History of the site
IndependentFilmAdvice.com is a website that is set up for educational purposes for aspiring filmmakers. It was concepted and written by industry veteran Smithy Sipes, Producer/Director and owner of the film and commercial production company Studio Smithy, Inc.
After many years of working in the film business on both the advertising side and the independent film side, he decided to write this site with information he wished he’d had access to when he started making films.
This site is intended as a reference guide to help you on your great journey toward making a movie. Please use it and refer to it often. Smithy’s hope is that this information will be helpful to you as well.
About the Author
Smithy was born in the small town of Jackson, TN and always had dreams of being a filmmaker. It was at Union University where he graduated with two degrees/ one in Marketing and one in Advertising. He started his career with Davidson and Chandler Advertising Agency. From there he moved to Florida and began working with Disney’s coveted “Yellow Shoes” Advertising group. While at Disney he met his independent film producing partner Todd Thompson, and they began making independent films under the Stars North banner. After spending a few years in the corporate world Smithy decided to leave and form his own production company, Studio Smithy, Inc.
Through the years Smithy became a Producer and Director of projects and has now worked with some of the greatest celebrity talent on projects ranging from commercials to music videos to independent film to live shows including the Billboard Music awards and pretty much anything in-between. From the singing talent of Sting, N’Sync, Britney Spears, Faith Hill, etc. to the athletic talent of George Foreman, Venus and Serena Williams, Jason Taylor, etc. or even on screen stars such as: Michael Rooker, Seymore Cassell, Erik Per Sullivan — you name a star and he’s two degrees closer than even Kevin Bacon. The companies Smithy has been involved on projects with reads like a cover of Forbes Magazine from Coca-Cola to American Express, Disney to Fox, NASCAR to Shell Oil, Wilson to Adams, Nokia to ABC, and the list goes on. Smithy’s “Everything is possible” attitude has moved him to the top of the producing and directing field. Dream it and he’ll make it happen.
A Note from the Author
I hope you enjoy the tips I have learned throughout my experiences in two different worlds of filmmaking. The commercial film world allows me the ability to work with larger budgets and all of the toys that the industry can offer. It is; however, the independent film world which tests my abilities more. I have to figure out how to make similar shots on a lot smaller budget and without all the film toys that I have become accustomed to. Both are great worlds to be a part of and great learning grounds. I am sure you will find, as I have, that with the challenges comes a great sense of accomplishment, especially once you see your film on the screen. Good luck chasing your dreams, and may your film be a box office hit!