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Techniques for Independent Production
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Old October 12th, 2004, 05:54 PM   #1
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"Filmmakers"?

This is really a poll out of curiosity.

A remarkable number of members here register their occupation as "Filmmaker" or some very close variant such as "Independent Filmmaker". How many of you actually earn your livings as filmmakers? By this I mean, how many of you completely, or at least principally, support yourselves and your family in such a manner? (Living as a dependent of your parents does not count.)
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Old October 12th, 2004, 06:09 PM   #2
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I am a freelance artist that does video, i.e., a "starving digital artist". When I do work, I do ok, but this is mostly hobby at this stage.

As far as being a film maker, that for me, is still just a dream media to work with. I'm still working on that first one ;)
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Old October 12th, 2004, 09:12 PM   #3
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I do...I think...
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Old October 12th, 2004, 09:37 PM   #4
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Personally I don't claim "filmmaker" in my profile, and I doubt there are many here at all, speaking in percentages, who are supporting themselves primarily through "filmmaking". Heck, a lot of named filmmakers out there often have day jobs up until a certain point. But I would say that most here use the term filmmaker as one would use the term artist, or writer.

One of the first things a writing instructor or a book on writing instruction will tell you, is if you want to be a writer and you are writing, then voila, you are a writer. I don't know that money really enters the picture in making that call.

Myself, I have a day job as a web developer. Someone, after all, has to pay for my gear and miscellaneous budgeting expenses. But when I go home, web developer Imran is paying filmmaker Imran to be a filmmaker.

It's a stretch, but we have to do what we have to do to fuel that fire...
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Old October 13th, 2004, 12:34 AM   #5
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I agree with that assessment.
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Old October 13th, 2004, 01:20 AM   #6
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I make my living making video.
The filmmaking doesn't pay much...yet.
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Old October 13th, 2004, 01:25 AM   #7
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But you didn't profile yourself as film maker did you? ;-)

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Old October 13th, 2004, 09:40 AM   #8
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my profile is moviemaker... as a hobby. cause that's what it is. plus how many of us actually use "film" when this is a "DV-info" site? i think in a digital age 'filmmaker' is a misleading term. that's why i said 'moviemaker' since that's who we are. videomaker sounds a bit cheesy =)... though i don't think mine's better either. it's all titles anyway.

as for making a living... well if that were the case... very few of us would be posting on these boards and enjoying our money in sunny hawaii! my primary source of income is a 'real job'. moviemaking is a hobby. only gracious enough people like charles p., rick and others who probably make their living off of true 'filmmaking' have some time to help us underlinings =^).
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Old October 13th, 2004, 10:24 AM   #9
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Jeese- after years of scraping and scrounging doing freelance work and whatever-- I make my living as a corporate videographer and audio eng. . I shoot BetaSP, and freelance with DV shoots and editing. Film, ah film...

Still dream of my first FILM as mid-life crisis rears it's ugly head.

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Old October 13th, 2004, 10:55 AM   #10
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I'm a filmmaker full-time. All my funding comes from shooting video a couple times a month for other people. (90% filmmaking to 10% slave)

The fact is that if you make films, and fund them by working elsewhere to get the money - you are a filmmaker. You are producing (getting the money) to make your films. Some producers have the luxury to make phone calls and sit in meetings with potential investors. There is no difference - if you go out and "get the money" - you are a filmmaker.

Think of it this way - lots of business people (actors even) diversify into other types of business with their money. I consider that to be what I do. Like an actor will open a restaurant somewhere. Has nothing to do with acting, and it takes a considerable amount of time. So, if I am working 90% of my time on my films...I'm ahead of the game.

Also, read "Rebel without a Crew". The main message I got out of that book is that you can be whatever you want to be...the minute you decide. If you call yourself a filmmaker then just go out and get at it, so you're not lying to yourself. If you take action, any action to be a filmmaker...you are one.

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Old October 13th, 2004, 11:08 AM   #11
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I think the name "film maker" is pretty self explanitory... Ya gotta make one, to be one. Until it's in the can, you aren't a film maker. Just my point of view.
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Old October 13th, 2004, 01:42 PM   #12
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Of course FILM MAKER = one that makes films.
Whether ONE makes money out of it or not, doesnīt matter.
ONE could be a broker,lawyer,-insert occupation here- and not make any money either, and end up with a taxi, I know many in my country that do that.

Most Artists I know do not make any money out of their paints, music, dance, etc...
Still they are artists, they dance, they paint, etc.

But I guess Kenīs question was to see how many of the Filmmakers around here, do make a living out of this.

Not too many I think... of course, ONE can say he/she is investing/researching.
Almost every business makes no profit return at the beggining... and filmmaking beggining can be pretty long.

So letīs hope ONE can come back in a few years (months) and resurrect this thread saying "Hey Iīm making a living out of this".
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Old October 13th, 2004, 01:54 PM   #13
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Filmmaker

So, Keith....an "artist" who paints and never shows anyone their work or never makes a dime isn't an "artist" in your eyes? That's silly...anyone can "be" anything they want to be. It's the journey - not the destination as they say. If someone is working on a film, even just has the idea in their head...it's a film in progress. It's not tangible yet, but what is tangible in the art world? If a filmmaker is someone who has a million+ dollar film in the theater than there are relatively no filmmakers except a few.

I guess my view is the word "film maker" means in progress to me. If you call it "film made" I'd agree!
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Old October 13th, 2004, 01:56 PM   #14
 
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Promoter, agent, location scout, producer, director, videographer, writer, editor, sound man, 1st grip, caterer, and jack of all trades....that's moi.

edit: oh yeah, forgot composer and critic

Thank god my day job is a no-brainer.

Funny how it works. I get paid to do what I don't care about. I love what I don't get paid for. Maybe if I got paid for it, I'd hate it.

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Old October 13th, 2004, 02:08 PM   #15
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bill, ever read chuck palahniuk? he's the author of fight club. i think it was in his next book, survivor (which is going to be a movie after all) there is saying, "how you love the one you hate and hate the one you love". i'm paraphrasing but that concept is similar.

i remember watching project greenlight with pete jones. he visited kevin smith on miramax lot and kev smith said that when you have decided to be a filmmaker, you are one. coming from one of the fathers of modern indepedent film movements i'm inclined to believe him =).

as for making money, it's tough. coming off of what federico said a film is like a big business. when a film gets made it's as if one company opens and hires all these employees (cast and crew) and then when the movie finishes, it's like a company closes. it's an interesting concept where in the beginning you don't make profits =).
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