Okay, let's make this personal. History Repeats.

Zero. That's why the advice I give people is specifically tailored towards those who currently don't have the opportunity to make a professionally budgeted film. I've never tried to stop you from making a professionally budgeted film, have I? I've never told you that the way you're making a professionally budgeted film is wrong, have I?

And I've never tried to stop you from making a no/nano budget film, have I? For the umpteenth time, you're completely free to make any sort of film you want. If you want to make a hobbyist film, I'm not stopping you or advising you not to. How many times and how many different ways do I have to say this before you get it?

Here's the thing though, YOU said that you want to make a "superb" theatrical feature, you've talked about "Hollywood", distribution and impressing investors. This means in effect that YOU do not want to make a hobbyist film because hobbyist films do not get theatrical distribution, do not attract investors or get noticed by "Hollywood". It therefore also means that, unlike most publicly accessible online distribution and most "film" festivals, your competition is NOT other hobbyist films, it is professionally budgeted films! And, even most professionally budgeted films do not attract "Hollywood", investors or at best, anything beyond the most limited theatrical distribution.

None of this means that it's absolutely impossible for a nano budget film to succeed (in terms of your stated goals) but it does mean that to stand any sort of vaguely realistic chance, the budget, approach, goals and execution have to be optimised/maximised. And obviously, optimised/maximised in terms of the competition (which again, isn't other hobbyists), otherwise you're taking a knife to a tank battle! You don't seem to care that you only have a knife, you don't want to know what sort of fight you're getting into and you obviously hate anyone who has actual experience of fighting tank battles trying to give you any advice. Even though I think it's foolish, I get that ... and that's why I told you that my responses are aimed at others reading the thread/s, as it would be an obvious waste of my time advising someone who has publicly stated they are deliberately ignoring my advice.

Just in case I haven't made it crystal clear, I'm not bullying you into or against making anything, it's your $20k and it's your life. You're entirely free to do with them whatever you choose, including wasting both and, in your case, I'm sincerely well past the point of caring. The only thing I do care/object about is your "specifically tailored advice" to others with a similar situation/goal: It is NOT being "encouraging" or "optimistic" to advise others to take a knife to a tank battle! On the contrary, it's particularly bad advice, it's the kind of advice you'd give to someone you hate, not to someone you want to help or "encourage". How ironic then, that you're calling me the "hater"!!

G
 
And I've never tried to stop you from making a no/nano budget film, have I? For the umpteenth time, you're completely free to make any sort of film you want. If you want to make a hobbyist film, I'm not stopping you or advising you not to. How many times and how many different ways do I have to say this before you get it?

Here's the thing though, YOU said that you want to make a "superb" theatrical feature, you've talked about "Hollywood", distribution and impressing investors. This means in effect that YOU do not want to make a hobbyist film because hobbyist films do not get theatrical distribution, do not attract investors or get noticed by "Hollywood". It therefore also means that, unlike most publicly accessible online distribution and most "film" festivals, your competition is NOT other hobbyist films, it is professionally budgeted films! And, even most professionally budgeted films do not attract "Hollywood", investors or at best, anything beyond the most limited theatrical distribution.

None of this means that it's absolutely impossible for a nano budget film to succeed (in terms of your stated goals) but it does mean that to stand any sort of vaguely realistic chance, the budget, approach, goals and execution have to be optimised/maximised. And obviously, optimised/maximised in terms of the competition (which again, isn't other hobbyists), otherwise you're taking a knife to a tank battle! You don't seem to care that you only have a knife, you don't want to know what sort of fight you're getting into and you obviously hate anyone who has actual experience of fighting tank battles trying to give you any advice. Even though I think it's foolish, I get that ... and that's why I told you that my responses are aimed at others reading the thread/s, as it would be an obvious waste of my time advising someone who has publicly stated they are deliberately ignoring my advice.

Just in case I haven't made it crystal clear, I'm not bullying you into or against making anything, it's your $20k and it's your life. You're entirely free to do with them whatever you choose, including wasting both and, in your case, I'm sincerely well past the point of caring. The only thing I do care/object about is your "specifically tailored advice" to others with a similar situation/goal: It is NOT being "encouraging" or "optimistic" to advise others to take a knife to a tank battle! On the contrary, it's particularly bad advice, it's the kind of advice you'd give to someone you hate, not to someone you want to help or "encourage". How ironic then, that you're calling me the "hater"!!

G

I think we're making progress, I do. You and I may have a positive relationship someday.

Let's be clear about this -- I'm not making a "hobbyist" film. I'm making a film that I think has a very real possibility of not just making money but blossoming the careers of the people who take part in it. I'm still writing the screenplay but I've already got two co-producers, both of whom have a lot of filmmaking experience and talents that compliment mine. And I've barely begun my recruiting.

Dude, there's something I've been trying to tell you for years. I hope now that our conflict is so ridiculously public that you might actually consider what I'm about to tell you, what I've already told you before.

For most filmmakers, these conversations are personal. For most filmmakers, this is not our profession but our life. It is my fucking life that you keep telling me is destined to fail.

If you'd ever produced a film, you'd understand how high the risks are. Hollywood producers risk money. Most filmmakers risk the sanctity of their lives. This is a very big gamble I'm taking. Since you choose not to take such gambles, you'll never understand the fear involved. It's heart-wrenching.

