We all make films that disappoint us at the beginning of our "careers". (This footage was filmed in 2009, commentary recorded in 2011 and edited together yesterday. So as you can see, I'm quite spry at finishing personal projects.) But if we learn from our disappointments and move on, we'll get better with every effort.

Here, what should've probably been a one-minute musical-number turned into a lackluster final product because I made some of the most obvious beginner's mistakes. But you can learn from mine and avoid making them on your own! Here are six tips that can help you close the distance between what you envision and what you can actually create.

(Disclaimer: The two character actors who appear other than my husband and myself were PERFECT and I would cast them again in a heartbeat. Just in case that isn't clear in the commentary. When I talk about hiring real dancers, I'm talking about for the two lead roles.

In fact, if I had this to do all over again, I'd probably make Chad and Martin the stars of the film and have them trying to dance with multiple female dancers. Hip-hop dancers, ballerinas, etc. until they run into their own perfect matches at the end.)

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