producing Army of One

I've had this conversation a lot of times with a lot of people, but never in a focused way on the forum. Every time I see an indie film project come anywhere close to a win, it's from a team of people, usually dozens working together towards a common goal.

Simultaneously, almost every single person I've talked to for years is adamant about producing a feature film completely alone. What is driving this logic in a situation where metrics would indicate dramatically higher chances of success for teams?

Pushback on even 2 people working together is basically 100%, and yet I almost never see a film make it to broadcast with just one person on board. I understand the drawbacks and tradeoffs of creative collaboration, and yet you never see a single person playing hockey or baseball alone vs teams of 30. Is there something I'm missing? How much sense does it make to have a film with 1 actor, or for the editor to be the marketing person, etc. Why take a 10k hour job and turn a 3 month thing with a few dozen people into a multi year survivalist challenge?
 
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I definitely never said that anyone with talent gets money.
I did comment on the rarity of true greatness, and rarer still an amazing talent that is languishing as a total nobody.

For me personally, i know i cant direct a music video good enough to be on MTV.
Those directors are all way better than me at directing music videos

As for you and your funding, my point was even if your idea works, you dont have the funding to market it, so where is it going to go?
I don't say that to try to bring you down but its just my own experience, i put out a short film i think is good, nobody shares it, the channel goes quiet. People want to join in on projects that have a marketing budget, etc, they want to join in on projects that will be succesful and a project without money or movie stars is like buying a lottery ticket except the price is an entire year of your labor.

You say the normal approach is to try switching up strategies, that's exactly what I've done.
I'm focused on books now, you don't need a team, youre not competing with a team of 50 people, you don't need money to produce it, and people still actually rely on book recommendations from friends (unlike movies) and its something you can do on your own and sell and potentially aquire some margin of wealth and fame, and parlay that book into a feature film with actual funds.

But yeah I have felt some jealous towards sibling directors like coen or wachowski that have a built in partner from the womb totally on their same wavelength, etc. its a great advantage.
I have to say that I have definitely seen music videos that were not directed as well as your Christmas film. Look, the top directors of music videos are better than both of us combined, but the bottom half? I've seen some pretty bad videos.

It's funny you mention the sibling director teams. I had the same exact thought many times. How much easier this would be if you had even one person that was permanently on your side. Honestly, I can't even imagine what life would be like if someone had my back. I guess all the supportive people were busy looking out for Jeffrey Epstein.

The book thing makes a lot of sense, from every angle you mentioned. The reason I don't write books has to do with saturation. I find that uncountable numbers want to be creative, and the lower the bar for entry, the more band waggoners. Scripts for example take no money to produce, so anyone can create a script. I'm not talking about talent here, just raw number of pages produced worldwide. So we've all heard the stories, landfills filled with scripts outside LA, waiters trying to slip them into John Favreau's bill after dinner. A guy from here once sent me dozens of scripts. Look at music. The barrier for entry got down to 500 bucks, and now there are 400 composers out there for every legitimate job opening.

Your theory may be correct, I'm not saying you're right or wrong, I just look at it a bit differently, in film, on guitar, etc. I think the way to stand out is by doing something that others obviously cannot do. It shouldn't require much effort on the client end to tell that it's unique. In example, let's say I produce a 10 hour interactive CG film, The Labyrinth. and word gets out that I did it for 20 grand. No one on the planet earth has ever accomplished that. I checked. I'll be in the Guinness book of world records if I finish that project. I'd love to write a book, and I've got some great ideas, but a person has to read the book before they see that the idea is great. You might be amazing as a writer, hopefully so, It's not you that I lack faith in.

Going back to your tiktok thoughts, I also feel like we live in a short attention span world now. I think I have to sell the first minute with a thumbnail, and sell each following minute with the one before, until they do get to the story. The visual format gives me stronger options for that approach. Why am I giving away money for people to watch my film? Because I think that nobody is watching anyone's films or reading anyone's books anymore. Not unless as you say, it was already popular. How do things become popular? Typically it's with around 70 million dollars of national advertising. People don't get that kind of money from talent. Not ever. That's corporation money.

