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Producing Indie Films

Become the producer you’ve been looking for.
with Ela Thier
let's get your movies made

All images and clips are alumni of Producing Indie Films: Ekwa Msangi, Neal Hemphill, Jamie Canobbio, Nabil Viñas, Dylan Rogers, Rocio Mendez, Cary Patrick Martin, Isabelle Pierre, Nazli Sarpkaya, Richard Joseph, Nadhege Ptah, Alexis Holloway, Nina Gielen, Prashant Sehgal, Pallavi Rohatgi

Are any of these you?

YOU’RE A WRITER …one of those shy introverts who gets a rash when you hear the word “networking”.

YOU’RE A DIRECTOR or you would be one, if someone gave you that chance.

YOU’RE AN ACTOR tired of booking “Cop 2” and want roles that do you justice.

YOU’RE A TRIPLE THREAT …one of those hyphenated creatives who does all of the above depending on the day.

I know my peeps. We’re the creative sort. Budgets, contracts, marketing: these words send us into a catatonic coma. Please don’t kill the messenger, but successful artists become producers and produce their own work. 
Did you try some of these?

But you still haven’t made a film! Or you tried, wasted a ton of money, and it’s collecting dust on a hard drive with an outdated cable connector.

What if…

What if you understood the steps to creating the films or shows that you’d like to create, with the resources that you already have (no using credit cards!)

What if you had the support of a community as you took those scary steps, and you didn’t go it alone?

What if you had the tools to reach audiences, and build an ever-growing, loyal fan base that follows your work and tells everyone about it?

What if you never again relied on industry gatekeepers to determine whether your work sees the light of day?

Introducing:
Your work is too significant to be left up to luck and gatekeepers.
producing indie films
Ready to receive the guidance you need and not go it alone?

lifetime, on-demand access​

Work through the course at your pace and on your schedule. Binge watch now or take your time. Refer back to the course as many times as you need it. Many alumni go through it with every script. When I get stuck, I still use go back to it myself and use the exercises in my own writing.

30-day money back guarantee​

If you watch at least 2 modules, but no more than half the course, and you're not happy, ask and we'll refund you in full. No questions.

EARLY BIRD BONUSES EXPIRE thursday 11:59pm pT
bonus course + private CLASS

EXPOSURE 10X
(value $497)

LEARN TO PITCH!

Learn how to create pitch & publicity materials that draw interest: Taglines, loglines, synopses, pitch decks, fundraising videos, sizzles, trailers, show bibles – and so much more. Join by Thursday to bundle this course for FREE.

PITCH PERFECT WORKSHOP
(VALUE $197)

CREATE PITCH DECKS THAT DRAW INTEREST!

Join by Thursday and get invited to a VIP live workshop where I’ll review a few pitch decks for input. You’ll be invited to submit yours. No fear: this course goes over how to create one. A checklist to improve pitch decks included.

If opportunities don't knock
you knock out opportunities
I spent 20+ years in Hollywood, working for Disney, 20th Century Fox, NBC and most other studios and networks, but hadn't created any of my own projects. Since taking Ela's online course, I shot my first passion project which I wrote and directed. Ela helped me pitch myself and my film. Thanks to this course, I raised the money I needed rather than spend my own.
TW Miller
TW MILLER
As a recovering film school alum, I learned hands-on information on how to create my film right now ...I wish I'd taken this class earlier, I would have avoided all of the mistakes and the wasted time and money.
Picture of Mercedes Brazier
MERCEDES BRAZIER
This course could save a lot of people a lot of heartaches. I’ve seen train wrecks before in other productions, and this course validated my instincts, and gave me the confidence to know that my next film would not be that train wreck. I found a mentor who showed me the ropes, I love the film that I created, and I look forward to my next project, now that I know even more.
CAROL WRIGHT
I learned more about producing than I could imagine, and this is coming from someone who has produced 10-million-dollar films with Academy Award Winners.
Picture of Johnny Sanchez
JOHNNY SANCHEZ
I took Ela's Producing Workshop in November. By January I shot my first short.
Picture of Memo
MEMO
curriculum

Producing Indie Films is a bundle of two courses and many bonuses for further guidance and support.

