Before starting a film (or any project), I do a timeline. I buy a big piece of paper or poster board and break down the entire project into a reasonable, doable timeline. Even if I don’t know exactly when I’ll be starting principal photography, I make up a date to force myself to put this step on paper. Even if it is just the highlights to get me focused, I find it helpful in many ways. It gives me something tangible that I can actually see before my eyes. It takes the project out of the world of hopes and dreams and makes it real. It makes it look very doable. In our heads, the process can feel daunting, but on paper, broken down over a period of time, it is surprising how easy it begins to appear. Most important, it forces me to become accountable and totally responsible for my project. This part sounds scary, but it’s actually a good thing because it has you “put your butt on the line,” and the more real it becomes for you, the more real it will seem to everyone around you.