The 6 Chains of Command for DIY Projects

“You can’t handle the truth!” One of the most famous lines in the movies, from A Few Good Men.  Jack Nicholson, was very focused on the chain of command. Why?  Because, when people don’t follow it, people die.  

In your case, people won’t die, but you can go into bad debt and reputations can die an ugly, embarrassing death.  Today’s industry market, provides many opportunities to create your own material. From an iPhone short, to a big budget web series, you can DIY if you have the vision.


But, vision is not enough.  Because you will be spending money (yours or someone else’s) and the end product will affect your reputation and credibility, you want it to be the best it can be. Here is a general “chain of command” in the life of a DIY project:

1.    Idea
2.    Development (flesh out the idea until you have a production ready script)
3.    Pre-production (raise money, hire crew, prep-work, casting, etc.)
4.    Production (shooting the project)
5.    Post-Production (editing, sound, music, etc.)
6.    Marketing/Selling (this is everything else… social media, festivals, publicity, articles, pitch meetings, screenings, etc.)     

But here’s the REALLY important step to take in the idea/development stage: Market research.  Everyone thinks their idea is great.  I meet at least 1 person a week who tells me they have an idea for a reality show, from hair salons to a guy who collects coins (and the coins would be the stars, even though coins don’t talk). Before spending money and risking your credibility, ask people’s opinions on the idea, the script, and anything else that is pertinent.  If you have an idea that stinks, face it, and move on to the next idea.

Decide what your first step is to getting involve in your next project