Modules include short video lectures (5-20 minutes each), exercises, and PDF cheatsheets. Work through them in order, or skip around to the sections you need depending on that stage you’re in.

Welcome to your lifetime membership in this all-in-one film production resource library.

PRODUCING INDIE FILMS:
Funding & Audience Building

Set up for success

10 units (1.5hr)

Networking & Community

Pipe Dream to Action

Packaging & funding

25 units (4.5hr)

Your Audience

The Package

Raising Money

The Business Plan

REACHING YOUR AUDIENCE

8 units (2.5hr)

Film Publicity

Lessons in Distribution

Peek under the hood, as I share distribution stories of 3 of my films, and what I learned from marketing my film school. In these stories I openly share:

I end by sharing my distribution plan for my upcoming self-produced series, 

PRODUCING INDIE FILMS:
Physical production A TO Z​

Production & post production

24 units (2.5hr)

The Company

Film Budgeting

Scheduling

Post Production

BONUS VAULT
Downloadables & Resources

Freely download, modify, and use in your own productions.

These templates were created by entertainment attorneys and line producers. This vault alone is worth more than the price of the course.

Everything explained!

Blank templates

Additional resources

Let's get your movie made – and seen!

Meet Pallavi Rohatgi

Pallavi Black Lady award copy

When Pallavi joined Producing Indie Films, she had, at that point, created one short film.

Eight months later: Pallavi let me know that she was attending the premiere of her first feature film, Greater Elephant.

Seven years later? Pallavi finished shooting her third feature. Her YouTube channel, HumaraMovie, has over 500K subscribers. Among many highlights, her award-winning short, Khamakha, has over 3-million views. One of her favorite shorts, the award-winning film Pressure Cooker, which she also performs in, has had over 1 million views. Her comedy short The Virgins has over 12-million views. 

artists don't let artists go it alone

Community & Support

lifetime: alumni forum

Use our alumni forum to share wins, goals, rely on peers for accountability, or to ask questions. Access to our private alumni forum never expires.

IFS Studio: COMPLIMENTARY MEMBERSHIP

Receive ONE MONTH FREE when you enroll with the payment plan.

Receive ONE YEAR FREE when you enroll with the pay-in-full option.

MONTHLY live SESSIONS

Meet with an experienced producer every month to ask questions, receive guidance, and connect with peers.

Whether you’re in the throes of post-production on an epic film, or you haven’t gotten started: we got you.

Our production coaches are trained to get you out of potholes and over any humps by offering support, connection, and encouragement when that’s what’s needed; and offering challenges and a hearty push, when that’s what’s needed.

live co-working space

Procrastinations have no chance with us.

We offer live, virtual facilitated co-working sessions daily. Join whenever you wish, for as long as you wish, to fit your schedule (or mood!)

Get hyper focused on your work! Optional check-in’s in breakout rooms get even the shiest and most introverted among us to connect and forge lifelong collaborations.

24-7 alumni studio

If the daily hours of facilitated work sessions don’t fit your schedule: we also have a peer-run co-working space that is open 24-7.

I conduct my own work sessions in our Alumni Studio. Pop in and you’re likely to find me there doing my own work.

When your bonus complimentary membership in The IFS Studio expires, you’ll have the option to remain a member on a subscription basis.

If you spend 10 minutes a day on this program, a year from now you'll be inviting me to your premiere.

Sounds good?