You also say it's super rare for a true talent to go unrecognized, but I'd say the opposite. You just don't know the names of the geniuses in the unmarked graves. Study art history. Picasso died poor and miserable as did Edgar Allen Poe, Monet, and Emily Dickinson. Tesla was mostly ignored, even though our entire civilization is now based on his breakthrough. We now know that a Picasso painting is worth millions, but when he was begging for help, people walked by those paintings and assumed they were worthless. He died thinking he was a failure, and it's hard not to be angry at all the people who must have made his life a living hell while he watched them heap praise on whoever looked tallest on a horse.

There is more to this puzzle than just talent. That's why I'm spotlighting these other metrics. How many people, how much brute force, what income streams, etc. Talent is actually a pretty small piece of the puzzle. I'm writing a story for Save Point, and I think it's pretty cool, but I'm under no illusion that the story will attract people. I need to build a business machine to attract people, and then only once they are already there watching can they become interested (or not) in my fiction.
 
There were some takeaways from this thread.:
1. The world is not fair.
2. There is jealousy toward people who have what we want.
3. There is power in numbers/teamwork
4. People need to realize the army of one mentality doesn't work.
5. People need to let go of their egos, then join my team and follow ME.
6. People who don't see it my way are wrong.

Nate, you always present a fine argument. Very compelling at times. You're a gifted narrator.

I feel your frustration for not being able to find people to share your vision. Many of us have been there. I myself have tried to get projects off the ground with a team of people who joined my cause. I secured some name talent, found a DP, connected with a local acting group, and so on.. My producer, if that's what you could call him, was more interested in talking about how he use to play Frankestein's monster in a haunted house years ago than doing anything that had to do with producing. ... The people who stayed the course negotiated and were to be paid. The ones working on deferment started to stray. My producer was worthless. I tried to do too much on my own. I take full responsibility for what happened since I was the ring leader. I started with X number of dollars hoping more could be generated as we got going.. The money ran out fast. Potential investors were not impressed with the production. No more money was forthcoming. I cancelled the production. In my case, the one man show thing did not work. I needed a competent producer, not a friend willing to try.

The Rubik's Cube of Indie film making. That's what I've called it for years. It's a puzzle; how do I make a feature film for the resources I have available to me? As you know, I've been working on a CGI generated 'claymation' type project. That is my answer to the one man show. Me and my computers. Me in a mocap suit. Live background plates shot by me. Voice talent for the characters...But even if I do make this thing a reality for me, who is going to see it besides the people I invite to watch it on youtube or the people to whom I mail Blu-rays?

Scoopicman is the only one I know who is making Indie features. I don't know if there's any money in it for him but he keeps making them. Not award winning films, in my opinion, but he is doing what most of us only talk about and complain about. Ironic, he's the one member of this board who could offer some real insight and he doesn't chime in... Maybe that's the secret; don't talk about it, just do it.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
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I've posted this before, about how an oscar winning screenwriter spent 7 years after his oscar trying to get a script produced and failing utterly.
Then he decided to stop trying to do his own stuff, and now he just works on other peoples projects and scripts and he directs for tom cruise.

Still after all these years in hollywood and all the prestige cannot make any of his own projects, can't get funding for them.
but he does work on big movies, they are other peoples big movies.


I get the point nate is trying ot make but the real question is - why are we working on our own stuff?
Nate why are you working on save point, why don't you find someone else and then spend all your time helping that person instead?

Isn't that what youre really asking in this thread? Why are we all doing our own projects instead of each others?
EDIT: I said super talented people without recognition are rare - you disagreed with me.

Therefore they aren't rare and you should be able to find one and then support them and join their team.
it's insanity to think people are gonna come along and join your team, people are interested in themselves, in their own ideas
so if you really want a team the easiest and most rational way would be to join someone elses initiative.

Now i'm not seriously suggesting you give up everything you're doing, what I mean is that I am holding up a mirror and pointing your own question back at you from this thread

I think there's a word for it, when you have no creative control and you spend your days trying to fulfill someone elses dream.. it's called having a job. lol.
 
