Thursday, 29 October 2015

Money, it seems, makes the world go round and no more is this true than in the creative world...

Whether artist, writer or film maker, it seems the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is just that, gold or it's paper equivalent. I am very much resigned to the fact that our society is so focused on the acquisition of vast fortunes that it shuts out any other view that question this. Hollywood is in the hands of the money lenders and they don't open their vaults to anyone that doesn't offer a guaranteed return on their investment. I have had the privilege of talking to many talented film makers and acting persons that are frustrated with the lack of opportunity to further their careers because they are not well know enough to offer a sure fire cash payout. Yet there surely must be more than drooling over bigger and fatter pay packets. In my mind it comes down to a very simple question...

What's your motivation?

If you are making films because you measure your success by the salary you can command then yes, money is your motivation. There are many illustrious names that have walked this road before you and have succeeded in the acquisition of vast amounts of the folding stuff. Interesting to note though that they never, ever seem entirely happy with their inflated bank balances. Is it possible that money does not buy happiness? I am not here to judge but in the film making world there are many, many people that seemed to have sacrificed their creative flair in the pursuit of fiscal security. Don't get me wrong, we all have bills and we all want to be paid for what we do. There is nothing wrong with being paid for the work you do but for me anyway, that is not the motivating factor. The drive to be rich will never ever get me out of bed, it never has.

I am inspired by passionate, creative people who strive, usually through massive adversity and nay saying, to produce works of beauty. Film makers who face certain financial ruin in trying to develop cinematic works of art, Directors who will not compromise and corrupt their vision in the face of "what sells quicker and in greater numbers". Here to are the actors who take part time jobs so that they can continue seeking their calling of working within the film industry. No matter how many doors are slammed in their faces these are the people that will never give up and every bloody nose received spurs them on to try harder and more doggedly. I am surrounded by a network of talented yet hugely under valued and unsung heroes whose sole motivation is to entertain. To be part of a film that is the best it can be, to achieve success for these people is not dependant on how much they are paid. They never give up and never surrender (isn't that a quote from Galaxy Quest)

So then, it has to be about exposure and sometimes this is in lieu of a pay packet. To get people to watch what you can create, to notice you, you have to be noticeable and its a hard and arduous path to negotiate. Someone once asked me if there was a viable business model working exclusively within the independent film industry. Its a question I mused about before answering that it isn't one that will make me vast amounts of money. If I wanted to earn huge wads of cash this is the last place I would look. In an area of the film world where investors are hard to find and sales agents wont look at your work if it doesn't star at least one A lister, this isn't going to make me rich. But as I said earlier, I don't want to be rich anyway and when WhiteScreen has a portfolio of clients you will still find me shopping for groceries in Lidl.

Ask yourself this question. If you are approached to act in a film or to contribute to a project, whats your first question? If it's how much money you will be paid, have you not lost something? Was your original desire to enter this, the business of show, solely to earn or was it more than that? I think that sometimes its important to look past the next pay packet, way past it It is so easy to get lost in a pile of red reminders and missed calls demanding payment. The temptation to sell your soul and vision for money is difficult to resist. Desire and purpose do not pay the bills. I am not naive in thinking that we should all be offering freebies just to get our names out there. But exposure is the name of the game and this pay master rewards much more than any pay check will. Spending time on Social Networking I see a lot of promotion, I do it myself, normally for little or no reward to the re tweeter. I have to walk the walk that I talk so passionately. Independent Film making is populated by a network of creatives that don't just seek to promote themselves. We are all in this together and that is the key to true exposure. By proving that you are willing to promote others creative babies you validate your own passionate desire to grow. So if your only caveat to accepting a commission is being paid, then you really are not going to succeed on any level. If however, your desire is to serve the film making industry with the skills and passion that you have developed and want to see others to do similar, then my friend, you are in good company.

WhiteScreen exists for the sole purpose of supporting you in achieving cinematic brilliance, I don't want to work in any other industry BECAUSE of people like you. This is an open invitation, if ever you feel jaded and beaten into submission by the war you are fighting then please get in touch.

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