Updated: Dec 2, 2022
Join award-winning filmmaker Koura Linda as she welcomes you to the Filmmaking (Actually) podcast - yay! Who is she? How is she? When is she? Koura answers those questions and more for those who want to start learning the ins and outs of independent movie-making from a unique perspective.
If you want to ask a question or just want to say hello, you can write to us at filmmakingactually(at)gmail(dot)com! You can also sign up for our mailing list through the "Contact Us" section of our website, for filmmaking tips and tricks, along with all the latest projects and updates on what we are working on.
For full access, you can also join our Patreon where we host exclusive virtual panels and workshops and share other behind-the-scenes content.
Below please find a transcript of this episode. Episodes are also available as audio-only podcasts here or with subtitles in this video:
WELCOME TO FILMMAKING (ACTUALLY)
Hello, my name is Koura Linda, and this is my podcast, "Filmmaking (actually)." Ta-da!
I figured I should start with a little introduction episode and then from there I can hopefully release a new Podcast each week and talk about some of the things I’ve learned working in and around film for the last decade or so.
I wanted to put this together because I see a lot of questions being asked in Facebook groups and I get asked a lot of the same questions at film festivals and on Q & A panels and I thought it might be useful to collect up everything I’ve learned personally and put it out there for anyone looking to grow as an indie filmmaker!
The first thing I should say is the number one thing I've learned about filmmaking is the fact that there are actually only a few basic points that everyone needs to follow, beyond that there are literally hundreds of ways to make a movie.
I often use the example of Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet, arguably two of the greatest artists of all time. They are both masterful painters, yet if you put a Picasso next to a Monet the only thing they have in common is they are both paint on a canvas. Yet neither of them is artistically wrong. So the most important thing I can say to any filmmaker is to be sure never to compare yourself to a Monet if you are a Picasso. And vice versa.
While I'm going to lay out what I've learned and what I've found to be helpful, aside from very basic basics like: make sure you contract all of your film cast and crew or you won't legally own the rights to their work. Because that’s just basic Film Law 101 and everyone needs to know that.
The best way to study anything in film, beyond those kind of like basic basics, is kind of use a take from that what you will approach. Maybe someone gives you a piece of advice, and you’re just like “well that’s crap advice” or maybe you give it a try and it totally doesn't work for you. Well, scrap it. You know? Sometimes you may need to find your own way of doing things. But at the same time don't kill yourself trying to reinvent the wheel either. Like there are movies made every day and it isn't because no one knows what they are doing in any way whatsoever at all.
So this podcast is to share all the things that I've learned and I've found to work. I'm going to touch on some of the basics, things I’ve found to be helpful or work for me and you can take from it all what you will. I’m not an influencer I’m not going to talk trends or use buzzwords or tell you all the latest and greatest and flashiest and coolest and most popular way of doing everything. I’m also not going to be a bitter grumpy, “this is why filmmaking sucks “ with a half hour rant fest.
I’m just going to tell it to you straight. The good the bad the unpopular and hopefully the useful!
Just like my YouTube video from last year about what to wear to Sundance, and how it had nothing to do with style and everything to do with how many pairs of socks you should pack? And make sure your boots are actually waterproof! Things like that.
So as a little bit of background on me, I’m currently an independent writer/producer/director.
I co own a production company with my husband that I started called Space Dream Productions.
We’ve done about fourteen different projects in the last four years. We’ve released about 8 completed projects into the festival circuit. We have over 40 festival acceptances internationally with just under 50 award nominations, and fourteen awards wins so far. (As of the date of this Podcast episode, Sept 30, 2019 - for full update on our projects please check out our accolades page)
We’ve both volunteered for the Sundance film festival and I've been to Sundance every year for the last six years. My husband for the last 4 years. He’ll actually be joining me on some of these episodes especially ones that talk about music videos, song writing, songs, music in general, sound, audio, pretty much anything that lands in his wheelhouse as not only is he also an award winning director but he’s an amazing musician and has overseen all of the audio on my projects since about when we met in 2013.
So his name is Spaceship by the way, and he literally rocks.
As this podcast grows we’ll bring in guest speakers to add their experience or just to make it more interesting because let's be real, how much can I talk at ya for half an hour at a time?
As some background on me, I started my own career working in an art department a little over ten years ago in set construction and set design. I actually went to a rigging school intensive and became a certified set rigger before working on rigging and building stages across Los Angeles which was pretty awesome!
As I learned more I became an event and party planner and designer. On the side I continued to study lighting, and design a little bit of camera. Eventually I started working as a production designer and then I started getting more into film, designing for film, I directed my first super small like, friends in the backyard level project in 2012.
I worked as an actress for a little bit. Mostly just for extra cash. I know, right? Extra cash as an actress? But actually you can make cash working as an actress. And I will be covering that as one of my podcasts.
As a writer, producer, designer you name it, but my love definitely is directing.
I directed and produced my first large scale short film in 2015. That film was also my first time going into film festivals. We won a bunch of awards including “Best Drama”, “Best Short”, and I won “Best Director” for that film which was very humbling! That was an amazing experience.
Some of the topics that I plan on covering are things like, “What does it mean to be a ‘filmmaker’?” There’s a lot that goes into making movies. Where do you fit and how do you figure that out. If you really need to be a jack of all trades, like if you want to be an actor, people tell you now that you also have to be an editor, you have to learn how to write, how to film, you have to make your own content -- is that true is that not true? Networking, scheduling, legal, contracts, things you need to take care of when you’re producing anything. Everyone honestly should have a basic understanding of that. Scripting, reels, general just movie making, Film School versus The Real World, 48 Hour Film Projects, casting, auditioning, script breakdowns, budgeting, working for “exposure”, how not to get overwhelmed by all the different aspects of filmmaking! Finance tips, travel tips, even some general adulting tips that kind of have been handy as we've worked in this film world. Cutting back on waste, why “No Budget” films actually don't exist and how to make a film for little to no cash, film financing, fundraising, crowdfunding, inclusivity, not just hiring women but what that actually means, working with closed captioning, including the d/Deaf community in hearing films.
I got a really long list here! But pitch decks, working with actors, auditioning, I think I said that already, I’m just reading off my list here. I’m not a very good podcaster!
I guess if you want to find out what podcasts we are going to be making you’re just going to have to follow along! But yeah, we talked about doing this as a Patreon like a paid where you had to like basically pay money to access the podcast, but I want this to be accessible to everybody! So there is an option on our Anchor page where you can support the podcast.
But if you can't, that’s fine too ya know? Use the information in this podcast, become a multi-million dollar filmmaker and come back and support it!
But no seriously, you can support the podcast directly, but for now we do have some ads that will be running. And if you like what you hear, go ahead and like, follow, subscribe, definitely let me know what topics YOU want to hear because the whole point of this is to make the knowledge and experience and everything that we’ve gotten over the years, accessible to everybody, but we are going to be doing one a week, so if there is one topic that you specifically want to hear first let us know! And if it isn't something we know, we’ll bring on somebody who does.
Yeah, so that’s it, thanks for listening and I'm excited to be on this little adventure!
Have more questions? Email us at filmmakingactually(at)gmail(dot)com.
Have more than one question? Set up a (free!) consultation with Koura Linda! Limited time slots are based on availability. There is no charge and no sales pitch as part of a one-time consultation. We got this far through the generous mentorship and support from friends and industry leaders who took their time to offer guidance and teaching and advice. It will always be our goal to pay it forward!