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sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I'll add one more thing - my first couple films i worked with a partner.
He had kids and a busy life, most of the workload fell to me and I was okay with that!! and he was putting money up, it was all good.

but he did all the camera work and when I told him i wanted to mimic cinematography of 24, he did zero research or attempts to learn how to do that. and when he showed up on set, it was like 20 takes trying to get one shot with camera movement and zoom, thats not fair at all to the actors. 20 times in a row and their performance are getting thrown in the trash bc the camera isn't right.

he asked me to micromanage every single movement he made... at that point its just like, dude just give me the camera. if i have to tell you every single micromovement then what is the point of you holding it. a frustrating process.

some edits here -
the filming was fun for him and just not as big of a priority, he had a family and other stuff that was important ya know, and our film criminal descent had very basic stationary shots bc I wanted to be fair to the actors and focus on their performance instead of trying to micromanage camera nuances and throwing away a bunch of shots. i didnt like how old fashioned the result was so i had to go on my own for the christmas movie because I wanted to get hands on with a camera and learn and grow and be active with it. it wouldn't have happened with someone else holding it unless they were super enthusiastic about spending their time on the same exact vision.

you say people without talent don't make it a lot, but if your talent is editing.. and youre just so damn good at editing, why don't you work as an editor? surely people are hiring editors, you don't need to work for an upstart with pie in the sky talk that cant give you a paycheck right? starting a business is hard, being in creative control is hard, but getting a job and working for the man is perfectly attainable.
 
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sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Here's another time i tried to team up - after a year of doing standup comedy i knew a bunch of locals
I asked around and made a post if anyone would want to be the host of a webshow if i produce it.

My idea was that people like looking at memes, and new memes are coming out all the time.
So like americas funniest home videos, or tosh.0, i would make a collection of memes each week, streamline them in a video production for better audience consumption and then have the host add on some jokes on top. it's not brilliant, it doesn't redefine an industry, but its a solid proven concept that could be funny and build an audience.

I offered to do all the grunt work, 95% of the effort in producing a show, and then give them all the fun stuff and visibility in front of the camera.
What was the response I got? 'who do you think you are, you're a nobody, why would i want to work with you'

LOL

Fucking nobody wanted to team up with me even though i offered to do all of the work.
Nobody even had the interest to take a meeting!!

Maybe if I had said I'll produce whatever show you want, but why would I want to?
thats like going and getting a job and then telling them to keep the paycheck and walk all over you.

it's stupid, I don't want to produce a show I don't have creative control over
One last thought remember breaking bad how walters company became worth like billions or whatever after he left the company, and they never gave him anything?

Thats how ppl are, they're greedy fucks. you can go and volunteer and help someone and put in months of work and then they'll make it and if its not in writing that they owe you any more than a penny you won't receieve two cents. you'll get no credit and no money and then you'll be old and look back at a wasted broken life helping out an ass that never appreciated you
 
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I had an actor with no significant resume, working as a bartender at night, sleeping on the floor at the actor's studio turn down one of my projects because he didn't want to do something that might risk his reputation...... Huh?
 

sfoster

Staff Member
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there's a scene in the new jackass movie where this guy plays ping pong with his dick and they say in the background

"You're never gonna be president now!!"

lol

yup

can't have a president that played paddle pong with his penis
 
I agree, Indietalk, but I thought it was funny. He had no reputation except as a homeless unemployed actor. Hell, Stallone did a softcore porno film early in his career. Not a rumor, I saw it on vhs tape back in 84. It didn't seem to hurt his reputation.
 
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directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
indiePRO
Simultaneously, almost every single person I've talked to for years is adamant about producing a feature film completely alone. What is driving this logic in a situation where metrics would indicate dramatically higher chances of success for teams?
It curious to me that I have never talked to anyone who is adamant about producing
a feature film completely alone. So that skews my perspective. However, almost every
single person I've talked to over the years who wants to make a feature film doesn't
follow logic. Creative people can be quite illogical.

