But to say that you can't be a writer, director, producer, editor, DP and production company and not make any money at it is wrong. I just have me in my production company and on a couple music videos I have filled all those slots...and yes I did make money. Maybe not as much as I should have on some of them but others I made enough to pay for my time and equipment. Then the other thing you can wear all these hats on is doing stock footage and making little videos out of them to sell them better and have people pass them around. In a sense doing your marketing for you for free. All of the stock footage I sell doesn't come from sales by the stock footage houses that rep my footage but by people seeing the videos I've done.
All I'm trying to say is that if you want to wear all these hats you can but it is a lot of hard work.
"Equipment takes money": Yes, but that is where resourcefulness comes into the picture. The possibilities of what $1,000 can buy can differ greatly from one person to another. It's all about being creative with the money you DO have.
"One being a Writer, director, producer, editor, and DP is an illusion": Is it? I don't think so. I think it would take a LOT of work, drive, ambition, and smarts -- but an illusion it is not.
"The low budget indie scene is fantasy": I agree, in large part it is, but that's because I believe most of this world is made up of Type-B personalities that don't GO GET WHAT THEY WANT, or aren't really "Film savvy." They sit back and hope it all falls in their laps. But I assure you, this is not true of the entire low budget scene -- as there are many that have ambitious, creative, resourceful, intelligent, and out-of-the-box minds.
I think the experienced pro's do a good job of filtering the go-getters from the delusional ones, so that way atleast valuable knowledge is passed on to the right people. However, I can certainly see why the delusional ones create a bad rep for the entire low budget scene.
Its pretty hard to be resourceful when one wants to be everything... writer, director, producer, DP, editor, production company and this person has no finances/skills to support any of that. It would be a lot savvier to find a good producer, editor, a good DP and get a production company to help with equipment (many companies will do so for free). I see it all as an identity crisis and absolutely nothing to do with the artistry of film making. How can anyone really help an inexperienced jack of all trades that wants to do everything by themselves? I've seen this problem with many low budget directors... I even tried to find a job that no one was interested in and guess what... even when I did that... they wanted to do that job too... lol. Heck I've seen people call themselves DPs and don't know the significance of F-Stops.
Pretty spot on. There is no shame in being new to something, but this industry like no other seems to breed the ground floor "expert", and it's too often 10% talent and 90% image. I've been in this business for over 20 years, since I was 14 years old and I run into this all the time. I worked my way up from a gofer (go-for an apple box...) to a grip, to an A.C. then at the ripe old age of 17 I got my hands on an Avid 230 system and taught myself how to use it. With in a few years I was cutting spots and learning AfterEffects. I have seen tremendous change in this industry, both positive and negative, but I have never adopted the attitude that there is something I was an "expert" at because there is always room to learn from an experience. Anyone who self-describes themselves as an "elitist" I have no patience for.
I can't count on all my fingers and toes the number of times I have met someone in this business who has talked their way into it, and just because they say that are, *poof*, suddenly they are a director, a DP, an editor, etc... I can usually spot this from a mile away, the sad thing is their clients usually can't, until it ends badly. In the metaphor here, that would be a car crash, right? Funny, because I have often used those words "car crash" to describe a production in melt-down mode, usually the result of the same type of newbie "race car driver" at the wheel. I tend to see this more in production than I do in post, but that seems to be a migrating trend as now a days everyone is an editor.
It's not all this way of course, there are lots of 'newbies' that know their place and are hard workers and pay their dues and never stop learning and never act like they are the experts. I don't mind enthusiasm, but the attitude and the "image is everything" way of walking into this business is a problem. Thanks for making me laugh with this race car driver analogy. Now Im going back to work, to learn some more.
Andrae, you get those kinds of people in EVERY field. It's just the nature of human beings to want to bite off more than they can chew. They see the "sexiness" in all these different roles and want to be all of them. I totally agree with you, a person has to have a REALISTIC outlook and a THOUGHT-OUT game plan, anything less is being wreckless and delusional. Such a realistic plan also usually involves being responsible and SAVING UP money for necessary equipment! But, if your REALISTIC plan is in fact to be all of those things (writer, directer, producer, etc), and you are taking the steps to learn and get ahead, then more power to you.
A "DP" that doesn't know the significance of F-Stops is not a DP. He can call himself whatever he wants to, though!
I have never met anybody who's said they want to be a director/producer/editor and DP etc. Usually it's someone who doesn't have the money or friends to fill those roles who ends up taking them on. Most low budget directors I know fall into a producer's role very reluctantly - they want to be purely "artists" but often they have to deal with the money because it's their own!
It's also only natural that people want to diversify their skills and experience. Actors often want to direct, directors often produce projects, and even David Mullen here has expressed that he wishes to direct something one day. Nothing wrong with that, we're all human and growing and these days most of us live a very long time.
It's good advice however, not to EXPRESS that you want to do several crafts so that it becomes confusing for others. You meet a LOT of people in this business, and you collect a lot of cards. It's best to state clearly that you do ONE thing - and that skill should be the one you are most accomplished at, or the one you wish to be paid for. Because that's how you will be pegged. The same way actors are pegged into some roles. Otherwise people think you're very amateurish if you rattle off that you can take on a lot of roles, or worse they won't remember what you do!
I chalk all this up to the world getting smaller and smaller with the expanse of the internet. There's so much information out there and it's easy to find, if you have some patience, humility and passion. It's great for the people who know how to use it, and it's painful for those who must wade through the garbage. That garbage is inevitable.
It's amazing how the creative zeitgeist has exploded in many different fields because of the internet. There is a serious pools of talented people all over the world that are finding their way and becoming quite accomplished as they share ideas and techniques online.
Yousuf - I think the spirit of the post was that this is a person that was barking up the wrong tree, and would obviously get nowhere with that type of post and mentality.
All this is to say that the inexperienced newbs with talent will find others who are talented and will flourish. Birds of a feather. I often work for inexperienced people but I do so when I see they have potential. I would hope that the same goes for more experienced people who might hire me.
Talent finds a way, and I believe many people here understand that.
Four things that I know:
1. Experience does take time, that it does.
2. Your never too experienced to learn.
3. Your never in a high enough position that would exclude you from learning.
4. When you think you know it all you cease to be creative.
The passing off of book (or Internet) learned knowledge as experience is what is dangerous, albeit very prevalent these days.
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