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Two weeks ago at The San Francisco Film Society we launched A2E (Artist To Entrepreneur), a specific line of programming designed to provide filmmakers with the necessary entrepreneurial skills and best practices needed to have a sustainable creative life. We launched with A2E OnRamp, a workshop to allow filmmakers to budget, schedule, and predict possible revenues for their film throughout the direct distribution process.
Before we rolled up our sleeves to start the practical, I warmed up the crowd with a series of short lectures focusing on what all filmmakers should know about the film biz, the current culture, and recommended best practices for themselves. Last week I shared with you what we discussed about culture in general. Prior to that, I shared with you what I felt we had to recognize and accept, at least for now, about the film business.
Today, I offer you my recommendations on best practices in times like these if you want to have a hope of a sustainable creative life as a filmmaker. Don’t worry if it looks like there is more than you can currently achieve. It is a process and you are not alone. It gets better. We can build it better together.
- Focus on developing Entrepreneurial Skills as well as the creative. The corporate distributors don’t need your work to the extent that they will ever value it as much as you will. If you want your work to last, engage, and be profitable, it is up to you to be prepared to use it to ignite all opportunities. Armed with a good story and good storytelling skills, you should be able to profit if you know how to take responsibility for your creation. [...]
Last week at The San Francisco Film Society we launched A2E (Artist To Entrepreneur), a specific line of programming designed to provide filmmakers with the necessary entrepreneurial skills and best practices needed to have a sustainable creative life. We launched with A2E OnRamp, a workshop to allow filmmakers to budget, schedule, and predict possible revenues for their film throughout the direct distribution process.
Before we rolled up our sleeves to start the practical, I warmed up the crowd with a series of short lectures focusing on what all filmmakers should know about the film biz, the current culture, and recommended best practices for themselves. Last week I shared with you what we discussed about the film business. Today, I offer you my rumination on culture in general. Like the post on the film business, it is easy to dismiss this as generally negative. That simply is not true; that is nostalgia playing havoc with your perception. There never were good old days because back then people needed to find best practices too. They did not know then what you know now, just as those coming down the pike will have full benefit of all your excavation tomorrow. So be it.
If we want to move forward we need to access where we are currently standing, and adapt our behavior to the reality we encounter. So…
- This is an Era of Grand Abundance. There are more things to do than ever before. Everything is competing for increasingly limited available leisure time. As many of 50,000 feature film titles are generated on a worldwide basis annually. Good movies don’t get seen.
- Movies are not the dominant option for leisure time activities for most people. [...]
I was invited to contribute to the “Wish For The Future” series on Good.is. This is mine:
When do we stop just thinking about ourselves and instead start working together? I am not talking about saving the world; I am writing about preserving and advancing ambitious film and media culture. It’s threatened, and no one individual will ever rescue it. My wish for the future is for the creative community, locally, nationally and globally, to work together to build the better indie infrastructure that is now possible.
We will work together to build it better. We will use the tools we have, but not let them restrain us. Let’s turn our limitations — financial & otherwise — into assets (may our chains set us free). We will not let ego drive us away from an ambitious and interesting cinema. Let’s acknowledge that defining a true author in cinema is hard, and the act of creation is rarely original. Everything is a remix.In an era of Grand Abundance, it is best practice to be even more generative, but less authorial. And if all that is where we are, where does it leave us?
I am always looking for new methods of collaboration and new ideas of how someone else might riff off of one artist’s work. Multiple authors have multiple arms and louder voices; their success is everyone’s & their failure no one’s. If we [...]
by Angie Fielder
Crowdfunding is definitely the social media flavour of the month as creative people connect with online audiences who want to help finance their dreams. On Kickstarter alone, nearly 3 million people have helped over 30,000 projects, generating more than $US300 million in pledges.
As producers of The Second Coming, a feature film that is currently seeking funds via crowdfunding site Pozible (www.pozible.com), we recognise the need, in this fast-becoming-saturated crowdfunding environment, to think outside the box when it comes to incentivising people to pledge. Particularly if we want to go beyond our personal network of family and friends. That’s the real challenge with crowdfunding – engaging people outside of your own contacts, outside of your existing support networks. [...]
Ah, the windfall of public speaking. My two stop tour of Sydney & Auckland generated a lot of material. I did a handful of interviews with some very knowledgeable journalists/filmmakers. They have been coming to print and pixel. I spoke to Fiona Milburn from Transmedia NZ for the big idea on several subjects. You can read the whole article here. Amongst the questions I was asked about collaboration:
The key to collaboration is: the acknowledgement of what you don’t know; respect for the experience and contributions of others; and a general level of openness and discovery. I don’t think that changes. It is still at the core of everything. However, [...]
Can we move beyond product placement for a collaboration between those that fund the production and those that create stories? Can it be done without compromising the integrity of the work. Steve Wax and I wrote a blog discussion about this last year and I recently stumbled across this video of Steve and I.