Filmmaking 101 Part 1 – So You Wanna Make a Movie

Filmmaking 101 is a series of articles following film newbie Sarah Gignac as she produces her first short film, Curtains

I’m making a movie.

Rusty Projector

That’s something I never thought I’d say! Who am I to make a movie? Who do I think I am? I never attended film school. I don’t know anyone famous. I don’t have any money and I don’t really have any idea what I’m doing.

I think that’s why this could work.

It’s sort of what I do. I see something that I think sounds cool and just dive right in, without really thinking. Maybe that seems reckless. But in my experience if I think too much about something then I come up with a whole list of reasons why I shouldn’t do it and talk myself out of it.

It’s like diving. I took swimming lessons when I was a kid. I did okay, until it came to diving. The mechanics of it made no sense to me. You’re telling me that I’m supposed to begin by standing on my feet, then use the strength in my legs to launch myself into the air, then change the orientation of my body so that I enter the water fingertips-first? Whattheheck? Many instructors tried many different approaches, but after a few hard and loud belly flops I took to standing at the edge of the pool, arms crossed over my chest, shaking my head. 

My preferred method of pool entry is the same today as it was when I was eight. Plug my nose with my fingers, squeeze my eyes shut, and jump in feet first. Works every time.

It worked when I met an actor when I was 19 and we decided to start a theatre company together. We produced some great plays.

It worked when I went for a job at a high-tech company with no previous experience. I ended up a project manager.

It worked when I threw a few things into the back of my car and just started driving. Thrice. I wouldn’t trade the adventures I had on those trips for anything.

So why won’t it work now? 

This blog is for anyone who would like to join me for the ride. Interested?

Then let me introduce you to my project. 

Circus Postcard from 1890Curtains is the story of four women in their 50s and 60s (Mae, Charlotte, Patty and Delores) who come together one stormy evening to play poker, share stories of their days as circus performers, and remember a dear friend. Through their conversation over an ordinary poker game we learn of their extraordinary lives.

It will be about 10 minutes long. I wrote it (more on that later) and am producing it (A LOT more on that later).

For now I will leave you with Curtains’ facebook page

I’m also trying a crowd-funding campaign through IndieGoGo. For those who don’t know, this is where folks just like you can look at different projects people are working on, and help fund their efforts. You can choose a funding level (mine start at $10) that come with “perks”, or you can skip that and select any amount to donate. If you are interested in helping me make my movie, I would be eternally grateful! All funds go towards paying cast and crew.

Until next time… 

Image Credit

Film Projector @ Flickr

Circus Postcard from 1890 @ Fotopedia

Recent Sarah Gignac Articles:


  1. avatarMom says

    Sarah …. You never cease to amaze me!

    You are living proof that if a person just starts walking … one step at a time … in the direction they want to go … they get there! it’s that simple … you just start walking! Don’t think …. just walk!
    I am so proud of you!

  2. avatarRoss Lonergan says

    Wow, good for you, Gutsy Girl. Can’t wait to hear about the writing process (and perhaps read the script?}.

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