If I could act even a little, I think I'd accept this as a challenge. Illogical and a low chance
of success but what a great thing to try.
 
I'm trying to answer these, but I'm pretty run down this week.

When there are pressure fronts moving through I get these severe migraines, and I have to take medicine for it that slows down my thinking a lot.

I certainly have things to say, but I think I'll need to wait until my head clears to do any actual debating.

There is definitely some understanding, and some misunderstanding of what I was trying to say here. The subject goes pretty deep, and I don't think that this is a one answer thing. It's been said repeatedly that I'm expecting everyone to join my thing, but I actually never even mentioned that in this thread until prompted. This is really about a simple question, which is, why are we watching movies with 75 people listed in the credits and then trying to recreate that artform with a maximum of one person?

It's not just this group, that thinking is worldwide now. In example, I'm not the only one using these next gen digital filmmaking techniques, but if you go look at all the others from around the world, it's literally 3000 different people making 45 second videos each made by one individual. To my knowledge I'm the only person worldwide trying to assemble a full cast and make a saleable feature with it. It's weird.

This is not a topic about the people here, or about Save Point, though it definitely affects both. To me, teamwork is part of the job, and sometimes jobs are work, so what, that's normal. I don't know how many people on the forum have completed multiple features, but a feature film is a LOT of work, and it's pretty overwhelming for one person. I'd go as far as to say it's pretty overwhelming for 7 people. There's a lot of comments that make it sound like this whole debate centers around ego, but to me it's a far more practical question. If in example a feature requires 20,000 man hours to complete, then a single person will absolutely loose enthusiasm for the project before it's complete, and suffer extreme burnout. And it's visible in the final product when that happens. A 20 person team can knock out that same project in 4 months, and it's a better experience for everyone in terms of effort vs payoff. Also, wrap parties and premieres where one guy sits alone in a room eating a tv dinner in silence are extremely anticlimactic. It makes you want to quit making films.

Lets say 5 people join a band, we'll skip who joins who for a minute and talk practice area. So 5 kids from adjacent towns form a cover band. Each of them says, we should have practices at my house, because I don't want to drive to the other town. One has a guitar, one has a bass, and one has a drum kit, 12 microphones 4000lb worth of amps and rebuilt his living room into a soundproof recording studio. So where do we have practice?

In my day, we just drove over to the guy's house that hosted all the equipment. Now it's a 5 way argument. It shouldn't be. Nobody has to join a band, but if you do, it does make sense to host practices at the studio. Acting like it's an impossible decision between moving 10 amps to the singers house and having people come to the studio feels like a nonsense equation. There are many practical differences at play beyond who feels the most important. I think the new generation has no skills, of equipment, and with ego as the only commodity on the table, the mentality is that this is all about egos. When I grew up we didn't even discuss egos until the band blew up. And we practiced at whoever's house had all the equipment at it. The point is that not everybody's pitch is equal, but I've offered to loan a Red Epic to a beginner filmmaker and had them sneer at me, pull out an iphone and say, "Lol, I think I know what I'm doing" Who is the better musician? John Williams or an 18 year old with a drum machine? People can't seem to tell anymore.

For the record, because this has been brought up a few times, if any one of you had done what I'd done to provide an opportunity to others, I would have gladly joined your thing. You build the studio at your house, provide me with everything I need to win, politely invite me to share in all your resources, extend a hand to me in friendship offering to spend time helping me out, and I'll join your Save Point instead. Until you are willing to give as much as I am, we are not talking about equal sides here. Why shouldn't I join your project instead? What project? What resources, What planning, What system am I joining. Nobody has a system designed for others because nobody was thinking of others when they set up their project. Mine was built to join, and to be fair to people that joined. You can conjecture that it's one sided, and paint this as me trying to get a line of people to shine my shoes for free, but be honest, you never took the time to fully investigate did you? I might actually be a fair and decent person trying to engineer a better path for financially disadvantaged creatives that don't have many options. If I build a bus and you build a motorcycle, do we really need to argue about who is taking the group on a field trip?

