You're thousands of miles from Hollywood, but the distance hasn't quashed your dreams of making movies. If you've got talent and drive, it doesn't have to.

You're thousands of miles from Hollywood, but the distance hasn't quashed your dreams of making movies. If you've got talent and drive, it doesn't have to.

"A lot of people don't realize you don't have to be in these cities that are driven by the industry," explained Matthew Perniciaro, producer of Fanboys, which opens here Friday, and the upcoming Lebron James doc More Than a Game.

Perniciaro is also a panelist for 24 Hour Film School, a touring, one-day intensive with credited professionals, which will stop at Ohio State this Saturday, Feb. 21 (enrollment info is at 24hourfilmschool.com). For a preview, he elaborated on the program's core beliefs.

1. Know your stuff

The road from a great idea to a finished film is long, winding and hazardous. Along the way you have to pick up things like financing, distribution and promotional partners. There's tremendous value in knowing how it all works in advance.

"One of the most important things we do is give people a practical understanding of the film industry," Perniciaro said. "It's a very small success rate, but there are steps you can take to have better chances."

2. Get around

"So much of this industry is built on relationships," Perniciaro said, adding that the 24 Hour Film School's networking sessions are a key part of the curriculum. It's always heartening to meet others who share your interest, and you just might find a Lucas to your Spielberg.

But filmmakers also need access to cash, and for that you have to cast a wider net. As Perniciaro explained, he and his partner talked with "friends, family, doctors and lawyers" to raise production funds for their first feature.

3. You better believe it

It's best to be realistic about your goal, but Perniciaro also stressed the importance of perseverance and a positive attitude. A smart approach involves a support system, including a steady income source.

Perniciaro took a variety of jobs in the industry, so along with a pay check, he picked up useful knowledge and professional momentum. Still, making the jump to producer took five years. "It's a marathon, not a sprint," he added. "It takes a massive amount of drive, but the people who have that stick around."