6 monthly payments of

$ 197
  • Producing Indie Films (lifetime access)
  • Production documents (lifetime access)
  • Alumni forum (lifetime access)
  • Live monthly sessions (ONE MONTH FREE)
  • The IFS Studio (ONE MONTH FREE)​
  • 24-7 peer-run studio (ONE MONTH FREE)​

one payment of

$ 997
  • Producing Indie Films (lifetime access)
  • Production documents (lifetime access)
  • Alumni forum (lifetime access)
  • Live monthly sessions (ONE YEAR FREE)
  • 24-7 peer-run studio (ONE YEAR FREE)
  • The IFS Studio (ONE YEAR FREE)
  • Pay in full and SAVE $185
Save $185
For over 20 years, I've worked on roughly 50 feature films (Silence of the Lambs, Thirteen Days, Wonder Boys, Mona Lisa Smile). Since taking Ela's producing course, I finally shot the first feature film that I wrote and directed.
James Schneider
JAMES SCHNEIDER
There are dozens of film producers and directors online that offer classes and consultations. But few as passionate about your work as Ela. She is a mentor, a guide, and a future fan of the people she coaches. For years I scoured the internet, asked friends in the industry and bought books. I became disheartened and almost quit. I feel like I finally found real help.
Tyrone Ross
TYRONE ROSS
My sister and I took Ela's Producing Workshop and our lives have been changed forever. We have completed three of our own short films in less than 10 months, and produced numerous others in the Columbia, South Carolina area. In addition, we have given back by starting a film networking group in our area. Ela's workshops are worth every penny - and more.
Picture of Sharee Washington
SHAREE WASHINGTON
I've gotten more done in making my dreams come true since I took your workshop, than in the last 10 years combined.
JACK DIAMOND
BEST REASONS NOT TO JOIN THIS COURSE

No Time!

Spend 10 minutes a week (or 10 minutes a month!) with this course, and a year from now I’ll be hearing about your premiere.

You don’t have to go at an all-or-nothing pace.

Too Expensive!

These prices are per year, as of 2019. Multiply these numbers by 4 to figure out what a degree would cost.

YOUR INSTRUCTOR

Ela Thier, 1974. Photo by Uri Thier

My name is Ela Thier and I’ve wanted to make movies all my life. I can hardly believe that that’s what I actually do. None of it came by luck, and I’ve never had money or industry connections. Like, none.

My work was the result of decades of learning, trying, failing, giving up, trying again, giving up again, learning some more, making embarrassingly unwatchable films, getting better with time, and eventually arriving at producing, writing, directing, and acting in films that I’m absolutely in love with. You can find me on IMDB if you spell my name right (i before e).

In 2009 I began teaching screenwriting, but as I wisened up to the necessity of producing my work, I began to encourage and guide my students to do that same.

All these writers, actors, and directors, put those query letters down and began to their own work. The results shocked me. The initiatives taken of producing one’s own work, was ultimately the catalyst that led my students to building careers.

Here’s to creating films we love with people we enjoy. Go us.

FAQs

The course is delivered as a series of on-demand videos, organized into short, bite-size but comprehensive units so you can learn it all – fast.

The course allows you to skip around and reference the topics that are relevant to you at any given time. One person may need to learn how to budget a $300 short, while another needs a business plan template because they’re approaching investors.

Each module includes PDF cheat sheets outlining the bullet points of each lecture, and actionable exercises to get you on your way.

Your on-demand access to the course is for life.

The IFS Studio Membership is a separate program that includes daily, facilitated co-working sessions, and monthly live Q&A calls.

When your complimentary membership end, you’ll have the option to rejoin for just $49/month. Regardless of whether you remain a member of our studio, the course and alumni forum are yours for good.

This course is definitely for you. I don’t use industry jargon without explaining it, I leave nothing a mystery, and I assume no prior experience.

By the time you complete the first 2 modules, you’ll be in development on your next production, even if you have no script or even no idea about what you’d like to create.

The only idea you need to get started is that you’d like to create a film.

I went to film school too. If you’re fortunate, you met a really great teacher. But in truth, everything I teach in this course is something I’ve picked up since film school. This course is the real-life stuff that you’ll need when rubber hits the road.

