#FemaleFilmmakerFriday – When Friends Aren’t Right

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This question comes from one of my wonderful Patronage supporters. If you’d like a change to see the inside of the industry in a really interactive way, please come join us!

It happens. You audition friends or watch their work and realize: this isn’t right for this project. It doesn’t mean they aren’t wonderful talents, it just means that their skills are better suited for a different film or show. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it can still hurt feelings to hear a ‘no’ so you want to be careful how you reject your friends.

In general, when you don’t get a job… you just don’t hear back. You MIGHT hear “they passed” via your agent or manager but more often than not, it’s just crickets. Don’t do that to your friends. They’ll know you went another direction, you have to tell them first. And YOU have to tell your friend; don’t make their agent do it. Reach out — and medium matters. If this is a big opportunity for someone, you need to call. If it’s a small production, text or email are fine.

Start with a compliment. You’re a friend, this shouldn’t be too hard! What about the performance did you enjoy? We loved the way you made us laugh on this line! No one else did that! It was so creative. And mean it.

The next thing you can do is involve the team in the decision; you aren’t operating in a vacuum, nor is this singularly your decision. I absolutely love working with you, but after consulting at length with <the director/producer/whoever>, we had to go in another direction. We, and I, think the world of you and know what a strong talent you are, this just wasn’t the right film. It’s okay. It’s okay to reject your friends. You don’t love them less and that is this industry.

If you do want to work with this person, close with that! I can’t wait to get a chance to work with you; I’d love to develop something with you. Let me know if that’s of any interest! and then go do that!

Be nice, express remorse, find another project. Rejection is a necessary part of this industry — both getting it and giving it — and knowing how to dole it out will make you someone people want to work with again and again.

#FemaleFilmmakerFriday – How to Market a Digital Series

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This is a big one. The big one, maybe. This is a question I get very, very often and it’s a huge topic sooo… Please leave me a note if you’d like more videos about this!

And as always… If you liked this video, please join me at katehackett.com/patronage!

To YouTube or Not to YouTube

Posted Posted in Patron Welcome Aboard Tier
I have a few more ideas to shoot in the pipeline but my previously recorded material is rapidly coming to an end, so it’s time to ask: Is this worth it? Is it worth continuing to create videos for YT? It takes a few hours of my week to record and edit, the editing software […]

#FemaleFilmmakerFriday – Guided Budget Breakdown (Patronage Supporters Only!)

Posted Posted in Female Filmmaker Friday, Patron Welcome Aboard Tier
As part of my ongoing “monthly cool thing” for Patronage supporters, I’ve put together this nifty guide of how I break a budget. I would love for you to see this — if you’re NOT a current Patron, please join us to get access to this awesome walkthrough. Please DO NOT resolve, edit, or add […]

May 2019 Update

Posted Posted in Patron Behind the Scenes Tier, Patron Beta Tester Tier, Patron Produced Videos, Patron Producer Tier, Patron Welcome Aboard Tier, Patron Writer Tier, Unicorn
This post is locked to Patrons only. If you’d like to see what I’ve been up to through the month of May, please consider joining me at www.katehackett.com/patronage! May, May, May. May is always so busy for me on my day job side that sometimes I worry I’ve pushed aside responsibilities I have to my […]

#FemaleFilmmakerFriday – On Set Jobs: The Must Haves!

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If you liked this video, please join me at katehackett.com/patronage!

Patron Only – The Long Dig Trailer

Posted Posted in Female Filmmaker Friday, Patron Behind the Scenes Tier, Patron Beta Tester Tier, Patron Photos, Patron Produced Videos, Patron Producer Tier, Patron Welcome Aboard Tier, Patron Writer Tier
This post is locked to members who have been with me for two weeks or more! If you’d like to become a Patron, please visit www.katehackett.com/patronage! Enjoy and check in on the Discord to let me know how you like it! Share this:Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share […]

Writer’s Workshop: Early pre-writing

Posted Posted in Patron Producer Tier, Patron Writer Tier, Unicorn
Writer’s tier and up! www.katehackett.com/patronage This is early early early early stages and you all know how I feel about sharing early stuff (I hate it). You can see it’s semi incomplete; I don’t like to lock my characters in too much so I give them room to “surprise” me. The plot section is where […]
To access this post, you must purchase Writer's Workshop Tier, Producer Tier or Unicorn Tier.