It sounds defensive because it is defensive, I'm trying to give away free stuff to people, and there are a lot of insinuations that this is some kind of ego driven predatory grift. It's not. I'm pretty sincere about this stuff, so yeah, I'm going to defend my stance.

Also for the record, I have worked with and helped every single person that approached me this year. I just don't brag about it, because that's stupid. Can any one of you say that you asked me for help and were refused? How many of you refused me when I asked for help?

I appreciate all your replies, especially Sean's hilarious stories, and will respond to each as soon as I'm able.

I'm going to have to take this conversation a little bit at a time, my brain is just running on one cylinder today.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
People just joking about save point, but also it helps to have a specific EXAMPLE when discussing theory, so save point is an easy example for us all to talk about. otherwise discussion can get too lost in theory and cant see the forest for the trees
 
Many filmmakers will walk away from a project rather than not be able to do things their way.
Maybe the honest truth is that they walk away because they don't believe in the project.

I just think that there is a fundamental misunderstanding in the indie film world, about what a movie is. I'm not calling anyone stupid, it took me years to see it clearly, and I was paying close attention.
I for one welcome this opportunity. Nate, if you can tell us what a movie is, I know I would be grateful. I've spent my life studying these things and I thought I knew, but maybe I don't. Perhaps your years of paying close attention uncovered something profound. It's comforting knowing you are here to protect the indie community from its own misunderstanding and stupidity.

I'm sorry, Nate, but I find this entire thread a little insulting and very condescending. Each of us has a dream. Each of us is on a journey. For you to suggest that yours is more important than anyone else's is beneath the Nate North I thought I knew. You seem angry at the world because you can't find anyone who wants to work with you. I can't tell you why that is but I'll bet you already know. Don't torture yourself. Just accept the way things are. Be one with yourself. :)
 
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directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
indiePRO
I have a very different perspective of the struggle than Nate, but I love it. Always a
great read. I can't speak for Nate, but as a member of this board I did not see your
post as disrespectful.
 
It curious to me that I have never talked to anyone who is adamant about producing
a feature film completely alone. So that skews my perspective. However, almost every
single person I've talked to over the years who wants to make a feature film doesn't
follow logic. Creative people can be quite illogical.

If I could act even a little, I think I'd accept this as a challenge. Illogical and a low chance
of success but what a great thing to try.
I have also never spoken to anyone who wanted to do a film alone.

As for the thread topic, when you're working alone, no one bothers you, so you don't have the stress of dealing with others, but you have no support. When you're leading a team, you have to deal with the different personalities, which can be a problem in film.
 
Much of this discussion reminds me of a comment made to me several years ago by an artist friend (of the oil-on-canvas variety) about the relative financial success of the different participants at an exhibition: she - one of the permanently poor - referred to the guy at the stand across the way and said "I am an artist, he is an artisan - we are in no way alike"

So many of @Nate North 's frustrations return to this same question of money, and especially the unfairness of it all. Well, yes, it's not fair ... but it's also not at all unique to the world of movie making, and in very, very, very many aspects of modern life, the stereotype is built on a romantic notion of the spirited/passionate/adventurous individual; while the reality is one anchored in the cold, hard ground of viable economics.

Even if there's no LLC behind it, "making a movie" is a multidisciplinary venture akin to any other complex business, and for the most part will enjoy greater success if there are fewer creative types involved. As has been said in various ways above, what most movies need to be made, are lots of people who will do exactly what they're told in the way that everyone else like them does it. These are technicians, not artists; and because they think and work in a different way, their motivations are also different and incomprehensible (c.f. @JKierskicine1207 's recent multiple cries for help! )

Then you need another group of people with serious organisational abilities to handle both the challenges of keeping a whole bunch of humans working happily together, of figuring out where to find money and how to spend it (wisely), and keep many competing interests from undermining the whole process. The last thing you want in this group is an artist trying to make a creative statement by doing things in a way no-one's ever done it before!

