directing Business/Marketing vs Emotion/Art

onebaldman

Pro Member
indiePRO
I'm not good with self publication, or making my opinions seem important. For years, I've tried in vain to become someone worthy of listening to. To become a role-model. To become a guru.

I don't know if this was because I wanted fame, or more because (at least I think) to be appreciated for my abilities. My entire life I've been trying to gain appreciation, acceptance, praise. Could be vanity. Probably is. Now I can't help but feeling this has been holding me back for a long time.

Yesterday, I attended my own Q&A event highlighting me as a filmmaker while screening one of my favorite films "Dances with Wolves". Needless to say, no one showed. At first, I was relieved. I had built this event up for months, making myself more nervous as it got closer. Wondering what I would say, what people would think of me, the standard anxiety inducing thoughts.

When no one showed, I felt a wave of brief relief! I didn't have to worry what people would think, or how I would look anymore. I think the people who marked the venue felt a little sorry for me. But I told them not to worry about it. I'm not at that level anyway. I had no business being in that setting.

This got me really thinking on the drive back home... I've been focused on the thing everyone else wants, and not what I want.

I've never cared about fame/fortune/Hollywood stardom. I've only ever wanted to be appreciated for my dreams. This is why I will never find success. I don't want it bad enough. Putting myself into Q&A's, public speaking, meetings, marketing sessions, in the public eye won't work because I don't want anything more than to hear "good work!".

So, I guess I need to really shift my thinking. I want to make things worthy of the silver screen. I want to make things that bring tears to my eyes. The swell of music, imagery, acting combine to create that feeling I'm looking for.

I think I need to avoid this entrepreneurial mindset. The business side is important, but I can't support it right now. I am not ready for it. So, I will continue making art... But while I do, my mindset needs to shift from attention/praise to the expression of the emotion I am going for.

I think with all the youtube channels, internet articles, its great to have... But it's becoming a practice of planning for the cart before the horse. The cart being the business/money, and the horse being the emotional connection to the piece.

What about you people? Did you ever feel like you were in this for the wrong reason? Did you ever feel the need to shift your thinking style toward your projects? I'd love to talk about your process, and how you got to where you are now.
 

mlesemann

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
I'm in rather the opposite situation - I segued into screenwriting & filmmaking after a career in business & finance that was purely practical. So the movies that I've made (many shorts and 2 features) are purely because they tell stories that are important to me.

Can you look for a way to merge the two? It can be very emotionally rewarding to get positive feedback at a film festival screening - even when there are only a handful of people in the audience (yup, been there, done that).
 

onebaldman

Pro Member
indiePRO
I would definitely take positive feedback, but I've been coming from a mindset of getting it forcefully by standing in front of people and saying READ THIS, WATCH THIS, LOOK AT ME!!!!

I feel like I've pushed too hard for getting attention, and it effects my vision.

Is this healthy? Is there a way to balance yourself so burnout doesn't happen?
 

mlesemann

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
I would simply say that if you annoy people, they are unlikely to give you what you want.
Perhaps think about what approach is successful when other people try to get your attention and/or support.

There's no magic answer, but I suggest that you take a deep breath, exhale, and then think about the end game.
I always remind myself that I'm looking not simply for positive feedback today or tomorrow, but for success 5 years from now.

Good luck!
 
I'm not good with self publication, or making my opinions seem important. For years, I've tried in vain to become someone worthy of listening to. To become a role-model. To become a guru.

I don't know if this was because I wanted fame, or more because (at least I think) to be appreciated for my abilities. My entire life I've been trying to gain appreciation, acceptance, praise. Could be vanity. Probably is. Now I can't help but feeling this has been holding me back for a long time.

Yesterday, I attended my own Q&A event highlighting me as a filmmaker while screening one of my favorite films "Dances with Wolves". Needless to say, no one showed. At first, I was relieved. I had built this event up for months, making myself more nervous as it got closer. Wondering what I would say, what people would think of me, the standard anxiety inducing thoughts.

When no one showed, I felt a wave of brief relief! I didn't have to worry what people would think, or how I would look anymore. I think the people who marked the venue felt a little sorry for me. But I told them not to worry about it. I'm not at that level anyway. I had no business being in that setting.

This got me really thinking on the drive back home... I've been focused on the thing everyone else wants, and not what I want.

I've never cared about fame/fortune/Hollywood stardom. I've only ever wanted to be appreciated for my dreams. This is why I will never find success. I don't want it bad enough. Putting myself into Q&A's, public speaking, meetings, marketing sessions, in the public eye won't work because I don't want anything more than to hear "good work!".

So, I guess I need to really shift my thinking. I want to make things worthy of the silver screen. I want to make things that bring tears to my eyes. The swell of music, imagery, acting combine to create that feeling I'm looking for.

I think I need to avoid this entrepreneurial mindset. The business side is important, but I can't support it right now. I am not ready for it. So, I will continue making art... But while I do, my mindset needs to shift from attention/praise to the expression of the emotion I am going for.

I think with all the youtube channels, internet articles, its great to have... But it's becoming a practice of planning for the cart before the horse. The cart being the business/money, and the horse being the emotional connection to the piece.

What about you people? Did you ever feel like you were in this for the wrong reason? Did you ever feel the need to shift your thinking style toward your projects? I'd love to talk about your process, and how you got to where you are now.
This hit extremely heavy with me. I think you’re on the right track. Figure out what makes you happy. I think there may be times where you have to do what you don’t want to, like the more business aspects. But honestly life is too short just to be miserable. I’m rooting for you.

I hate self publication too but have been going hard at it lately with little success. The results feel pretty empty. If I screen a film at a theater somewhere, I secretly hope no one shows.

