Lean Filmmaking - A new way to make films with creativity at its heart

It’s hard to make an independent feature film.

You need to plan everything down to the last detail, have all the right gear, and deliver high production values on a low budget. You’ve worked on your passion project for years; writing the script, pitching to producers, networking with talent, all while juggling family, friends and a full-time job.

You’ve only got one chance to make your first feature film so it’s got to be perfect.

Your reputation, life savings, and future career are all on the line.

Fuck that.

Conventional filmmaking methods not only hinder creativity but also waste massive amounts of time, money and energy, often on things that aren’t important to an audience.

Lean Filmmaking is the result of five years spent experimenting, testing and re-imagining a new way to make films with creativity at its heart.

We began questioning traditional filmmaking models after producing our own independent feature film. The entire process felt gruelling, frustrating and demoralising. We thought there must be another way. Inspired by Lean Startup, Design Thinking and Agile Software Development we challenged ourselves to look at every aspect of filmmaking from a fresh perspective.

We also reached out to other filmmakers to see if they were struggling with the same challenges. Turns out we weren’t alone. We started holding regular meetups to test ideas and get feedback from actors, writers, directors, cinematographers, editors, producers and all types of creatives. We talked to thousands of filmmakers and conducted over sixty one-on-one interviews.

Based on this research we developed some surprising, often counterintuitive, ways to dramatically improve how films are made.

The foundation of Lean Filmmaking can be distilled into four core values:

Collaboration is key.

Fan focused first.

Story before production values.

Learn by doing.

In the last decade technology has changed so much about how films and videos are made. The end-to-end production process has been compressed, equipment has never been more affordable and the distribution model has been reinvented so that now you can speak directly to your audience.

But despite the rapid progress in technology the way that people organise the work of making a film, and their specific roles in the production, are pretty much the same as they’ve always been.

We believe the next filmmaking revolution will be how teams work and how this work is done.

That’s why we’re writing a book! We want you to be part of this revolution.

We’ll be sharing our lean filmmaking method and providing a practical creative toolkit to transform the way you think about making films.

We want you to make a film that connects with your ideal audience without wasting time, energy or money.

A quick bit about us.

We’re Kylie Eddy (a filmmaker) and David Eddy (a software developer and agile coach). We’re also siblings. We’ve combined our skills to create Lean Filmmaking.

We started applying lean and agile to video and film production, marketing and distribution in 2011.

In a few years we grew Lean Filmmaking Melbourne into the largest filmmaking meetup group in Australia with over 2,700 members.

In 2017 we closed the group to focus on writing but in that time we’d produced over fifty events that included everything from a filmmaking workshop where everyone makes a short video in just an hour through to a Lean Filmmaking Accelerator Program with two squads who developed micro-budget feature films in three months, around their day jobs.

We also love public speaking. We’ve melted people’s brains (in a good way) at events like St Kilda Film Festival, Melbourne WebFest, Melbourne Women in Film Festival, and the Next Gen Conference.

We produce events that are challenging, mind-bending and designed to blast through creative blocks. We have stand-alone sessions suitable for festivals, conferences and corporates including facilitated networking events, pitching and idea generation workshops and a two day hackathon designed for filmmakers.

If you’re interested in booking us for a speaking gig or have questions about Lean Filmmaking we’d love to hear from you. Shoot us an email at kylie@leanfilmmaking.com.

We’re taking a break from most social media to focus on writing our book, The Art of Lean Filmmaking, An unconventional guide to creating independent feature films, but we’ll be sharing updates on Instagram if you’d like to stay in touch.