The Slings and Arrows of Independent Filmmaking

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros is a British writer, director, filmmaker living in Los Angeles. She co-created 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 film projects at various stages of development.  

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‘The Race’ 2011, Burbank.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed and intimidated?

You are not alone…

This is the beginning of the season of awards, fall film festivals and lots and lots of screenings.

Living in LA we are surrounded by the movie business, and that can be intimidating for very independent filmmakers because, well, everyone is bigger than you.

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Filming Man Eating Tree, 52 Films/52 Weeks, 2011

I’m the kind of person who can’t stop creating, even if I don’t write it all down and it stays in my head, which is actually more often than not come to think of it, I am always thinking about some new or old idea I have for a film.

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The more you do, the more you do
Gustavo The Great, Angeles National Forest, 2011

A great friend of mine, who is also an accountant, reminds me regularly of the importance, as I am essentially a freelancer, of cultivating and maintaining multiple income streams. She is right of course, and while I would like to have a larger multiple of streams of income than I have at present, it also got me thinking about multiple streams of creativity.

Finding your style & not being afraid of it looking weird.

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“If it can be written or thought, it can be filmed” - Stanley Kubrick.

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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...

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