The Real Struggles of a Filmmaker
“All is futile” (Credits: Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash)
What we witness onscreen at home or in the theaters is the final gilded product of dedicated thinkers who tap upon the fountains of their creativity and imaginative powers to evoke an entertaining and/or informative experience for the viewer.
Quite like one who studies culinary arts, the magic lies within the presentation, while the ugly truth is kept locked away behind the scenes.
However, the gourmand will realise that there is no haute cuisine without the complexities of the kitchen, the same is true for the film industry.
What few people may realise is the sheer amount of determination, wit and resourcefulness required from a filmmaker to transform an interesting concept into an award-winning masterpiece to be distributed among its audiences.
In this article, we shall look at the less known tribulations of film-making, to address some of the commonplace problems that afflict filmmakers in the 21st century.
The Digital Wave
This cannot be stressed enough. Times have changed radically since the golden age of Hollywood (1910s-1960s), people do not depend on mainstream television or cinema for their video fix like they used to.
Nowadays, there are streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime, YouTube and Netflix, which dominate the online markets, allowing viewers to tune in to their favourite videos whenever they want them, no more pesky time slots to be observed and the drag of video-recording missed programs for future viewing.
The digital wave is the spirit of the times and it is crucial that one works with and not against it.
Traditionalists will struggle to keep up with their technology-savvy peers if they focused all their production efforts on promotion and selling through a mainstream channel. Also, it is important to take into consideration the recent rise of video piracy and its impact on the commercial scene of film-making.
“If only catching pirates were this easy” (Credits: Markus Spiske on Unsplash)
According to the CEO of gaming platform Steam, Gabe Newell, the growing prominence in the digital piracy of content is most likely a service problem, which causes consumers to opt for a cheaper and more convenient alternative through pirated sources when companies compromise on the quality of their customer experience.
This is demonstrated through the success of Netflix, which maintains its success through the user-friendly and affordable service of its burgeoning library of available content.
Piracy in turn, affects the global media market and bogs down the commercial success for the inspiring filmmaker, which can be a brutal beat down for the morale. The topic is an ongoing one, cyber authorities continue their battle to rout out the bad eggs who spoil the market, but many loopholes abound on the web that make a large-scale crackdown nigh impossible.
Thus, to combat this, filmmakers should consider pitching and selling their content to multiple distribution platforms for a higher rate of success. It is dangerous to rely solely on traditional distributing methods such as television broadcast stations or DVDs/Blue Rays! Keep your options open and content format varied!
Working Hours Seem to Go on and on and on…
It is widely known that filmmakers with their cast and crew are susceptible to working overtime and go far beyond the 9–5 hours that most regular folk spend their time slogging with their jobs.
”Who is counting?” (Credits: Aron on Unsplash)
Not to forget, there is an irregularity in the hours clocked, from early morning shoots to those in the dead of night. The circadian rhythm (natural sleep cycle) gets all whacked up, leading to long term health problems.
This is all fine and dandy for the passionate filmmaker with a solid vision, but the real problem arises when these hours are disregarded by clients while the law worsens matters with the absence of statutes that ensure a minimum wage for the ridiculous amount of overtime hours that could sap the sanity of a healthy and enthusiastic human-being.
Take the grueling hours per film and multiply those with the number of projects per year, and it is easy to see why film-making is such a scary endeavour behind the media-propagated glitz and glamour.
An idea is always successful in the head because it is easy and most importantly, free. The tricky part comes when you decide to act upon it and realise the gravity of the matter: no money, no show. Game over.
”Write or Wrong” (Credits: rawpixel on Unsplash)
Yes, dead presidents, moolah, bling, dough, bacon, it goes by many names, but for the sake of clarity, let us stick with money. Without it, nothing gets done, it is as simple as that. Funding has become increasingly difficult lately with a lack of public funding for the film community, which has gotten significantly more difficult for short film makers.
Short films have generally been receiving the shortest ends of the stick (pardon the pun) in the film industry due to harsh scrutiny and general disinterest from bigger production houses (where much of the money is), which sell out to full-length feature films for their bigger return of investments.
The treacherous process of fundraising is made even tougher for independent filmmakers who deal with outlandish themes that do not appeal to the mass public (and paying audience) for a variety of reasons (acquired taste and/or social taboo).
Thus, many creative minds are forced to keep their brazen concepts in the head due to a lack of funding, this is detrimental for the film & arts community as it deprives audiences of many unique masterpieces that will never be showcased.
Hardened independent filmmakers would dig from every source they can find to fund their mission, through trusted private investors, peers, personal savings (yes, even this when necessary) or winning film sponsorship from film academies through submitting a mesmerising concept.
It is nothing short of a travesty when a filmmaker should surrender passion over public opinion.
”Win” (Credits: Randy Fath on Unsplash)
Premise TV is a game-changing interactive online platform that empowers filmmakers to take those defining steps to making their film-making dreams a reality.
At Premise TV, there is no idea too silly, too weird or too bold to be made into a film. Do not take our word for it, have a look at our original content and be a judge for yourself!
As an enlarging ecosystem for filmmakers, our users are encouraged to experiment with their innovative ideas and realise them through a unique fundraising system that is based on peer assessment.
No more phobia of unapologetic studio executives judging you and barring your concepts. Earn your stripes by interacting with our valued audiences and work out a dynamic relationship to reserve future working opportunities!
Welcome to the future of film-making, where your woes will be left behind in the dust of the past.
Author: Laurenzo Jude