There is no place left in the western world for any kind of an "army of one". Even the self-published author depends on a huge team of software technicians to keep his or her publishing app running smoothly, and to manage the digital distribution platform; and if they opt for hard-copy publication, then at the very least, they're going to need to count on type-setters, box-packers and delivery drivers.
 
I've posted this before, about how an oscar winning screenwriter spent 7 years after his oscar trying to get a script produced and failing utterly.
Then he decided to stop trying to do his own stuff, and now he just works on other peoples projects and scripts and he directs for tom cruise.

Still after all these years in hollywood and all the prestige cannot make any of his own projects, can't get funding for them.
but he does work on big movies, they are other peoples big movies.


I get the point nate is trying ot make but the real question is - why are we working on our own stuff?
Nate why are you working on save point, why don't you find someone else and then spend all your time helping that person instead?

Isn't that what youre really asking in this thread? Why are we all doing our own projects instead of each others?
EDIT: I said super talented people without recognition are rare - you disagreed with me.

Therefore they aren't rare and you should be able to find one and then support them and join their team.
it's insanity to think people are gonna come along and join your team, people are interested in themselves, in their own ideas
so if you really want a team the easiest and most rational way would be to join someone elses initiative.

Now i'm not seriously suggesting you give up everything you're doing, what I mean is that I am holding up a mirror and pointing your own question back at you from this thread

I think there's a word for it, when you have no creative control and you spend your days trying to fulfill someone elses dream.. it's called having a job. lol.
I've finally recovered enough that I can start responding to all this. This post seems to have taken off in a number of directions.

For one thing, It's a matter of perspective but I personally think the guy in your example is getting screwed. Not "life is what you make it" not "life isn't fair and you better git busy livin or get busy dyin" Not, "Scorpios will meet an important stranger today", I think he just got screwed over, maybe didn't have enough of the right friends, or didn't push people around with his money as much as his competitors. I don't think it's fair to blow off what happened to this guy with cracker barrel slogans. Many business losses come down to empath vs sociopath, and empaths always loose, which is bad for everyone.

When you win an international award effort in a field, and dedicate your life to it, and then you're told to sit calmly and wait to see if Kendall Jenner will greenlight your script, that's bullshit. The world we created by making possession of money the primary metric of intelligence, is bullshit. By that metric everyone from the boomer generation is 10x as smart as modern kids that can hack the pentagon from a cell phone.

I understand how business work, but businesses don't really understand art. I think that may be because no one does, you might as well ask what shape a cloud should be. What I've seen in real life is mostly two things, either "what can we do that's very similar to what worked before" or "this person or idea is hot right now, and we can cash in". That mentality can often work for the bottom line, but it tends to create an unfair world for scriptwriters, because the better your script actually is, the less likely it is going to fit one of those criteria. I'd reference James Cameron's ad campaign for Dark Angel in the 90s. It's just a picture of Jessica Alba, and it says, "Have I got a girl for you" pretty bad really. The point is that no one was even thinking about script quality. They knew that they could monetize pictures of Jessica Alba, and if the story made sense, great, but it's an afterthought. Not every situation is like that, but many are, and you can see how being a great scriptwriter can actually backfire on you in a world that's quite shallow more often than not.

As far as what I've been trying to say here, It wasn't about me or one particular person, I just see a community where everyone is trying to solve this problem of breaking through in indie film, and virtually no one is trying even the most basic solves, such as strength in numbers. I feel like this comes from a limited view of the many metrics involved. I hear a lot of doomed filmmakers say "It's all about the story" and that's certainly true, AFTER I'm watching a funded film. I do not think that beating a path to a financial win is all about the story, and I don't think anyone will care about the story until After there is a financial win. I loved Law and Order, and it was good writing, in the early days, but if you had asked me to hack through the jungle with a machete to find an out of the way web posting because a guy wrote a story about cops that caught a suspect and then sat through the court proceedings to verdict, I wouldn't have. It took hundreds of millions of dollars to get Law and order to a point where I even saw it. And that show really was about good story structure.