I’ve been working on a short film for 3 years now and finally released it a couple of days ago. 3 years of my life into this little thing. And I know everyone has bias for their own projects but I honestly think it’s pretty good. And I finally release it. And absolutely nobody gives a shit. Even the other ppl that worked on it with me these last 3 years aren’t sharing it or seem to have any pride in it. So I finally released the film that had all my hopes and dreams wrapped up in it only to get basically no response. It’s the most unfulfilling, empty feeling ever. So now I’m at a crisis of should I not care about audience and just worry about making art I enjoy? I think that has to be the answer. Pursue what you enjoy doing and do it in a way that excites you. Life’s too short otherwise.
 

onebaldman

Pro Member
indiePRO
There's no magic answer, but I suggest that you take a deep breath, exhale, and then think about the end game.
I always remind myself that I'm looking not simply for positive feedback today or tomorrow, but for success 5 years from now.

Good luck!
That's exactly what I mean though. At what point does success even matter when you are crafting a story from the passion and emotion you have inside?

I think I am suffering from the mindset of "success" that all others seem to push in the indie film community. The visions, the emotions, the film-making scene is running out of ideas/juice because they are more interested in box office gross than making a vision come to life.

Pushing to become more successful seems to be the very thing that kills us slowly on the inside.
 

onebaldman

Pro Member
indiePRO
So I finally released the film that had all my hopes and dreams wrapped up in it only to get basically no response. It’s the most unfulfilling, empty feeling ever.
I think this is really how it is. There are moments of business that it makes sense, like with crowdfunding. But all this other stuff, the endless Q&A's, the business cards, the marketing schemes, how do you go from being an artist into that world willingly!? I just can't seem to wrap my head around it. Shouldn't we just focus on the artist side, and forget the business side until we are good enough to where someone with that mindset notices?
 
I think this is really how it is. There are moments of business that it makes sense, like with crowdfunding. But all this other stuff, the endless Q&A's, the business cards, the marketing schemes, how do you go from being an artist into that world willingly!? I just can't seem to wrap my head around it. Shouldn't we just focus on the artist side, and forget the business side until we are good enough to where someone with that mindset notices?
totally. I’ve been listening to the Indie Filmtrepreneur podcast to get more in that mentality and a lot of it has been emphasizing that to make your money back you have to do things like create ancillary products like t-shirts; and in a sense are becoming a t-shirt salesman in the same way many local/smaller bands do. I don’t want to abandon that mentality entirely. Just not become overtaken by it. And yeah, hopefully like you said, at some point it’s so compelling you get noticed and it finds you?

I’ve also been reading some business books which I think would suggest you find someone to partner with that can handle that side of it all that you don’t enjoy. (Rocketfuel by Wickman).
 
My grandpa used to tell me "Fame and fortune are only a byproduct of excelling at what you do."

The only place I'm "famous" is here on IndieTalk.:lol: I'm good at what I do, but do not have any type of notoriety anywhere else (except with my clients) and I do okay financially, not rich, but comfortable.

When I was a performing musician one band I was with was rather notorious regionally, and it very quickly became a PITA when I would go out with my wife (girlfriend at the time) - being accosted when I went out shopping, for a bite to eat, etc.; it really ate into my personal time. The only fringe benny was getting into clubs for free and drinking for free. When I was musical director for the Del Vikings the front five were still signing autographs, etc. while I was already changed into my street clothes, gear packed up and ready for the drive home. (Well, okay, once in a while I would have to sign an autograph or two.)

I can do without the legions of adoring fans, although I would like to make a bit more money… My daughter is a senior and headed off to college next year and that is freaking EXPENSIVE! I'm just fine with bestowing my pearls of wisdom to newbs and up-and-comers here and on a couple of other sites, and having the favorable opinion of my clients and peers; that's all the appreciation, acceptance, praise that I need.
 
I'm not good with self publication, or making my opinions seem important. For years, I've tried in vain to become someone worthy of listening to. To become a role-model. To become a guru.

I don't know if this was because I wanted fame, or more because (at least I think) to be appreciated for my abilities. My entire life I've been trying to gain appreciation, acceptance, praise. Could be vanity. Probably is. Now I can't help but feeling this has been holding me back for a long time.
Did you consider practicing and performing as a DJ? If it is these tings your after this could help getting that attention you are after. I don't see it as a vain thing. Its good to play music and see how people react to it. Craft a story from records and songs, to combine different flavors and textures of sound. There is something very satisfying to go to a record store or a experimental musical performance and see the story that is been hiding in the music. Because songs are story's... It can stimulate becoming a better story teller.

Sometimes switching to another art form can help become better at the thing you are struggling with.

your sincerely

DJ Feutuslapdance
 

onebaldman

Pro Member
indiePRO
Did you consider practicing and performing as a DJ? If it is these tings your after this could help getting that attention you are after. I don't see it as a vain thing. Its good to play music and see how people react to it. Craft a story from records and songs, to combine different flavors and textures of sound. There is something very satisfying to go to a record store or a experimental musical performance and see the story that is been hiding in the music. Because songs are story's... It can stimulate becoming a better story teller.

Sometimes switching to another art form can help become better at the thing you are struggling with.

your sincerely

DJ Feutuslapdance
I may consider that. I don't want the fame really, I just want to create. The marketing and business side drains that out of me. That's what I meant by my original post.

I love playing guitar and fiddling with music, so I will very much consider taking a stab at it.
 
This thread in particular has hit me deeply. This entire site is deeply relatable and in the past months has made me step back and think more clearly. Thanks to the creator of this site.
 
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