#FemaleFilmmakerFriday – No Budget Locations

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If you liked this post, please consider joining my Patronage team. We have lots of fun AND you help make posts like this possible!

Finding locations for filming is complicated even if you do have a budget for them, especially in Los Angeles. Filming in LA is a major industry, so the city makes sure you’re paying for the privilege, no matter how big or small you are. If you fail to obtain the proper permits and insurance, you can be shut down entirely …and imagine how much THAT will cost your production.

There’s a lot to be said for just getting out there, making something, and learning as you go. Filmmaking is a funky business; you need to learn on the job and be as hands on as possible but you can’t do that without being experienced, so how do you get experience. Digital filmmaking & the web have been great platforms to share your developing skills without the burden of studios and networks. Which means that sometimes, yeah, the solution is going to be go rogue and just shoot the thing.

Rule one: stay inside. It’s much, much harder for anyone to see you inside of a private residence, which means you probably aren’t going to get caught. It’s when you venture out of doors that problems arise.

If you can shoot with permits and all the sundry items… you really should, especially if you’re in a film market town. People call the cops, productions get shut down, it happens. It even happened on Classic Alice!

check out my face as we were told we can’t film here.

But if you can’t… where the heck do you shoot?!

Tried & true: Your House. That’s right, your house.


And over…


And yeah, you probably will eventually burn out that location. But you can get at least two locations just by swinging the camera all the way around to shoot the opposite side of the room. You can also build “walls” with fake wood or flats or even just bookcases. You can buy wall decals. You can drape cloths over furniture or buy slipcovers to change the entire tone of the room. Your DP can also accommodate by shooting tight shots if the film calls for that; you might get away with some creative camera work.

Double up. Find a location that can serve as multiple things; the fewer company moves, the better.

There’s also a lot to be said for paying for set decoration. In the hands of a skilled set designer, the sky is the limit. On The Long Dig, Michelle was able to transform a downtown LA warehouse into a post apocalyptic underground monster home. Locations are expensive. Set designers are more reasonable AND they’re trained to be able to see what the camera sees so you aren’t spending time and money on something that won’t even be in the shot.

Then there’s mooching off your friends. Especially people already involved in the production. Steal the director’s yard. Borrow the actor’s bathroom. Make the project as much theirs as yours and embrace the extra space that comes with it. If your parents live nearby, even better. They might even throw in some craft services!

If you need business locations, try to approach places where you have a personal connection. They’re so much more likely to hand you the keys to the castle if you or someone on your team knows the owners. Also make sure that you’re asking to film during their off-hours; you can’t ask a restaurant to close down on a Saturday evening so you can shoot for free, that’s just not considerate!

Eventually, however, you will reach a place in your filmmaking career when you need to start paying for space. If you’re trying to avoid having to pay for permits or insurance, try Airbnb, Peerspace, and LocationsHub. All three tend to have more indie-friendly pricing. Make sure you visit the spaces and map out your shots; if you’re paying for the time, you are going to want to be incredibly efficient on your actual shoot days.

How about you? Where have you managed to shoot on little to no budget? Leave a comment or hit me up @HackettKate on Twitter!

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Patronage Databases

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I thought having one spot to grab all your goodies would be helpful. Enjoy your tier’s database of creations and links!

Just visit the page associated with your level; they are locked to the appropriate tier! 

Welcome Aboard // Behind the Scenes // Beta Tester // Writer’s Workshop // Producer // Unicorn