If I had to point out a single person in that chain that was responsible for me following this series, it would be the syndication manager. AFTER it went into syndication, I saw it and learned to really appreciate the acting, and directing, writing, etc. I'm sure it wouldn't have made it so far if those things weren't there in the first place, and obviously they are critical. Still, I didn't appreciate any of it until over 500 people had become involved in aspects of the project. That's what it took to actually DELIVER the project to me, out on the edge of the world

I addressed this in my other post, but I think I can make it a bit more clear. I would absolutely have joined someone's project, if anyone had built one designed to allow me agency. The reason I designed SP the way I did was specifically because I had been looking for something similar to join for a decade, and couldn't find anything. I started out with no resources, no mentors, no one on my side, no synergy, no advantages and about a million disadvantages. I tried for years just to figure out simple things, like why do people talk so much about motion blur. I couldn't get any resources, and I did what many amateurs do, and just cobbled together patchwork media from the internet or games. With absolutely zero support, it took me years to get to a level a person working inside the system could be at in one year.

I didn't even understand the problems I was having until years later. Everything I did looked cheap and terrible, and it was mainly because I was comparing my straw and Styrofoam constructions against the bank buildings across the street. Once I was able to start using steel beams and plate glass instead, my constructions got much better. So I thought lets build a free use library where beginners can use steel beams, and build up knowledge and confidence with someone on their side. Problem is, it's illegal to freely share digital assets you buy, and the workaround is to incorporate a company, have people join it, and then share resources within a closed network. 20th century fox builds one kitchen set, and then 20 sitcoms use it over the years with different curtains and camera angles. Indie's with .1 percent of the funding have to rebuild that kitchen each time. A double disadvantage for the people that can afford it the least.

So I saw how corporations amortized costs for resources across dozens of projects, realized that outsiders couldn't compete effectively against such force multipliers, and engineered a way for disenfranchised people to have some of the advantages their corporate competitors had. It worked, and now I'm sitting here with over 1000 film sets, and getting turned down by people that still leave the greenscreen as the background for their videos. If you built a gravitron, yeah, you can ride it alone, but it really defeats the purpose. I could have built something that was all about me me me, but value comes from rarity, and in todays world, a myopic self focus is the single most common thing out there.

People don't understand my motives. They still think I'm pushing group tactics and an umbrella organization either as some virtue signaling thing or to become the center of attention. That's not why. Others can't seem to get past the idea that this proposed org is about me getting everything done my way, because selfishness is the only pattern you recognize, it's all you've ever seen. That's not why either. I'm trying to build something that is about unselfish cooperation because ------ the other way is just so fucking common. I can't throw a goddamn rock without hitting some cult of personality or group gathered around some unremarkable inheritance king. I just want to try another way. Not your project, not my project, but our project, The math side is dramatically better also. Why should 10 of us buy a Red to shoot one month a year? Why should I rent a camera for 15% of it's purchase price? Collective bargaining power, that's what this is about. Simple.

I know you won't join, but here's what would happen if you did. You know how you said you planned to put some money into driving some traffic to your channel? Well I do also, and buddy does too, and I'm sure others do. We could each put 500 on our channels, and people would come. But what happens if all three post to one channel and put 1500 in advertising on that? Sure some people will only watch one video, but at the end, each of us would likely get about 800 dollars worth of advertising out of our 500 input, in terms of views. I think that's pretty much what the Dust channel is.

Even this idea isn't new at all. I'm just copy pasting how real film studios created internal synergy, and finding a way to make such a system self sustaining for indies. Sorry it's cg based, I know that ruins the dream for a lot of people, but many unfunded indies are not jet setters, if you take my meaning. Travel and hosting alone is a death knell for many indie film budgets,

You ask me to hold this up to a mirror? I designed this thing looking in that mirror.

I understand that you aren't insulting me, but it does come across that way sometimes. I'd be more insulted if anyone was attacking what I'm actually doing, as opposed to what they think I'm doing.

Me - "let's start a carpool so we don't all have to drive our kids to school each day"

Them - "You think your car is so much better than mine? screw you, every man for himself"

Me - "Jesus Christ, sigh"

To avoid confusion, in this post I actually am talking about Save Point.
 
