directing How would you best spend 50K and free time to start a directing “career”?

Let me know if this is the wrong category to post under.

I’m a former software engineer, and an LA native. Due to the DINK life, I’ve saved up 50K specifically for filmmaking - directing being my dream career - and the ability to take a few years off of work. Living expenses are covered; the 50K is purely for trying to start a directing career.

I have no filmmaking experience, but I’ve been studying the process for the past couple of years. (Read all of the popular screenwriting and directing books, wrote a few shorts, watched relevant Masterclasses, etc.) Still consider myself a practical novice, but not completely uninformed.

My current plan is to use the 50K to become proficient. I’d spend the next couple of years writing and shooting 10-15 shorts to sort of shake off the beginner-ness. During this time I’d write a low budget genre feature (thriller/horror), and hopefully link with a producer who could help raise something like 200-500K with the best of my shorts serving as a “resume”.

On the other hand, I’m wondering if I should instead volunteer on as many sets as possible over the next 2 years, shoot 2-3 shorts for 10K, and use the remaining 40K for a micro-budget feature. I figure having a feature (granted it’s good) would make it easier to raise for a larger one than having some good shorts.

One path gets me more directing experience before diving into a feature, the other - I think - increases my chances of raising money for a larger feature (thus kickstarting a “career”)

What would you do with 50K to start a career? Is there a third option I’m not thinking of?
I would spend the 50k on production value.
Guns, explosions and car crashes.
Make it as frugal as you can with high quality in mind.
Get a small eager team of people with gear who will work for free or a visit to McD.
Film It in two or three weeks.
Get a editor to stitch it up.
Get your spectacle on the desk of a sales agent or(better) the desk of a distributor.
This first film will beat 4 years of filmschool and 20 years of being gaffer/runner/first assisten director etc etc by miles when it comes to self educatief yourself as a filmmaker.
Get one done and you are are IT! You are now a filmmaker!

Just do it!
Last edited: