Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Success is Perception

So here I sit. I’ve made 6 movies (as a director). I average one a year. The budgets are slowly growing. The movies are making money, but I’m struggling to make my rent. I still work a full-time day job outside of the industry and scramble to find odd jobs within. I do not consider myself to be a successful individual. I’m currently trying to find funding or a producer to develop one of my 10 finished scripts. I’ve directed several financially successful movies, but just can seem to get to the next level. I’m lost. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’ve hit a ceiling in my work that I can’t seem to break through.

I’m still having trouble getting my own stuff made, and people ask me for help; to introduce them to producers I’ve worked with or help them raise money. Truth is the only person I’ve ever been able to raise money for is me. That is not a selfish statement. It’s just true. The producers I’ve worked for invested not in some project that I brought to them… they invested in me, as a filmmaker, a writer, a producer. That’s what I can’t seem to make other people understand. They ask me to help them develop their projects, but I can’t. I’m still struggling to help myself.

On the flip side I recently asked a working director (someone who’s made a ton of movies you’ve heard of) to help me in the exact same way. I suppose my though process is no different than my friends. We all think, “This guy is further along than I, so he can help me out.” Right?

I think that most working artists are no t so different. We all want to help others.  And when we achieve a certain level of success we do. But where is that level of success? Is it the guy with 30 movies under his belt? Is it me?  And how much can we actually help? And in what way? Well unfortunately it’s most often not in the way the person asking for help wants or needs it.

I’m not in a position to help another filmmaker find money or a producer for their projects. I’m just not. Is there other stuff I can do though?

I may not be able to help a struggling director raise money for his project. I might not know of a producer that would help either. But I can tell him how I found money for my projects. I can go over what writing and directing techniques have worked for me, and what didn’t. I can try to find a position for them on my next feature (if there is one). Then hopefully one day as I make more money and connections I can help producer other’s movies myself.  I think that would be really cool.


  1. I did take another young filmmaker under my wing last year. Hired him on both Monsters in the Woods and Should’ve Put a Ring on it. He turned out to be one of the best AD’s and friends I’ve ever had, and is going to be a hugely successful director someday.