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Hey dude, why does DIY filmmaking suck?

  • Yes Beavis, DIY filmmaking literally does suck.

    Let me tell you about my experience producing Quality of Life.

    Each day, I worked a full-time day job and then put in 4 - 8 hours more on the film at night. I still declared personal bankruptcy during pre-production.

    Then I was fired from my job for focusing on the film too much instead of my work.

    My girlfriend nearly left me since she never saw me.

    My friends stopped returning my calls for fear I'd ask for favors for the film.

    And in the end, the entire "indiewood" film industry basically ignored us. Sundance, the speciality distributors, the major indie film press outlets and of course just about anyone with money couldn't be bothered.

    And that was all before we decided to self-distribute the movie and things really got rough.

    So listen up: DIY filmmaking is not for the faint of heart. It sucks.

« Secrets of Sundance | Main | Insider Indiewood marketing secrets »

January 22, 2009


Ryan Balas

Very interesting article.

Regarding the final question---
I've done two season of a web series, we currently have about 5.5 million hits. Mostly because of one webisode. At the time of its conception, profit was not the goal, it was exposure, and so I see it as a success, but if the exposure doesnt create profit, then was it helpful? I mean, we don't have agents, no tv deal. hollywood has not come knocking. We still have day jobs. BUT we have 5.5 million hits worth of online exposure. I don't know if that particular show will ever have the opportunity to make money (whichis ok, because it cost almost nothing to make). I do know that 5.5 million hits and growing, should make my next web production seem a little more legit and will hopefully give me some leverage when I pitch a new series to an online sponsor. I guess only time will tell. But I do think web-based content (short form initially...then long form eventually) is going to be where a lot DIY Filmmakers can thrive. I'm interested in finding a DIY friendly model in this market. And the only way to do it, is to experiment.

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