This topic comes up every couple weeks, perhaps it’s worth a sticky on the subject?
I pitched the idea myself a few months ago, and while I’m not Project Orange yet my team has been getting work done. Here’s my advice:
If you’re interested in starting a community movie project, first learn to do all the art tasks at a high level yourself. You need to be able to pick up the stuff your team mates don’t want to do or don’t do. You’ve got to remember that they’re working for free, sometimes it’s diamond-in-the-rough and you have to add the polish.
After you’ve mastered the craft, put together a bunch of good work to show the community. Pitching “Hey, let’s make a movie! I’ll be the chief and you be the Indians!” isn’t a good idea (though someone has it every 2 weeks). Demonstrate that you are serious, willing to work, and know what you’re doing - then people will take you seriously.
Start small and build up. Jumping into a 2 hour movie is unrealistic. First try to pull off 30 seconds of fully polished, finished product. This is more then enough of a challenge. Then expand to one minute, then 10 minutes, and re-evaluate where you are and what your team can do when you’ve reached each goal.
There are legal and business implications to this. The simplest thing would be to work under the Open Content License, but it’s hard to build a business model around the Open Content License. It’s also hard to get high level people to work for free. If you plan to make a movie people will want to see, you need to become a real business and raise money to pay your team. You don’t necessarily have to start out with the business and legal structure nailed down, but you can only go so far without it.