An Open Letter to Film Grads

28 01 2010

Dear Film Grads

I’m writing this after pulling a 16 hr day after working 2  jobs. One is a grocery job that pays the bills. The other is a TV job in a really small market.

After graduation, I like many of you had the intoxicating rush of hard-earned knowledge, freedom and the need to make you mark in the world by way of LA or NYC. The first month you spend blowing off some steam with travel or visiting friends and family. Then you start sending out resumes and reels and calling any excuse for a connection for a lead. You get some interviews, you wow with your newly minted diploma and killer resume, tell funny stories from set when some dumb actor still with a mic on mouthing off on how the food and the director sucked . The interviewer and you have a good laugh shakes your hand and wishes you good luck. A week goes by maybe two. Nothing Nada Zero. You call back, leave messages. The Bank of Mom and Dad listen gently or not gently remind you need to get a job. You may stay in your hometown…searching local production houses for internships…which may or may not pay (more about that on a later date) or you take the plunge and head out the big cities.  Hunt down all your classmates, couchsurf and beg, borrow and steal leads.  You PA and intern, you wrap cables, move lights, smooze and swap cards.  For some of you that is all you need and then you’re in with you own place and a metro card (NYC) or car (LA).  For others you do all that and nothing comes. You take a different job and weight your choices…then you start making nightmare situations in your head….moving back home and flipping burgers or slicing meat in a deli (sorry the last one is my job…..i’m not bitter honest).

Its time to look for a new way. The internet and youtube there are a lot more ways to make money and be seen…the studio system isn’t the only way.

The only that I ask is please don’t give up. I was told by a teacher 70% of film students never make it in film. Be the 30% that do by your own rules.

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What jason bourne taught me about filmmaking

24 01 2010

pack light and improvise

always keep in contact with allies

do your research

plan ahead as much as possible and then be ready to throw it all out the window

some times low tech is the best

go with your gut

a pen, paper and a open mind are your best weapon