The Slings and Arrows of Independent Filmmaking

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros is a British writer, director, filmmaker and photographer living in North Hollywood. In 2012 she was involved in the unprecedented project 52 Films/52 Weeks: A Year in Filmmaking, where she and her partners, wrote, directed, produced and edited a film a week for an entire year. She currently has several independent projects in development, runs a music video production company as well as a budget conscious photography business for the hard working actor. You can reach her at samronceros@gmail.com.

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Beckets War, 52 Films/52 Weeks, 2011


I have had some tough, tough days on set. 

For lot’s of different reasons.

But most of the time there are three major reasons why a tricky shoot can become an uphill battle, start to finish.

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Making a film should be, in my humble opinion at least, as daring and as bold and as seemingly impossible as trying to catch lightning in a bottle. And when done right, the results are just as beautiful as what I would imagine lightning would look like, captured and bottled. But as difficult as that might seem, and I am no physicist...I’m pretty sure catching lightening is actually impossible. What I am really reaching for is the concept of setting your expectations really, really high and to not be afraid of that.

Very Independent Filmmaking - Things Can and Will Go Wrong

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“It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.” 

― Mahatma Gandhi

“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes”
Oscar Wilde

You said it Oscar!


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On location, Lancaster, CA, Cold, early and miles from anywhere, having the time of my life…

Since there are rather a lot of mistakes to make, and while I feel from time to time that I have made more of them than most humans on this earth, I thought I would continue along the oddly popular theme of my failures, just for a little while longer…

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone”

Pablo Picasso

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‘The Bite’, 52 films/52 weeks, 2011

Sometimes the easiest way to advise a person embarking on their dream is not to tell them what to do and how to do it, but what not to do and how to avoid doing that over and over again.

A story should have a beginning, a middle and an end… but not necessarily in that order.
- Jean-Luc Godard

Well, thats one way of looking at it, but before the story there is the idea, and a beginning.

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‘Across The Pond’ England, 2009

All the movies released over the past year, and even some not yet to be released, are vying for our attention, good reviews and possible consideration for various award ceremonies.

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Gustavo The Great, 52 Films/52 Weeks, Angeles Crest, 4am, 2011.

Our second episode about episodic’s!

What stunning thematic dialogue we are having!


The Web series

Choosing to make a web series is a very big subject and as such I have decided to write about it over the span of two articles, so you don’t get bored, and I don’t get lost...

It takes a village to make a film, and, as the filmmaker, it’s up to you to find your village.

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I’m sure you’ve heard the old joke...Mother Teresa arrives at the pearly gates, God calls out to her.

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Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director. Everything after that you’re just negotiating your budget and your fee. - Director James Cameron

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Across The Pond, UK, 2009

"There’s nothing quite like the idea of failing spectacularly to excite a filmmaker." - Mike Figgis

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Across The Pond TV Pilot, UK, 2009

“I’m not under too much of an illusion of how smart or un-smart I am because filmmaking ultimately is about teamwork.”  - Guy Richie

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