5 Tips To Successfully Produce A Movie That You Won’t Learn In Film School by CROWN AND ANCHOR Producer Vince Buda

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

Hey Film Courage fans, my name is Vince Buda. I am an independent film producer based out of Toronto, Canada on a film called CROWN & ANCHOR, which is out in theaters as we speak in cities across North America. You can check it out at Crownandanchorfilm.com for more info.

I am really excited to make this video today. I hope it is of use to some of you out there, up-and-coming filmmakers or if you’re just this kid who is straight out of film school, I want to talk about some tips that I’ve learned along the way in the trenches of independent filmmaking. And these are sort of things that we don’t really learn in school, that you only really learn when you’re out there and making film happen.

I think that there are not really a whole lot of resources out there for producers. I think there’s a whole lot of resources for if you’re a director or screenwriter, if you need to learn about how to build character, for story arc in screenwriting, technical things. Things you’ll need to know if you’re a cinematographer or a want-to-be cinematographer. There really isn’t a whole lot of information for producers and so hopefully in some way this will add to filling that void.

But first I want to talk about CROWN & ANCHOR because I’m really excited about it. My team and I are really excited about it being out there in the world now and doing really well with audiences. People are really responding to it and we’re incredibly excited about that and grateful for it.

CROWN & ANCHOR is an intense family crime drama that takes a look at what the effects are of growing up in an environment of addiction and abuse.

They are two things that afflict many, many families and I’m sure that resonates with a lot of you watching this. There’s a real focus on family here and there’s a real focus on how that kind of environment (the effects) can manifest itself in a way where you kind of go out into the straight and narrow, but you still are internally suffering from some of your experiences as a younger person. Or it affects you in a way that you are externally living out some of the same qualities of people in your past that were addicts or those same sort of abusive tendencies.

“You’ve got to ask yourself before you even embark on this enormous challenge of making an independent film, before you even enter this industry, Why do you want to make a movie?”


Writer/Director Andrew Rowe. Actors Natalie Brown and Matt Wells. Credit: Ritche Perez

I produced it with myself, co-producer Matt Wells and Michael Rowe both of which are actors and play the lead characters in the film. Their names are James Downey and Danny Power.

The film is very bravely directed by Andrew Rowe. This is Andrew’s debut feature-length film as a director after having a really successful career as a short film director.

So it’s truly independent in spirit. It’s a sort of nod to those independent films that we loved from the 70’s through the 90’s where the sole focus was creating a film that we loved, that we could stand behind, that was unwavering, that despite the lack of resources we were never going to compromise the dream, we were never going to compromise the quality, the story, the talented actors. It was really always about doing whatever it took to make a pretty fantastic movie. I am biased of course because I produced this film. But I can honestly say with full authenticity that this is what we’ve accomplished.

What I want to talk about today is 5 tips that I want to offer up that can help if you’re starting out in the industry, if you’re just out of film school, and sort of wide-eyed and ambitious and really want to get into this industry and get started.

These are my 5 tips on how to successfully produce an independent film and things that you need to successfully produce an independent film that they didn’t teach you in film school.

The first tip is probably the most important and it is a question that you’ve got to ask yourself and before you even embark on this enormous challenge of making an independent film, before you even enter this industry, you’ve got to ask yourself Why do you want to make a movie? And if your reason is anything other than you absolutely love films and you absolutely are excited at the idea of making a movie, then your intentions are all wrong.

Watch the video diary with Matt Wells here on Youtube

If you’re in this because you want to strike it rich or if you’re in this because you want to become famous, those things aren’t entirely impossible but the likelihood is rare. So what is going to sustain you throughout the process of making a film?

As I’ve mentioned many times, it’s a huge challenge, it’s an enormous undertaking, it’s going to be something that’s going to completely consume your life. When you are in the trenches and you are met up against an enormous challenge of something that seems like it’s going to be impossible to resolve or when you’re missing out on a lot in your life because you’ve got to get home and working on something. No one is even noticing that you’re doing all of this work because it’s just you and pen and paper or your laptop, what is the thing that is driving you? Or how are you going to stay self-motivated and the only thing that is going to sustain you is that you have an absolute passion for this art form. But equally as important is that you have an absolute passion and belief in the film that you’re making.

When I got the script for CROWN & ANCHOR it was unlike anything I had ever read before and the thing that I love most about it was it’s a script that seemed familiar to me in some ways that it was sort of similar in a lot of ways to the films that I just love, but it was very uniquely it’s own film. So it was an opportunity for me to produce something that really was an ode to the filmmaking of generations past that I absolutely love and have absorbed over the years.

Writer/Director Andrew Rowe. Actor Robert Joy. Actor Michael Rowe

It was also a way to be part of something that was unique and interesting and exciting and felt like a real kind of contribution to cinema.

So really, really ask yourself why you’re doing this because you need to be in it because you absolutely love it, because it’s a difficult journey at times, it’s a lonely journey at times. Despite having a team, you’re all sort of collectively doing things to make this show happens and a lot times it’s separate and sometimes it’s together.

What is sustaining you? And so the only thing that can be sustaining you is you being in it for the right reasons and you being in it because you have to satiate a real kind of tangible passion that you have in your life.

Tip #2 – Find Your People and what I mean by that is find a really, really good team. Like a really great production designer, a hair and make-up person, a great director, an editor or whatever crew and cast member it may be. It’s obviously very important, you’ve got to assemble a great team of people that are talented, that you trust, that you believe in, that will contribute a lot to the film, that you can sort of allow to bring of themselves to the project. What I mean by find your people is find your people, people that you want to partner with, people that you want to embark on this kind of journey with, people that you trust and that you respect. That can be a co-producer or that can be ….(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

Vince Buda (Producer):

Vince started his career as a production assistant ‘Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince”, via IMAX, which quickly led to opportunities in Film and Television that include VFX coordinator on the feature film “Tron Legacy”, as well as various productions for CBC-TV’s Factual Entertainment. With over 45 credits to his name spanning film, documentary, scripted and unscripted television, sports television, music videos, as well as digital productions, he has worked with some of North America’s most successful writers, producers, directors and on-camera talent. As a result, Vince Buda has developed into a producer whose approach to filmmaking and content creation focuses on both the creative AND its execution, with equal priority. His most recent projects include Line Producer on the ‘Big Brother Canada’ Television series, Producer on the feature film ‘Brown Girl Begins’ (inspired by Nalo Hopkinson’s award winning novel ‘Brown Girl in the Ring’) as well as, Producer of the punk rock drama ‘Crown and Anchor’.







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