Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Old Stuff: Dream The BIG Filmmaking Dream

If you think I'm talking about the most common fantasy harbored secretly or bombastically by filmmakers - to one day direct studio films - you're dead wrong. In fact, quite the opposite. I'd like to snuff out that dream in all of you, if I could. The odds of directing a big studio or major cable film are slightly less ridiculous than winning the lottery. And even if you turn out to be the little filmmaking sperm that penetrates the big studio/corporate egg, you simply win, for the most part, the right to create big piles of slick, commercial poo. And you'll do it under the thumb of the studio brass who aren't going to hand over millions of dollars to some creative cowboy to run amok and make a dreaded "art" film? No, you're there to place your distinctive creative energies in service of freshening up stale ideas like "Saved By The Bell - The Movie". For every one "Crash" or "Brokeback Mountain" (yes, those are studio films despite all the b.s. about them being "independent"), the studio corporates pump out hundreds of "Kangaroo Jack"s.

No, the BIG dream I'm talking about is something else - something both more realistic and infinitely more satisfying. And that is to become your own studio. Meaning create, and guide the distribution of, your own films. Build an audience around your "brand" (what is uniquely you in your films). Make enough money from your films so you can live comfortably and make more films. How? Well, to get into detail would make this enote impossibly long. But in short, technology on both ends of the filmmaking process have made this dream a reality for many filmmakers. Digital production makes high-end creation unbelievably accessible. And new internet tools (including WAB's Audience tool and Distribution Lab) allow you to build and brand an on-line studio from which you can effectively manage the release of your films directly to your potential audiences.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

No doubt there have been (and are) great studio films and great studio filmmakers. But like lottery winners, they most often emerge by chance, not design. Statistically, your dream of studio filmmaking simply equates to a long-shot fantasy of being a well-healed corporate lackey controlled and directed at every turn so that you can churn out visually stunning commercial garbage. Allow yourself to dream something far beyond that. Something both bolder and more accessible that serves and respects the creative being that you are. It simply demands you respect your innate uniqueness, that you answer to your creative (rather than careerist) ambitions and that you take advantage of the rapidly developing tools that will support your creative and financial independence. This is the new paradigm for your life as a filmmaker. Dream it and then live it.

1 comment:

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