- Start with the Script. Before you get started, you want to have a really great script. What story are you telling and what message are you sending to the world? For example with our film GRIT, when I read the script, I knew it was something I wanted to direct and produce because it was really witty, it was really funny and because it was an inspiring story about women, choice and motherhood.
As a filmmaker, those are the types of stories I want to put in the world. Have a story that aligns with your vision as a filmmaker.
2. Production Team. Next you’ll want to secure your production team. You must have a producer who is resourceful and thorough when researching the rules and guidelines within the SAG process. Ask your filmmaker friends for recommendations for production people. Our budget allows a production team with a producer, co-producer and a production manager.
3. Paperwork. Next you’ll want to file your SAG paperwork. In order to produce a SAG project you must have a qualified signatory who produces the film. Your producer can be the signatory or you can create a separate business like an LLC or a DBA. You’ll want to consult a lawyer or a tax professional as to the pros and cons of each.
Keep in mind that whomever ends up being the SAG signatory will technically own the rights to the film once it’s complete. Take the time to learn the difference between a short film contract and the new media contract and decide what’s best for your production. (Hint: It will depend on what you choose for your primary distribution.)
4. Workman’s Comp. Purchase workman’s compensation insurance for your production. SAG requires for your talent to be covered and it’s very important.
5. Payroll. Hire a payroll company for your cast. SAG has specifics you want to follow when it comes to following all of the union fees and ensure everyone’s safety.
6. Final Thoughts. I highly recommend you get to know the SAG rules regarding short films and create a professional working environment for everyone on set. Have an amazing shoot and happy shooting.
Through a comedic lens, GRIT is a short film that addresses the societal shift towards women choosing to have children later in life, sheds a light on the topic of infertility, and celebrates choice in an era where women’s reproductive rights are under attack.
LEARN MORE ABOUT GRIT
Co-Director/Producer, JORDAN AUTEN: A Las Vegas native and competitive junior golfer, Jordan earned a golf scholarship to the University of San Francisco during undergrad. As a media studies major, she won the Gloria Osuna Perez Award for her short film entitled, ‘Civil Rights Still Lives’. ‘A Triggered Thought’ was selected as a finalist by judges, Angela Bassett, Michelle Rodriguez, and Sofia Coppola for 2003 SEVENTEEN MAGAZINE/Montage Entertainment Film Contest. Accepted into UCLA’s MFA directing program in 2006, Jordan completed several award winning short films. She’s an award-winning filmmaker, and produced an audience favorite and Independent Spirit Award nominee, entitled MAMITAS. She’s currently producing television shows for TLC and A&E, while directing Effie award winning commercials for brands such as Dove, Neutrogena, Axe, and Eco Tools.
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