Thanks to the relative affordability of filmmaking technology and the ability to raise funds via crowdfunding and other platforms, it may be easier than ever to make a movie, but is it harder to make money at it? Indiewire reached out to independent filmmakers to ask: Because of my two features, which may or may not make me money, I learned in a profound way how to see a story through from beginning to end, how to tell a gripping story, how to edit, how to oversee a crew, how to work with actors and how to spread the word about a project.
Currently, I am prepping a big media campaign with a national non-profit, am pitching a web series, just got a Kickstarter funded to make a dream film and am pursuing my next feature with a lot more ammunition in my giant balloon playpen. So — I would say: Do I have a lot of money right now? And also, honestly, I love making films for no money. We live in a culture of film as a business.
To be a great artist, you have to be willing to take risks and to do things that no one would ever pay you for — at first. I am happy to be living a spiritually rich life in which filmmaking is a gigantic pleasure.
And of course, this pleasure would be more pleasurable and less stressful with money at the table, but maybe writing all this is making me realize I am a little bit terrified of having actual money invested in my projects because I worry it will distort my vision and the very deep thing I am aiming for when I get actors in a room and start improvising.
I mentor a lot of filmmakers and for their first project, everybody has all their friends who want to make a name for themselves work for free for long hours and bad food. Some of those films turn out to be great and some of them turn out to be terrible.
Everyone seems to be scrambling. I think it has always been hard for artists to support themselves through their work and today is no different than before. What new technologies and new platforms have done is given people access to filmmaking tools and to audiences but how to manage that properly in order to sustain a career remains as daunting as ever.
Almost all directors and writers working in the low-budget sphere actually cannot sustain a career doing nothing but filmmaking. They have to teach if they are lucky enough to get an adjunct position , wait tables, be a barista, etc. Do you know how many critically-acclaimed filmmakers are truly struggling to get by, and how many have a hard time getting work making commercials—the closet thing to filmmaking as a day job?
I would say the majority of them.
And that deeply upsets me. It definitely upsets them even more. Yes, the technology is cheaper and yes we can raise funds those crowdfunding, but what we really need for filmmakers to be able to make this a via career is far great funding for the filmmaking arts. But there are only a few and we all fight each other for these grants and fellowships.
how do independent filmmakers make money? | Yahoo Answers
I am on a task force of the Provincetown Film Society and we are creating an Institute there to help provide space and time for filmmakers. I believe the sooner we all acknowledge the important contribution the art of filmmaking offers society, the better, and I would call on more organizations to consider ways to help this most vibrant of art forms.
It really comes down to the kind of movies you want to make. There are people making money off of making videos, even short little things they put on the internet and charge money for them to see. The thing about the sustainability of being an art filmmaker. Can you make a living at it? There are highs and lows. There are good years and there are bad years.
So how do you have a sustainable career as a filmmaker? Well, you have to think long-term now. Like you need to give yourselves 10 years in the business to see if you can make a profit. I do think at some point the films I make, and the team I am working with, we will make a profit. Can you get your film into Sundance today and walk away with no deals and nothing on the table for the next thing you want to make?
Making a Living as a Documentary Filmmaker is Harder Than Ever. This Article is related to: Filmmaker Toolkit and tagged Hal Hartley , Josephine Decker , Robert Machoian. Patience and problem solving. Reading this and hearing about other filmmakers plights who most likely have bigger budgets than mine make me feel also that my efforts may be in vain. Part of the problem I feel is that most of the filmmaking audiences for indies are considered art films.
They all have thees specific categories limiting them for starters. It never seems fair the rewards from most likely a small specific audience without having big stars or connections from film school which i could never afford. I will make a decision to keep striving soon as to whether I have a voice in this business or not.
Those with little money,using our magic to dispell your ideas of how much money and what it takes,and what names we need to make our movies successful. I wish we all would back them fiercely as we definitely need a stronger voice in our corner.
Those brave souls who would risk their precious reputations in defense of us. From reading this article.
What I find even more inspiring than this article are the comments following it. But what I find far more nurturing to my artistic needs and creative dreams are the stories of "the rest of us": This is not to say that the wisdom in this article is not valuable, on the contrary, it is the catalyst for the "rest of us" to share our experiences and see that we are not alone in the seemingly endless uphill climb toward artistic achievements and getting paid for such achievements.
Thank you, fellow commenters, for giving me hope and walking this uncertain road together! Great piece, thank you. Maybe indiewire could get an editor involved to correct the grammar and spelling, make it a bit more of a smooth read. Josephine Decker receives a lot of "support" from her parents to make art.
Supposedly around 25k a year. The truth of the matter is that it is called the film business for a reason. If you want a career in filmmaking, you have to embrace this fact.
You need to supply product that people want to see. More than ever, investors whether private or public want to see a return on their investment. Gone are the days of people throwing money at film as an investment when there are a lot safer endeavours to invest in.
The world has changed dramatically since the last recession and the advent of digital technology. No industry will ever be run the way it was pre-recession. All filmmakers have to realise these facts and change their gameplans accordingly. A good strategy would be to have other revenue streams and not try to rely on filmmaking to pay the bills.
The most successful independent filmmaker is Tyler Perry. And its not all Madea. Im also producing films in Spanish. Swanberg and Duplass got that covered. With the proliferation of cheap gadgets, the quality of stories has gone down. As money source increases, the inability to structure a story to a mesmerized audience is of the yesteryears.
But you gotta do what you gotta do. Just finished shooting my first feature, "Looking for the Jackalope", in Sept, now happily editing. Getting people to give me money. Will it make money? I make a living as a storyboard artist working on major movies and TV shows, not as an indy filmmaker.
If I get a deal as an indy filmmaker, great. Not everyone can be a film maker! Not even film makers, and especially some good film makers. Just because this is a creative field in a creative industry, that does not mean all people who are creative and talented will make a living doing this work. It is the same these days for accountants, for graphic designers, fashion designers, marketers, tailors, restaurant owners, the list goes on. All the grips, camera, craft service, etc, all those who admittedly work for free most of the time.
Will they ever make any money? There are just way too many people, young and old competing for very little available positions to go around. The difference in the film industry is that many people will chase a dream to see if they get lucky, if the stars align.
There are limited positions to fill in all workforce sectors. I think the big question is the way the big system works in general, who gets the job when they apply for it and why? Are they the right one for it, and why are there so many applying for the same job??? Is there a saturation of everything in this "post everything" world we live in today? This article is so refreshing to read as a struggling filmmaker who wonders, what the hell am I doing?
But in the end, after festivals, awards, offers that never came to anything, and several near breakthroughs, I had to admit defeat. Was it worth it? But I have no hope anymore of it paying the bills! All along i had the feeling Afican filmmakers have the challenge of balancing art and business.
Tom Straw and Jack Rag can now claim to be filmmakers…and they are. She has the brains and the talent to be a truly great filmmaker. I hope she reconsiders this position.
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Three Tactics On How To Make Money In Filmmaking
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How Do You Make a Living as an Independent Filmmaker? Paula Bernstein Dec 16, 9: Share This Article Reddit LinkedIn WhatsApp Email Print Talk. It is a very exciting time to be a filmmaker because we have this endless possibility at our fingertips. A person can make pigs fly very cheaply these days…. A sustainable career in filmmaking is greatly aided—if not, quite frankly, made possible—by philanthropy.
We can have all the new gadgets and new platforms we want—but truly ground-breaking, disruptive art requires at least some form of unfettered aid. This Exclusive Poster Teases the Answer.
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