Looks like you are a new visitor to this site. Hello!
Welcome to Hope For Film! Come participate in the discussion, and I encourage you to enter your email address in the sidebar and subscribe. It's free! And easy! If you have any suggestions on how to improve this website or suggestions for topics please don't hesitate to write in to any of the blogs.
(If you keep getting this message, you probably have cookies turned off.)
In my producing pursuits, I have had some of the best partners in the world. I think we have served each other well. But what was good at one time, does not always apply to your situation today. People change faster than relationships do. It’s hard to keep up. A good business and creative partnership is constantly evolving to shift with the personalities involved. It’s hard sometimes to step back and see it how it really is. The answers and the problems are often hidden in plain sight. How do you evaluate what is right?
- When the truck is careening down the road and your partner is behind the wheel, which way will they turn? If they are in America, you need the partner that will alway turn to the right, putting themselves between you and the truck. Likewise, if [...]
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. [...]
Yesterday, we launched our A2E (Artist To Entrepreneur) program at the San Francisco Film Society with OnRamp (The Direct Distribution Lab). This is a pilot lab of a pilot program designed to give filmmakers the necessary entrepreneurial skills to achieve a sustainable creative life amidst this changing paradigm. We will be working out some bugs but hope to launch the second iteration as soon as possible.
As part of the lab, we have a first day of big ideas and case studies that hopefully will give the participants the foundation for a design for living and thriving on their art. As part of that I have prepared three brief lectures focused on what every filmmaker needs to recognize about the business, the culture, and their practice if they want to have a sustainable creative life. Split between the three categories, I came up with fifty things you should know. I will provide them to you over the next week or two, but I wish you all could have been there. It’s always different when you are in the room.
Today, I will unleash what I think it is necessary to recognize about our industry if you are a filmmaker looking to survive from the work you generate.
WARNING: taking any of these points out of context, could create unnecessary fear or depression. If you want to [...]
We have two approaches:
I was forwarded this clip of me yesterday; I am quite confident is from before I was offered the job to become the Executive Director of the San Francisco Film Society. In it, I am clearly frustrated with the state of the film industry, where I felt I (and my contemporaries) were being rewarded for quantity over quality. No wonder I accepted the job when it was offered; I had already [...]
Let’s try this experiment:
- Gather 5 producers:
- Ask them if they can do a budget and schedule for your film;
- Ask them what that means;
- When they tell you it will be a budget and schedule for the production and post of a film, tell them you are looking for a producer who can do one that will take the movie all the way through release;
- Want to bet that no a single one of them will know how to do that? [...]