Welcome to FilmMates
Indie filmmakers – let’s learn to think like entrepreneurs!
Making a film is like falling in love
Don’t you think? You get a burning idea, and you just have to follow the story no matter what. That honeymoon phase. Then the relationship becomes rocky. You must find funds to keep going. To pay for your crew, your travel, your production, and myriad other necessities. Most of the time you do not pay yourself.
You do crowdfunding. Submit grant proposals. Remortgage your house, beg, borrow, steal. Often times, you go into debt. Tireless days and sleepless nights.
But finally, your film is DONE. Woohoo! Now what? How can you get your film seen? You spend more money on film festivals, press materials, consultants. Right? And your next film, you start this process all over again.
Does this sound like a good business model?
I believe we can do this differently. Filmmakers ARE like entrepreneurs but we often don’t know how to treat our profession as a business, how to attract the right audience, and, yes, how to make money!
So, what is FilmMates™?
Like soulmates, playmates, or just plain, “mates’, FilmMates is a program that brings makers together, to focus on the business and marketing side of filmmaking. Learn to make your movies faster, easier and turn a profit. Adopt entrepreneurial tactics, strategies — and most importantly — new ways of thinking. As an independent filmmaker, you can muddle through on your own, but we are better together!
Well, hello there! I’m Laurel Chiten. Here’s bit of my backstory.
I am an award-winning filmmaker who has been making films for over 30 years. My previous films were supported by grants and were seen worldwide. When I embarked on my most recent film, I thought for sure that it would get funded.
But it didn’t. I applied for grant after grant and got rejection after rejection. I thought
I needed to do something.
I started reaching out to individuals.
And I realized
For 8 years I built a tribe who followed me on my journey until the film was completed.
ONCE STRANGERS, THEY BECAME MY DIEHARD FANS AND AVID SUPPORTERS.
And thats when I discovered the power of social media. There’s a right way and there’s a wrong way to use it.
My film toured the world. I created a tribe of dedicated followers who were key to the success of my film’s distribution.
My journey led me into the world of digital marketers and entrepreneurs. Learning the best hacks, techniques, practices and MINDSET from the top influencers in their fields.
AND GUESS WHAT?
Entrepreneurs have many of the same goals that filmmakers do. Create Impact. Solve problems. Serve people.
What strategies, tactics and ways of thinking can we learn from the entrepreneurial world that will help finish our films, reach more people, create more impact, and make more money?
I admit it. I am obsessed with teaching fellow filmmakers how to think and behave like entrepreneurs. My dream is to create a way for indie filmmakers to be sustainable, make a steady angle of profit, and continue to make films!
LET’S DO THIS TOGETHER!
Just starting a film? Deep into production?
I learned a totally different way of looking at the world of filmmaking. I moved forward with much more confidence and clarity.
Gretchen Stoeltje, lawyer and filmmaker
Laurel has wonderful insights about ways to build and communicate with your audience, transforming them into active partners. You won’t find a more constructive cheerleader.
Laurel is the bomb! She is helping me stay on task and develop my business in ways I never thought imaginable!
Laurel has always had an entrepreneurial way of looking at filmmaking. Her techniques have saved me a lot of money!
Jay Rosenstein, filmmaker and professor