I'll add one more thing - my first couple films i worked with a partner.
He had kids and a busy life, most of the workload fell to me and I was okay with that!! and he was putting money up, it was all good.

but he did all the camera work and when I told him i wanted to mimic cinematography of 24, he did zero research or attempts to learn how to do that. and when he showed up on set, it was like 20 takes trying to get one shot with camera movement and zoom, thats not fair at all to the actors. 20 times in a row and their performance are getting thrown in the trash bc the camera isn't right.

he asked me to micromanage every single movement he made... at that point its just like, dude just give me the camera. if i have to tell you every single micromovement then what is the point of you holding it. a frustrating process.

some edits here -
the filming was fun for him and just not as big of a priority, he had a family and other stuff that was important ya know, and our film criminal descent had very basic stationary shots bc I wanted to be fair to the actors and focus on their performance instead of trying to micromanage camera nuances and throwing away a bunch of shots. i didnt like how old fashioned the result was so i had to go on my own for the christmas movie because I wanted to get hands on with a camera and learn and grow and be active with it. it wouldn't have happened with someone else holding it unless they were super enthusiastic about spending their time on the same exact vision.

you say people without talent don't make it a lot, but if your talent is editing.. and youre just so damn good at editing, why don't you work as an editor? surely people are hiring editors, you don't need to work for an upstart with pie in the sky talk that cant give you a paycheck right? starting a business is hard, being in creative control is hard, but getting a job and working for the man is perfectly attainable.
I totally get it, even amongst people that tell you straight up that their entire goal in life is to make film, I'd say fewer than 10% are actually driven and passionate about it. It creates problems for the people that are trying hard, and creates no problems for the people that don't care, leading to a lot of anger and frustration. That should explain a lot of my sometimes antagonistic behaviour right there. We've done a poor job of engineering the world, and you can find many situations where listless apathy beats drive and dedication.

In Japan, nobody works hard anymore. I watched a documentary. People used to try really hard at work there, busting ass to get things done, but when they proved competence, they didn't get rewarded with money, they just got more work after being labeled as a hard worker. After generations of this, nobody ever does anything extra, just turning in the minimum effort not to get fired. Most financial rewards there go to people that are simply popular, just like in America, and people that slacked off and didn't care were just a lot less stressed out and easier to be around. They gave the raise to the guy who went golfing with them, not the guy who turned them down and stayed at the office finishing off work.

I did work as an editor, and many other jobs, for over a decade. I wasn't from the same fraternity as the guys paying each other 5 grand to eat lunch and get drunk, so here's what I got. "If you don't work without a contract for 10% of scale, we'll just have a guy in India do it, so which is it, do you want to be taken advantage of, or do you want to be unemployed, because there's a million people out there wanting to work in content?"

The guys that were saying that to me could barely use their email, worked 2 hours a day, and made about 350k a year. I was physically with them on many work days. Sometimes a 1400 dollar work day for them was literally just showing up for a couple hours, having a few beers at a bistro table, and saying something like, "ok, you can use the convention center on the 20th" I got paid about the same, but I was doing highly skilled work for 16 hours straight. The dumbest people on set made more than me or the executives. It was the electricians union, and they put safety tape over extension cords for 110 an hour. There was a union rep on site, who would swing a baseball bat at anyone who tried to ask one of them a question during their 15 minute hourly breaks.

Here's the answer, if anyone EVER offered me scale for any of my completely legitimate skills, I'd take it. 7000 a week is standard for an advanced editor for example, and I definitely qualify. I get offers such as "I'll give you $250 a week, if I decide I like it after you're done"

I have not been offered scale a single time since I moved to the midwest. Construction workers in my town get paid 10 grand by the city to replace lightbulbs in a street light, it was in the paper. I asked the chamber of commerce to help fund a 90 minute historical documentary about the area, and they offered $500. That was 5 months of skilled labor. That's how employers outside LA treat filmmakers.
 
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