February 14, 2008

'My Life as a Filmmaker' and other soapboxes

Recently I was asked to speak at Gabrielle Kelly's "My Life as a Filmmaker" class at Los Angeles Film School. I was happy to come and talk about the skills of survival needed in the big filmmaking world out there, but I wasn't sure if I'd be able to fill in the hour and a half. But the students were very cool and very excited about their projects and their goals after graduation. I was impressed that they all seemed to specialize in a trade that complemented their long term goals.
I shared my stories of survival, showed a couple reels, talked about Vista Point Pictures, and listened to their concerns. Then I gave a little bit of tough love that I wish someone had given me: that it is your responsibility as an artist to be resourceful and to do some strategic planning so that you may continue your art and your craft. That it's okay to have professional experience, or to learn something about finances and commerce along the way, without worrying that knowing those things might somehow make you less of an artist or a pure creative. And that it is up to you to keep developing and strengthening your craft and your voice. I think many artists just want a patron to swoop in and develop their raw talent for them, but this ain't the Renaissance. There are things you can do to buy your own independence, even if only in little chunks at a time. Being savvy isn't something that need come only after huge 'overnight' commercial success. Self-reliance means being authentic and responsible throughout the process of your journey as an artist. And as an artist, you may not have a way out of that...
Before I knew it, the class was over, and I was all pumped up from having jumped onto my soapbox. I don't know if my talking was helpful, but I hope to see great things from these students in the future. We are all in this together, after all.

:: bogna ::

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