If you’re an independent filmmaker it’s time to step back, back away from Twitter and Facebook and all the other social media sites with large aspiring filmmaker populations and ask yourself: “Are things as bad as everyone believes?”
If you listen to the folks who would position themselves as savors (for a fee, of course) they will tell you step-by-step how to avoid the so-called pitfalls of independent filmmaking. Do you know what the major source of contention is: independent filmmakers who still believe in working with studios and basically, ie Hollywood.
Even if you have been listening to the messages that tell us that we’re lost without a new model, or the folks who tell have that they indeed have created a new model, you’ve got to be sick of the negativity by now. Guru’s and naysayers and dream snatchers position themselves by denouncing traditional aspects of filmmaking and distributions and hyping new tech as the way to go. They tell you that if you don’t follow their advice bad things will happen: you’ll never find an audience and you’ll never make money. They tell you you must use transmedia.
My friend describes these gurus as “A new breed of suits trying to tell us what’s best for us!” Listen closely and you’ll desocver that that many in the new breed as happy that some filmmakers “don’t get it.” Why? Because 1) Filmmakers who dont get it are potential clients and 2) filmmakers who tell the gurus to Fxxx-off are taken off their radar. Once less filmmaker to watch, regardless of how productive the filmmaker may be.
Truth is every aspect of the business can be learned by the filmmaker. Marketing, web design, salesmanship. You don’t need a guru. And you certainly do need a guru to make your film. Just make it. Rely on your creative spirit, patience, trusted sources and honesty. Be yourself. You needn’t be an Internet celebrity to make your film or find your audience.
Most importantly, don’t allow your dreams to be belittled. You know what you want, and gurus thrive and survive by convincing you that what you want as an independent filmmaker will never come to pass, and thus they are in a prime spot to show you a new way.
History has been consistent in proving that anything is possible, especially when actions are taken in the spirit of collaboration. Doom & Gloom scenarios NEVER last because there will come a time when *most* people recognize that life, the industry and opportunities not as bad as the gurus have made it out to be. Fear is a motivator. Fear shouldn’t be a dream snatcher.
I like that term, “a new breed of suits”! Perfectly describes the new “thought leaders” (a term that makes me gag) who aim to position themselves as “go to” people when they haven’t earned that right. Someone stated it brilliantly: I paraphrase: If someone is always on film panels and meetings, etc you gotta wonder, exactly when are they actually doing the things they’re preaching?