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The Hidden Film Manifesto

This manifesto is designed to apply to micro-budget feature films made outside of normal film industry channels and support.

01 - Plan, budget and make your film as though no-one will see it

02 - Make your film for an audience but (truly) forget about the market

03 - Spend what little budget you have more on people, less on equipment

04 - Forget about chasing a film career - make what you want to make (ethically)

05 - Use the limitations - work with what you have - accept imperfection *

06 - Make the best film you can ... but not at the cost of your health **

07 - If ONE person you don't know likes your film, you've succeeded

08 - If ONE film festival (of any size) shows your film, you've succeeded

09 - Making your film is more important than releasing your film - enjoy it!

10 - Spend as little time and money as possible promoting your film

* Learn from the professionals but radically streamline and adapt where necessary e.g. 2K image resolution is great for cinema, 4K and over is marketing.

** There's far too many stories of film cast and crew members wrecking their physical, mental, relationship, ecological, ethical and / or financial health to make a film. We should strive, not suffer, for our art. If necessary, work slower / simpler / less.

17th January 2021


Get Close, Lean Team Documentary Filmmaking by Rustin Thompson
Specifically the book's last chapter on 'Film Festivals and Distribution'

The Wire magazine, issue 444, February 2021
Specifically 'The Masthead' editorial (refers to music but equally applies to film)

reflections on making a hidden film
The background to creating this manifesto