There have been experienced producers who have taken this course and told me that it was invaluable. The overall approach might be useful, or you might find that one tip that will be the difference between getting that investor on board or not. And of course, the community and support are alone worth the price of admission.

All that said, you have 30 days to check out the course before you make a commitment. If you work through modules 1-3 at minimum (but not more than half the course), you are free to request a full refund and receive it – no questions asked.

The lectures add up to roughly 10 hours. If you do even some of the exercises, it’s a lot more than that. And if you use the course as intended: a guide to help you throughout the process of creating your films, it will become a lifetime companion.

I’m afraid the course is available only as a whole.

If you learn even a few things about production before diving in to write a script, you’ll write material that can be 1) self-produced, and 2) reach audiences.

I’ve written many scripts before I learned to produce, and they’re still sitting on shelf. Once I learned how to think like a producer, the scripts I wrote came to life on the screen.

If you can’t afford the course, then I don’t think you should enroll. However, if you plan to spend more than $1K making a film, then I say with confidence that this course is likely to help you avoid making mistakes that might cost you thousands or more. The course will also guide you in how to successfully raise the money you need to create your films, whatever your budget is.

Then there’s bringing your talents out of the dusty closet and into the world – that part can’t be measured in dollars.

As a micro-budget producer who’s had to make pennies stretch far, I know all about putting every last dollar on the screen and nowhere else. I speak with integrity when I say that the price of this course is a fraction of its value.

Celebrities can offer excellent tips and insights. But they can’t offer a complete system that takes you from A to Z.

Jodie Foster (I’m a big fan!) is not going to teach you how to approach friends, family, and colleagues to raise $6K so you can produce your calling card short. It’s not something she’s ever had to do. 

Martin Scorsese is not going to talk about how to find and choose the right production designer when you have $200 allotted for your set design.

David Lynch won’t tell you how to reach your audience with an $80K feature. These folks haven’t had to do these things. When they got started, this was a different industry.

Getting a slew of tips from celebrities who’ve worked within the studio system has its usefulness, but mostly it’s a more robust version of the “bonus features” you get after watching a movie. It’s not comparable to receiving guidance from someone who’s been in the trenches and knows, from having done it time and time again, how to turn sticks and rocks into an epic film or show, without waiting around for a studio or a name producer.

Are you ready to get your movies made?

lifetime, on-demand access​

Work through the course at your pace and on your schedule. Binge watch now or take your time. Refer back to the course as many times as you need it. Many alumni go through it with every script. When I get stuck, I still use go back to it myself and use the exercises in my own writing.

30-day money back guarantee​

If you watch at least 2 modules, but no more than half the course, and you're not happy, ask and we'll refund you in full. No questions.

Love notes from my students

I know that ten years from now I’ll look back and see this workshop as the turning point.
GEOFF CULBERTSON

If I had spent 5 times more, the money would still be worth all the knowledge and resources that I received.
STEFAN APOSTOLOV

Even with so much information covered, it never felt overwhelming.
TONY MACY-PEREZ

Worth ten times the money I paid.
GLORIA EMEAGWALI

Not only do you teach but you empower, a much rarer thing.
DENIS MEADOWS

Without Ela and her workshops, I would not be making movies.
JENNA PAYNE

I thank you for getting me back into the world of filmmaking. I thought of giving it up after working on films for the past fifteen years, never thinking it’s going to go anywhere. After taking your workshop I feel confident again. Thank you Ela!
MATT PARTON

Like ten workshops rolled into one.
SHANA MLAWSKI

Everything is spelled out in an organized manner so that I’ll be able to easily go back and reference any of the information at any point.
ZANIBA BRITT

A very organized overview of what it takes to produce a film, delivered in an accessible way …It demystified a lot of the complexities …that I encountered in other forums and books.
KATHY BAYER

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