it worked at all. Youtube was not “Youtube” yet, it had just launched. So DVD was the only way to go.



I went after every message board and film news outlet I could get my hands on. I’d had created so much hype around the release that on day one I sold over 250 DVDs for $20.00 a pop. That’s $5000! 

The orders kept coming and I went on to sell over 5000 copies world wide (and counting), shipping them out of my bedroom in Fort Lauderdale, FL. 

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Speaking on a panel at the Director’s Guild of America opening night at Hollyshorts! Film Festival

10 years later I’m still selling copies today, as crazy as might sound. I’ve probably have generated well over $90,000 selling that little short film over the years. All because I understood my market place and what it needed. 

At the time there was nothing on the market like the BROKEN DVD; no courses on how to make a low budget indie feature or short film with low budget technology. BROKEN has found a new life in Indie Film Hustle’s first online educational course “Filmmaking Hacks: How to Shoot and Market Your Indie Film.” More on that later.

Right click here to download the MP3 (Transcription of the episode below)


BONUS: TOP TEN Online Filmmaking Courses


How to Make a Short Film (Infographic + Video Course)

Making a short film is your first step to becoming a feature filmmaker. Check out the info graphic form the good folks over at Canal+ and the video course below, they will show you how to make a mini movie masterpiece.

One tip I can give you. Shoot something simple. The masters all start off with something small. Still not convinced? Check out some of cinematic masters’s first offering to the film world for inspiration.

Martin Scorsese’s What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?


Christopher Nolan’s Doodlebug


Wes Anderson’s Bottle Rocket


Neill Blomkamp’s Alive in Joburg


How to Make a Short Film Infographic

short_filmClick here to download


How to Make a Short Film

Professors and students from Santa Fe University of Art and Design explain exactly what it takes to make a short film. Hear about the pre-production (coming up with an idea, writing a screenplay, creating storyboards, scouting locations, raising money, and recruiting a crew), filming, and post production processes. Watch examples of student’s short films at the end of this video.


Seven Things to Know About Making Short Film!

Here are seven important things to know about short films, from efficient exposition, to what the best length is when submitting to film festivals!

Now check out Filmmaking Hacks – How to Shoot and Market Your Indie Film. Included in this indie short film school collection is over 6 hours & over 50 videosFilmmaking Hacks goes through pre-production, production, post production and what to do after your done shooting your indie short film. The Ultimate Guerrilla Indie Film School for filmmakers who ACTUALLY made it happen!

Included in this indie film school collection is close to 7  hours & over 50 tutorial videos. Filmmaking Hacks goes through pre-production, production, post production and what to do after your done shooting your indie feature or short film.

Included in IFH’s Guerilla Indie Film School:

Pre-Production: 

  • Storyboards: The ENTIRE Collection
  • Storyboards: Comparison with Final Shots
  • Concept Art / Location Comparison
  • Costume Design Gallery
  • Rehearsal Comparison with Final Scene
  • Blocking Action in a Scene
  • Evolution of an Action Sequence
  • A Director’s Best Friend – Finding Your Shot
  • Casting an Indie Short Film
  • Designing a Cinematic World

Production:

  • Production: Recipe: “How to Make a Guacamole Gun”
  • Special Effects Make-up Breakdown
  • Indie Film Stunt School
  • How to Get Pro Looking Guns with Little or No $$$
  • Tips on Producing an Indie Feature or Short Film
  • Fly on the Wall: Shooting a Action Short Film
  • Breaking Down Stunts: RPB
  • Fight Sequence Breakdown: RPB
  • Black Arts: Practical Effects

Post Production:

  • Color Correction Comparison
  • Visual Effects Breakdowns
  • Title Sequence Breakdown
  • Visual Effects in Indie Short Film
  • Cinematography in Indie Short Film
  • Sound Design/Composing in Indie Short Film

Indie Film Marketing:

  • After the Short: The Making of BROKEN
  • Marketing: Promoting a Short Film
  • How to Design a Film Website
  • Breaking Down the Marketing: BROKEN
  • Breaking Down the Marketing: CYN
  • Breaking Down the Marketing: Red Princess Blues

10 Filmmaking Commentary Tracks Covering: 

  • Directing
  • Producing
  • Visual Effects
  • Music Score/Sound Design
  • Cast and Crew
  • Film Geeks Unite

I also include a ton of other bonus goodies as well. Click here to check it out: Filmmaking Hacks: How to Shoot and Market Your Indie Film

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Speaking and Marketing Red Princess Blues on a panel with Josh Brolin and Jessica Biel.


With today’s technology being sooooo cheap and accessible, indie filmmakers have a better chance than ever to make a living creating content and making indie films.

Next year I’ll be creating a course on Indie Film Marketing and Self Distribution which will go over some of the following topics:

  • How to build an image for your indie feature or short film
  • Understanding you market place
  • Does your indie film have an audience?
  • Making your indie film look bigger than it is
  • How to make money with your film
  • How to use Social Media to blow up sales of your indie film
  • How to package your indie film online to maximize your income
  • How to automate the process of selling you project

…and much more. Sign up for my list below and you’ll get a HUGE DISCOUNT on upcoming IFH Courses. Take a listen to the podcast for the whole story and a HUGE DISCOUNT for the Filmmaking Hacks: How to Shoot and Market Your Indie Film.

Until then keep filming, keep that hustle going and don’t give up!

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE.

Action Items:


If you like this show on crowdfunding then watch:
How to Build a Indie Film Empire with Robert Rodriguez

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Transcription – Indie Film Hustle Podcast Episode #24.
Click below: