How To Fund, Create, and Promote Your Movie

Accepting Applications For a Limited Time

We’re taking applications for a limited number of seats for our new Movie Maker Academy where we teach you how to fund, film, and distribute your project. If you’re committed to making an impact and are willing to learn, please apply now.

The course begins next Monday and will feature one module every week
for 12 weeks. Each module contains a number of powerful lessons and
will be released at 8:00am PST every Monday.

Once the course begins, you can go at your own pace.

The live calls will be on the last Thursday of each month at 1pm PST. They will always be
recorded and we will take questions beforehand for those who can’t make it and post our
answers. You’ll have access to all recorded calls for life.

We have a strong and engaged community. 

Note We are active filmmakers who are on location now and again so the monthly call times are occasionally shifted

All the information is yours. As each module is released to you, you’ll have lifetime access
to it and can always go back. We have an enormous amount of content that you can pick
and choose from as needed in the course but have also committed to listening to YOU
each week and layering in more information as we learn where you may be stuck.

We have several guest faculty including Betsy Chasse (What the
Bleep do we Know?), James Colquhoun (Food Matters/Hungry for Change), Alex
Jameison (Supersize Me), Joe Martino (Collective Evolution), and many more. We bring VIPs…

A Filmmakers Inner Circle

The three of us first got together to help one another.
We each specialize in different aspects of filmmaking and
I (Jeff writing now) was delighted with what I learned from
our collaboration – and would have been fine keeping this
information behind closed doors.

But not Nick. Nick kept saying how much he wished he had a
mentor like one of us when he was starting out.

Here’s his story (from Nick):

When I first got started in this business, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. My friends had started making a documentary and after realizing they were in over their heads, they called me because of my creative background – I had gone to graphic design school, not film school. Somehow this qualified me to give them guidance on their film project.

After a few weeks of advising them, I ended up taking over as director of the film. Considering my lack of experience, it seems a little crazy in hindsight – but sometimes you just feel a calling in your bones, and you know that you’re meant to help bring a message forward. This was mine.

As we got started, we figured there had to be a course or series of books out there for filmmakers wanting to make an impact on the world while also making a good living from their efforts. We were wrong.

Movies like The Secret, and What The Bleep Do We Know were coming out and making a HUGE splash and I kept searching for some kind of guide on how they did it. But there were no resources available at the time.

The few people who knew how to make smash hit independent films were keeping their strategies to themselves.

Now, 10 years later, with a few very successful films under my belt, I’m teaming up with two other heavy hitting filmmakers, Pedram Shojai and Jeff Hays to show you EVERYTHING we know about creating a successful film. We hold absolutely nothing back in this program.”

Nick, Pedram & Jeff thank you so much for choosing to share your learning and your experiences by creating the Movie Maker Academy and making it available to those who wish to make documentaries or movies. It goes beyond your sharing as each of you have a goal of building communities and creating movements to help people make informed choices through your films, supporting materials and e-mails. Your combined energies, expertise and sharing of tools and information at our weekly seminars and the Movie Maker Academy web site made for a very informative and comfortable learning environment, one that would benefit anyone who wished to become a movie director and fits the profile of what you wish to achieve and have others achieve as well.
M E Dunbar
This wonderful film course is worth its weight in gold. Pedram, Nick and Jeff share their unique take on the business of filmmaking, clarifying what can be a very confusing topic. Even though the course is only 10 weeks, I learned far more about the business side of filmmaking than what I did in an entire year at film school. The system they teach is cutting edge, and gives the power back to the filmmaker… you. If you want to make Hollywood entertainment films, this is NOT for you. This course is for filmmakers with an intelligent message they want to share with the world. It’s about films that make a difference. I highly recommend this course to anyone who has something important to say.
Tania Williams

This course was born out of many years of hard work,
and literally millions of dollars that we’ve raised and spent
on filming and marketing our films.

We’ve created a number of successful movies, but they didn’t come without learning
some hard (and expensive!) lessons. The Movie Maker Academy is designed to show you
everything we know so you can skip the mistakes we made and start out miles ahead of
where we started.

Pedram loved the idea of teaching a group of change makers the real tools to make
movies, to start movements. So, we did it.

Last year we decided that instead of us making more films, we could have a greater
impact on the planet by teaching a group of passionate filmmakers how to use our
techniques to launch their own projects to success.


We’ve learned a lot and are excited about learning more about how we can adapt the free-screening model to marketing and monetizing our completed NARRATIVE FEATURE film which we would like to grow into a movement. She Sings to the Stars is the first of a cycle of 4 films we are producing about restoring the feminine voice (in both women and men) to a world turned upside down.

Thank you kindly! You guys are great

Jonathan Corcoran
I too can’t believe it’s done, yet in reality it is all just beginning! I am so thrilled with all I have learned from each of you and excited to use it to launch my film this November. The timing for this has been incredible because I was already on the free 10 day screening path for our film and had ideas of how to market, promote and build the community around it, but you all really clarified the focus for me and gave me incredible direction as well as revealing the pitfalls to avoid!

I could go on and on, but I will take this moment to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for the incredible openness, honesty, humility, and fun you all provided consistently throughout the course. I feel as if I know you and truly do look forward to having with you at “the pool” someday. I am a huge fan and believer in Mastermind groups and sessions and you guys are totally doing it and reaping the benefits from it as well!

Please do keep me posted as you craft your Deep Dive group, I would love to know about that when you put that together.

With gratitude! Let’s go change the world!

Kevin May

Our mission is to teach you everything we’ve learned about how
to make a successful movie, from start to finish.
That means figuring out who your audience is, how to get the film funded, how to actually create a compelling picture, and perhaps most importantly, how to promote your movie and start a movement.

This information isn’t out there anywhere.

What’s in the Movie Maker Academy?

Here are the main sections of the course:


Before you spend countless hours and hard earned money making this project, let’s pressure test your film concept. We’ll go into the criteria we use to make sure your initial idea for a film will lend itself well to this medium. What are the needs in your market or niche? What aesthetic would best serve this topic? How would you present and film it?


Once you’ve committed to your concept, it’s time to hone in on the type of person who is most likely to view your film. In this section, we share the strategies and platforms we use to gather information about our audience and our topic. Who are the thought leaders in this space? How does your audience consume their content? How do they consume media? What are the words and images that would spark them? We’ll show you how to research this critical info.


This section is worth the price of the course in itself. We give you all of our strategies to raising money for your film project, whether you’re coming to the table with your own money or starting without any funding. A little secret: Jeff Hays shares some priceless techniques on how to use crowd-funding to pay for your entire film… He’s one of a tiny number of people in our industry with this knowledge (featured in Forbes Magazine). We’ll also share our investor agreements that costs us over $50,000 in legal fees to create.


We cover all of the preparations you need to make before you start rolling camera. This includes: creating a budget, how to write a compelling script, what legal documents you’ll need (we’re including all of our waivers, releases and other documents as part of the course), scouting locations, the right insurance policies for your project, and a ton more.


We dig into a variety of different shooting methods that we’ve used in our films and why. This is where you’re going to want to spend your money wisely. What camera and lighting setups will work best for you? How do you achieve a “filmic” look on a tight budget? Why is good audio more important than good video? How do you hire crew and manage costs?


Now that the film has been shot, it’s time to hit the editing room and begin sculpting this footage. We’ll be delving into best editing practices, how to use transcription to scan hours of footage in a fraction of the time, scoring your film, graphics and titles, and much more. This is where the magic happens and you’ll need to make sure the final cut delivers on all your goals.

A common mistake that people make is viewing their film as the end goal. In reality, your film is just the beginning of what should be a much longer conversation and relationship with your viewer. Your film is a spark that ignites an idea within your viewer and begs them to take action. What will that next action be? It’s up to you to create a community around your picture and rally the masses. We’re doing it with our films and we’ll show you exactly how.


How to start a movement with your film

One of the most daunting aspects of filmmaking is getting people to come and watch it once it’s been made. This is where we thrive. We’ve broken all the rules and have designed an innovative promotion strategy that can turn your movie into a movement. We’ll teach you how to turn your film into a rally point for like-minded people who want to make real change. Your film can be a spark to ignite the minds of the masses… if you know how to position it. Making friends and developing networks is key to your success here.


Now that you’ve created a buzz with your picture, how do you want to distribute it? Are you going to hold onto all the rights and distribute it yourself? Are you going to screen it in theaters, on television? Are Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu appealing to you, and why? We go into every mode of distribution that is available so that you can custom tailor an approach that makes the most sense to your project.

Another little secret: We give away our “secret sauce” in this section and teach you how to host your own free online screenings of your movie. This might seem simple, but doing it right takes some specific strategies and systems that we only share in this course.


The notion that artists don’t make money is a concept of the past. The three of us are living out our dreams and providing for our families while we create movies that cover issues we feel the world needs to know about. With a concrete business strategy, you can create the film of your dreams and make very good money while doing it. We’ll show you exactly how we do it in this section.

Creating a Docu-Series

At a lower cost of production, you can make an entire series that’ll help grow your email list, build a brand, and archive thousands of pages of transcripts that can go into books, blogs, or other videos. There’s a right way to do it and many ways to get it wrong. We help you steer clear and make a successful series that’ll further your goals and help you grow your platform- profitably.

So what does it cost?

We wrestled with this. We want to be paid for the hundreds of hours we’ve spent creating the curriculum and sharing our “our secret sauce”, but we also want it to be affordable for anyone who really wants to make a film that starts a movement.

As we worked on this, Nick kept saying “I can’t tell you how much I wish I had had someone to teach me this stuff when I was starting!”

The 3 of us have been doing this for a long time and our
specialties fill in different pieces of the puzzle.

Pedram has built the biggest list, that allowed him to quickly soar to the NY Times bestseller list with his book, The Urban Monk. He’s now written three successful books.

Jeff has been short-listed for an Academy Award following a traditional model and was able to learn, launch, and succeed using the online strategies that Pedram, Nick and a few others coached him on.

Nick’s films have been screened in major film festivals worldwide. His innovative content and promotional strategy have given rise to one of the most active alternative health communities ever built.

The Tuition for the Academy is currently $5000.

We have multiple payment plans and financing options available. We honor a 30 day money back guarantee.

You are about to catapult your project to success and be part of a collective of passionate
filmmakers of all shapes and sizes.

We would be honored to have you in our Movie Maker Academy.

Enrollment also includes 2 free tickets to our annual event in Hollywood, CA where we take a deep dive into best practices and latest trends in the industry.

This event is extremely valuable and we bring special VIP guests from Hollywood to participate.

Truly yours,

Pedram, Nick and Jeff

The internet and the digital revolution have democratized the arts and impoverished the artist. These successful filmmakers have found the formula to use the technological revolution to do their art and make a good living.

These appealing and successful filmmakers come from a place of wanting to make the world a better place. And their offering these invaluable lessons is testament to that philosophy.

I’ve been a filmmaker for forty-six years and talk about teaching an old dog new tricks, this course is chock full of important lessons. I would highly recommend it to anyone setting out to make a documentary film. And to those like me trying to figure out how to make a living from one’s filmmaking passion. It’s the Bible baby!

James Beckett
Thank you for this class-and this is coming from an “accidental” student. When watching your free webinar on Movie Maker my screen froze. To kill time, as I waited for it unfreeze (it never did), I filled out your form.
Being bummed I didn’t get to see your webinar was replaced by astonishment that I was considered for your class. (Since I never saw the whole webinar, I didn’t even know you were going to have a class.)
This course has set me on a different path. I feel empowered-albeit extremely nervous-to set out on it.

Just a FEW of the things I’ve learned along the way (and I could go on all day):

• How to combine a sense of business, purpose and art
• How to research a potential audience
• How to think on a much bigger scale
• That a team can create so much more than one
• A much better understanding of backend and crowd funding, and more.
• The piece about legacy was so insightful, it’s still resonating.

There are hundreds of more things I learned, and I plan to go through all the videos again to pick up the hundreds I’m sure I missed.

I’m looking forward to sharing my movie(s) with you guys some day on a professional level. That may be a while though. Right now I feel like the kid who has decided to join the swim team but currently can only dog paddle.

Thank you for not only the knowledge to continue forward, but the courage. This is the best class I’ve ever accidentally signed up for. J

Diane Mettler
Wow – you guys are awesome! Many thanks for the course which I have been able to listen up to Module 8/9 – still catching up!

I’m starting from the very start (building a team, myself starting with no film skills or knowledge!), but am very definitely taking action.

Katara Jade