The Three Halves of My Brain
I should stop writing these posts and focus more on working on the next script I'm going to make. Don't you stress though, I'm working on it and I promise I'm stressing about it enough for the both of us. Not about the quality (it's super duper goodly), but about the logistics of getting it made.
The stress of many a filmmaker is the same stress as many a non filmmaker. Time and money. Always need more time and never enough money. For independent and startup filmmakers more money could potentially buy you more time. More money could eliminate the need for the day job thus opening up 40-80 hours a week (depending on if you live in LA and need 2 jobs just to stay in an apartment and not under a bridge).
So how does one get money? There are more than a few ways, but here's four. Beg, borrow, steal or earn.
Begging translates into crowdsource fundraising. You interest as many people as you can in what you have to offer and see if they have a little to spare to help you get it done. For someone who has never put a campaign together it seems fairly straightforward and simple. Set a goal and put it on facebook. Bingo, moolah. For a medical reason or humanitarian cause it can be more straightforward like that. Help is needed and help is hopefully received. For a creative venture however, it's tricky. Getting people interested that aren't related to you or fellow creatives that really wanna help but can't (because they have a similar fundraising goal going on) is tough. There are hundreds of posts on crowdsourcing that know much more than I do so I'll leave the details to them. I'm only hoping to show you the start of the paths and others can lead you down them. Next is...
Borrow. Borrow translates into investors. These savvy men and women make it their business to give money and get more money in return. Brilliant. We should all do that. Watch out though, it's a gamble. Just like crowdsourcing, investing or becoming a producer footing the bill on a film is a honed skill. Hollywood is a fickle bitch, to put it mildly, and one wrong choice and it could be the last film they ever finance. So what I'm saying is that they have to be picky and that makes it tough for newbie filmmakers to get in the door. A good place to meet these potential partners-to-be, festivals. They see what you've made and hopefully like it (the bait) and then you pitch the next project on deck (also the bait) that is ready to go but for funding. Hopefully they really like your pitch (the nibble) and offer to work with you. Then you reel that fish in and create a wonderful, happy working relationship and you go on to make many many successful films together of which you have viewing parties at your mansion in the Hollywood Hills....Sorry. Jumped onto a short flight of fancy. It was a round trip. I'm back. Festivals are where I hope to make the connections I need to keep moving forward. Speaking of moving forward...
Stealing translates into, well, stealing. I don't recommend this one. Moving on.
And finally, Earn translates into working your butt off. This one is not new to anyone really and there are more ways to earn money than I could ever even think of to name. So I won't. My way is by being a registered nurse here in Los Angeles. It pays well but as I alluded to earlier it is a very expensive city to live in. As a filmmaker, financing my own projects has been the only way I have done it so far and it's been a challenge. Each of my recent short films have been roughly $5000-$6000 each and that has come straight out of the ol' salary. I heard somewhere that filmmakers should never fund their own projects but I disagree. I see it as an investment in my future and at the same time it is a masterclass in learning what to do and what not to do. As nervous as I would be about spending someone else's money I have a different set of nerves when I think of how many hours I worked to pay for this scene or that prop. On the flip side of that though if a producer is willing to pay then I'm not going to fight them over it.
All of this being said, for me it is impossible to continue to make films in LA or anywhere really without the financial help of others. Don't worry I'm not asking for money. Not yet. :) I'm once again using this area as a journal of sorts to get my thoughts out and at the same time let anyone that cares to know what's going on with me just what is up. Two birds one stone sort of thing.
And about that title.
First half -- I believe myself to be a good nurse and to have a good analytical mind.
Second half -- I believe myself to be a good filmmaker (improving at least) and to have a good creative mind.
Third half -- I know myself to be very weak at marketing myself, promoting myself and jumping through the hoops that is the entertainment red tape paperwork. I have a struggling business mind.
These posts that I will be trying to stay regular with, along with the website and anything else that I can add for some shameless self promotion are not easy for me at all. They are, however, necessary. I have no trouble talking to people about what I do and having in depth conversations about any aspect of the filmmaking world as I understand it thus far. I will ask for your help though. Help spreading the word to anyone that might be interested, in the slightest, about the entertainment world that I am trying to break into. It's a tough business but I absolutely love the creative process and working with others to create something amazing to share.
So all I ask right now is to possibly share the website with friends and family. Sign up for my email list and share that with others too. I promise I won't bombard you with pointless emails. And I'm not smart enough to sell your email to anyone even if I wanted to (which I don't). I'm just a guy sitting in a very small office of his apartment listening to his little boy in the other room convince his mother that Iron Man is done eating his waffles.
I'll try to keep you updated into what's going on and hopefully if things go well then more and more cool stuff will be going on. I don't have a product to sell other than myself at the moment. Free access to my sometimes twisted mind.
I'm done rambling.
If you haven't gotten out to a movie lately, you should. They're magical.