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How do you know someone is someone you are going to work with for the long term?
How do you know each other is capable of being supportive of what the other has to be doing?
What are things needed to make this unique relationship work?
The latest installment of my Film Courage interview attempts to answer precisely that:
Film Independent had me pull together some of our top indie producers and probe the secrets to collaborating well with directors. This panel reinforced what became clear writing my book: There is no template for a successful collaboration. There are certainly best practices to be observed but each film and each director requires a custom fit. Albert Berger, Lisa Cortes, and Lynette Howell rocked the stage with me at the Filmmaker Forum. Check it out some video highlights here:
We’ve seen and heard on the first two episodes of ReInvent Hollywood how technology and desire are changing the nature of the film form as well as how artists consider their work and relationship with the business. Barriers to entry of both creation and distribution have been crushed. Platforms abound for a wide variety of formats, aesthetics, and engagements. As a result we are all overwhelmed by an abundance of culture and leisure time options, challenging both business and consumption models. How do these same changes effect things on the side of the audience? In tackling that issue on “ReInvent Hollywood: The Audience”, I found a new way to explain what the Film Industry must do in our era of transition. [...]
Last week, I greatly enjoyed my first three days on the job at Fandor– and anticipating all the ones still to come. It’s funny how timing works sometimes… It couldn’t be a better time for me to learn and engage in something new. And it’s remarkable how sometimes somethings end, just as something new begins. Such changes and coordination need so much support, it is a marvel that so much still gets done.
Ten years ago, [...]
I was doing my mission check the other morning. I think you know that I find it useful to look at where you are and collect your thoughts on how you want to live your life, both personally and professionally, creatively and practically.
It is hard to determine your path if you don’t know your goals, right? Granted it is also hard to live your life if you are focused only on your goals, but that is for another post (as is how to pursue your goals when you aren’t paid enough to both survive and pursue them).
This is my professional assessment of my work at this distinct moment in time. The numbers are relatively arbitrary and not fully prioritized. I hope I haven’t aimed too high…
1. I want to help create ambitious and diverse works of cinema, help them get seen, and make sure the creators & their supporters directly financially benefit from that work.
2. I want to use my labor, passion, determination, and intellect in [...]
Part of producing is engineering serendipity. At least part of good producing is. How do we elevate work to the higher levels? How can we bring the mediocre into magnificence? Good producing comes from both the practical side and what many seem to think is the magical side. You have to know how to make basic shit happen on a consistent basis and then you have to learn how to make the rare occur as much as it ever could. It is not magic, but it goes far beyond being practical.
To make the positive aspects of the rare occur more frequently, I have [...]
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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. [...]