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misc Do most new filmmakers start out too proud?

So, I came into this hobby/passion full of false pride. I didn't realize I was being a butt-head at the time... Arguing with everyone who had a different opinion, or didn't like my work, or letting negative feedback get me angry as opposed to letting it be constructive. Ignoring sound advice, people, thinking I had it all figured out.

I've since learned from those mistakes, and luckily I think my bad attitude was murdered in favor of a positive one.

Thing is, now that I'm fully invested... Making actual connections... And having an overall better time working with others... We all tend to agree that most people new to filmmaking (maybe in their first year or first couple of projects) have this attitude problem. Similar to what I had.

Is this just something that dissipates with experience? Am I the only one who messed up during the start of my filmmaking?

I'm thinking it could be all the bad press the "industry" gets (some of it warranted, sure). It makes people close fisted... Tense when speaking with others about their projects... Or wheeling and dealing without the intent of actually making a good deal.

Especially with free projects... There is some kind of belief that new filmmakers have to act like its a paid gig, and thus work 12 hour shoots and bark orders in some twisted sense that it makes them "the real deal"... Although the reality is they should appreciate and respect those helping the filmmaking process, and treat everyone as equally important.

I've just noticed that people who have done this for around 3 or more years seem to have a calmer and more collected sense of decency than those starting out. Am I the only one? Probably, but I wanted to hear other people's experiences. Maybe on both sides. If you were treated poorly by a new filmmaker, I'd also like to hear your story.
 
> There is some kind of belief that new filmmakers have to act like its a paid gig

Well I think even if no one is getting paid, acting like it is a paid gig helps separate the chaff from the quality.

> treat everyone as equally important.

So true.

> around 3 or more years seem to have a calmer and more collected sense of decency than those starting out. Am I the only one?

Some have it from the get go, some have to develop it where others just never get it, no matter how long.

> attitude problem

The worst attitude problem I've come across was from some cinematographer who was just starting to gain some traction. He had just come off his "big break" and was starting to line up future projects. He was in a different department to me, so I didn't have to interact with him much, but the whole set was just uncomfortable. I've passed on a number of projects with him on it. As far as I can tell, his career imploded.
 
I was a butt-head for many years, not just the first few. :director: :lol: . It can be a stressful business, especially anytime you're doing freebies, and the attitudes come out. Experience does help put lofty expectations in check, though.
 
I don't think this is restricted to film-makers. My "day job" is in a field that has (or rather, had - the times, they are a-changin') a tendency to attract Big Egos. In nine days time, I'll celebrate the 30th anniversary of getting my certificate of big-egoship, and I am certainly much more employable now than the shiny newbies straight out of university, primarily because the most important experience I bring to the job is knowing when to shut up, back off/back down, just let things go ...

But there are many of my contemporaries who, despite having also had thirty-odd years to chill, haven't learnt the value of climbing down off their pedestals. When faced with a youngster who has doubts about what's being done - either because they don't have enough confidence of their own, or (the worse, but more common, case) they do know that the old guy is doing things the wrong way - these characters tend to fall back on their "strong personality" to reassert their place in the hierarchy.
 

Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
I was a tech CEO and an armature filmmaker. So I was fortunate enough to meet an extensive line of narcissists. There was this guy that kept showing up in the bathroom mirror that looked like he had a real attitude, lol.

I got it under control over the years, and my advice to younger filmmakers is this, get rid of your ego as soon as possible. It's getting in your way in ways you don't even realize. It also gets in everyone else's way.

Since I managed to greatly reduce my own ego, I've found that everything changed for the better. I'm able to put focus where it belongs, on the art.
 
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