Poor Filmmaker Backlash
I’ve been confronted with this notion that actors and crew are unappreciative of filmmakers, in whatever capacity, to make movies with little to no money. Some of their beefs are accurate. But some of them are not.
First, let’s watch the video that started this complete backlash:
Many things being said are true. Filmmakers shouldn’t require so much to make their production and expect that people are just going to provide for them. It’s rather ignorant. But, how do you solve the problem of getting money to make a movie if you’ve never done something before? With this mentality you cannot, and should not, even secure crew to make a trailer of the movie you’re considering, simply because you asked for help.
Let me give you an example of how this is broken:
You want to create a movie. You’ve just spent hundreds of hours researching and writing a script, preparing a budget (of sorts; because we know that usually low-budget filmmakers never really do that), gathering all of the required elements such as props and locations, and put everything into a nice, neat perspective. You’re ready to go and think that you have an award-winner. Now, you go hunting for money. Many of your friends and family ignore you on Facebook and Twitter (surreptitiously) and most will explain that they cannot provide you even $5 because of one reason or another (even though they probably just dropped that at Starbucks getting something that they really don’t and shouldn’t need). Usually the reason is because they’ve never seen your work and don’t have that much faith in you, although that is never explained to your face. You might find a few dollars here and there, but it’s never enough. Now, you as a filmmaker, who is struggling to make ends meet (damn economy), works hard to make a few extra dollars to put away for this movie you believe in ($1,000, let’s say). And now you need to double or triple that in order to make it work. But that doesn’t work, because no one else believes in you. So, with only limited money, you strive to make the movie you’ve wanted to, anyways. So, like a dodo, you visit the one place that you know some talent and crew read: Craig’s List. You make a post. You receive a few interested people. And then you hit this wall of people ridiculing you about the fact that you’re trying to make this movie without paying anyone. You have $8,000 in equipment that you struggled and scraped to buy/borrow/rent/steal, a couple thousand saved up, and a handful of people to make the movie you’ve wanted to make. And now people think you’re a buffoon for doing what you’ve done by listing your heart on Craig’s List.
It really comes down to some simple thinking: What makes you think your “talent” is worth money? And if you take up this way of thinking and no one is currently hiring for “your kind”, how are you going to keep on acting? How will you keep the fires burning and the passion (yeah, I said passion) for your craft alight? No one’s willing to hire you and you’re obviously not going to work for free… How do you succeed? Take more classes? Act “on stage” (FOR FREE I might add)? Keep doing it at home… In front of your mirror or camera? And what quality do you possess that makes you a “must have” actor or actress, or even crew member? The answer is none and if you follow the ideals of needing money for your work all of the time, you’re petty and the sort I haven’t got the time to talk with. But, if you’re willing to work with the situation, I can see us being good friends. Friends I will take with me everywhere I go; the people I remember most.
So, how did this come about, you ask?
I just watched a no-talent actress post about this video (above), laughing, and suggesting it was so true. She’s no-talent because she has a reel of… well, you guessed it, no talent. Not that I’m knocking her for posting the video (above). I’d already seen the video (above) and twisted and turned about the content. And while I’d like to pay people for everything that I’ve ever done, it’s not always feasible. But for her to go on a rant about how her time is worth money, when it really isn’t (but no one has stepped up to actually tell her that; she gets her gigs because of looks… Something for which I NEVER hire people) is just wrong. Plain wrong. Now, if she had a superb reel and experience working on numerous productions that have implications for her future and the future of the people she worked with, I wouldn’t laugh so hard… err… I wouldn’t be bringing this up. But she needs to remember one, distinct rule of thumb: You, yes you, are nobody. You’re not better than me. You’re not even better than a homeless guy. You’re a human being, and as one, you’re susceptible to all of the same crap we are. I like to live by this philosophy, too. Even the President of the United States can have a bad chili dog. He’s gonna take a crap and it’s no more glamorous than you or I straining to get it out. So hopefully this will knock the chip off your shoulder, should you feel you need to have one.
SIDE NOTE about the above young woman: She went on to rant and rave about people looking for people to work for free and scolded people for thinking about it. But, when a “friend of hers” (who even went on their own tear about the fact “it’s wrong”) said they cannot pay for something they were doing, this young woman made an exception for him. MADE AN EXCEPTION. What the hell?!