How to Make it Big in Hollywood

Kentucker Audley
Feb 28, 2015 · 5 min read

Thanks for all the wonderful feedback for my last piece about how to become a huge indie film sensation. I’m glad that I could help everyone get more Twitter followers as that’s the number one way to become a successful indie filmmaker. Now that you’ve made a hit indie film, the next thing you wanna do is go mainstream…

You’ll remember a vital tip from last time is to cast a Vine celebrity in your lead role. That’s the easiest way to go about casting now, but if you would rather work with a normal actor instead, that’s fine too…

1) Write down a list of the most popular current actors and actresses in the world. Now pick any one of those, doesn’t matter which, and contact them in person. You can begin by stalking Hollywood hotspots. Look for TMZ cameramen and ask them who they are waiting for to come out of the restaurant or LAX airport. Once you found somebody on your most popular actors list, come up behind them very quickly and start talking loudly to get their attention before they run off. Explain to them your story idea, paying special attention to the aspects of the character likely to win them awards.

If you can’t get a good celebrity to star in your film, there’s no point in making it, but don’t worry, a great back up plan is to…

2. Sell your script to a big shot producer. A good script is gold in this town, and top producers will spend a fortune to buy the latest, greatest work from unknown scriptwriters. All you have to do is get into an elevator with a bigwig and start your pitch. Immediately start talking their ear off about your idea, tell them it’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy your script now and that it’s an epic story. Don’t say anything specific about your plot because they might steal your idea, but you’ve given them a nice taste. Once they sign a NDA (non-disclosure agreement) they can hear more. Remember the most important thing is to have incredibly high energy. Let them feel your passion even if it doesn’t come outright. Another great place to meet an amazing producer is in the shuttle buses at Sundance!

After 5 years of trying, if you don’t have any luck casting Jennifer Anniston, or selling your script to Harvey Weinstein, you need to start over and begin at square one…

3) Enter as many filmmaking contests as possible. Contests are a tremendous way to start a career in filmmaking. Don’t feel bad you’ve failed for so long, and now you have nothing and you have to make a fake commercial for the Doritos Super Bowl challenge. It only takes one big break, and if you win any top-tier contest, you either get your commercial played on TV, or you get a huge budget to make a movie, like Project Greenlight with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. You may remember Project Greenlight from when we were kids and the winning films like Stolen Summer and The Battle of Shaker Heights starring Shia LaBeouf went on to great things. Those movies are now considered classics and that can be the same with your movie if you win a contest.

In the meantime, there’s another way to get ahead in the indie film world, and that’s to…

4) Make what’s called “a short film”. This is basically just like a test movie you can make to show people you have incredible chops. Since Sundance doesn’t have time to play all the long movies, they also screen these miniature tales so that talent agents can quickly watch a bunch of footage to scout for talent. Top talent agents and managers regularly sign new talent from these test movies, also called calling cards, and they will begin the process of wooing you with luxurious gifts and cash. Think long and hard which agent you want to sign with because they can make or break your career. Make sure not to sign with the first one that emails you because then you seem desperate. A short film isn’t made for the public, they just play at Sundance and for behind the scenes people in Hollywood. Once you sign with William Morris or CAA, they will start introducing you to celebrities and models, and that’s when you really need to start getting top names to attach to your film. With A-list talent onboard, your agent will take care of the rest with a couple phone calls.

Once you get on-set to direct your very first film…

5) You need to act important! Even if you are unsure of yourself or have doubts about the film, don’t ever show it, and treat the crew as if you know more than they do, and they don’t know how to do their job. If you establish quickly that you are the most brilliant person on set, the crew will see that right away and start respecting you; if not, they will eat you alive. If anyone makes a mistake or ruins a shot on the first day, make an example out of them by berating them in front of everybody. It’s important that everyone notices you are in charge, and that you are an auteur with a master vision. It may help to dress like a famous director by searching for behind the scenes pictures of your favorite directors, or simply wearing a baseball cap like Stephen Spielberg.

Now that you’re acting like a big-shot director, the world will see you as one, and the next step is to…

6) Hire a powerful Hollywood team of agents and lawyers. Not many people know this, but Hollywood is basically a secret society that takes care of its members with lavish yacht vacations and sports cars. Once you are in, there’s not much to worry about. In secret deals, your film will be bought by Sony Pictures or Fox Searchlight, and even if your film is not a hit with audiences, your team will rig the box office to skew the results and make it at least top 5 of the weekend. Great news!

Don’t worry, making your next movie won’t be a problem, and you can use this success to act even more important on-set of your second film.

There you have it. Thanks for tuning it again to hear more priceless knowledge that I’ve accrued from the last ten years of being in the business. As always, try to stick close to these tips and I predict you’ll find tremendous success. Keep those cameras rolling! (Published 9/6/14 at Talkhouse Film)

    Kentucker Audley

    Written by

    movies.