How do you not understand that when I ask you to stop hating on my project it is because it hurts me when you hate on my project? Sure, I can put on some false bravado just like the next cock-swinging macho, but I think any adult human should know that nobody actually likes being hated. Hatred doesn't build artists, it kills them.

All I'm trying to do is find an audience for my next feature, while also providing the best advice I can give to people who might find themselves in situations similar to mine. Why is there no room for that here? Indietalk is THE one place in the world where nobody no-money-having aspiring filmmakers should be told that YES THEY CAN!
 
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FWIW (and I'm not taking sides in the Great APE/CF Civil War of 2016) creating a proof of concept/execution, as a loss leading exercise, is a perfectly legitimate business strategy in practically any industry, including film.
 
FWIW (and I'm not taking sides in the Great APE/CF Civil War of 2016) creating a proof of concept/execution, as a loss leading exercise, is a perfectly legitimate business strategy in practically any industry, including film.

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Dude, there's something I've been trying to tell you for years. I hope now that our conflict is so ridiculously public that you might actually consider what I'm about to tell you, what I've already told you before.

[1] For most filmmakers, this is not our profession but our life. It is my fucking life that you keep telling me is destined to fail. [2] If you'd ever produced a film, you'd understand how high the risks are. Hollywood producers risk money. Most filmmakers risk the sanctity of their lives. [3] This is a very big gamble I'm taking. [4] Since you choose not to take such gambles, you'll never understand the fear involved. It's heart-wrenching.

And there, apparently, is one of your main problems! You've been trying to "tell me for years" something which is a complete fallacy. Why might I "actually consider" a complete fallacy which you've invented? Instead of doggedly clinging to ignorance/fallacy and trying to convince me of it, you'd get far further, far faster, if you actually spent those years dispelling your ignorance and fallacy! Let's take it point by point if we must:

1. For me and many of those I work with, it's much more than just our life, because it's both our life AND our profession!

2. Really, you're telling me about risk?! You've stated you don't care about the odds, that you don't want to do those things which will reduce your risk of failure and even that piling odds on top of one another to the point of "virtually impossible" is what makes filmmaking fun for you. When I try to tell you that you don't understand risk, you call me a "hater" but you telling me that I don't understand risk, that's just fine. You don't see any hypocrisy here?

3. No it's not! Its $20k and a year or two of your spare time. If it really were such a huge risk, you would be doing everything you could to mitigate that risk, not doing the exact opposite and deliberately making the odds worse!

4. Let's look at the truth of my risk: 1. There was no pro filmmaking where I lived, so I moved away from all my family, friends and security to the big city and did a very dangerous/shitty job to survive, despite offers of clean, safe, well paid jobs which would preclude me from my goals. After much study, I eventually got to work on crap, honed my skills, learned the business and gradually worked my way up. 2. I've been helped by some and been used, abused and screwed by others. I've succeeded at filmmaking and I've failed, I've lost lot's of money doing it, I've made lot's of money doing it and I've done all this numerous times. 3. I moved away from one of the world's centres of filmmaking, emigrated to the other end of the continent and started all over again, for the sake of my vision for my filmmaking career. 4. I've invested $250k in building my current facilities and that's just a fraction of what I've invested in my filmmaking career over the years (and that's all money I've earned, not inherited/been gifted). 5. I have a family who rely on my filmmaking ability/income to eat.

This is just an outline of some of the risks I've taken and my story is not massively different from many of the other pros I know in the film industry. How is it possible to be a filmmaker (even a hobbyist filmmaker) for so long and yet remain so ignorant about how and by whom it's done professionally? Without being blinded by narcissism, how is it possible for you to think you're taking all the risk and I've taken none at all and don't even know what risk is? Do you have any idea/experience of what it's like having responsibility for a significant part of 7 figure budget films? Do you have a family, do you know the risk and fear of supporting them solely with your filmmaking ability? We all start out as ignorant, what's really "heart-wrenching" is seeing someone who isn't a newb still desperately clinging to their ignorance and using it to call others "heart-wrenching"!!

[1] All I'm trying to do is find an audience for my next feature ...
[2] Let's be clear about this -- I'm not making a "hobbyist" film.

1. It's YOUR choice to approach YOUR film the same way as other hobbyists do rather than the other way around, as the professionals and the most likely to succeed aspiring filmmakers do.

2. Err, you're not being the least bit clear about that! Pretty much everything you've stated about your film defines it as a hobbyist film (the previous point being just one example), apart from just one exception, your statement that you're not making a hobbyist film?!

... while also providing the best advice I can give to people who might find themselves in situations similar to mine.

You really believe that's what you're doing? That the "best advice" to people aspiring to the film industry is to make their odds as "virtually impossible" as they can? Weird, because that's my definition of the worst advice!

Indietalk is THE one place in the world where nobody no-money-having aspiring filmmakers should be told that YES THEY CAN!

No it's not, there's countless places aspiring filmmakers can go to get smoke blown up their ass. Thousands of film festivals, thousands of websites, books, educational establishments/courses, instructional videos on youtube and even occasional news stories. Shouldn't indietalk be about honest actual talk about indies, rather than blowing smoke up asses? All the filmmakers I know, who really do "aspire" (rather than just dream of aspiring), prize honesty highly and hate smoke up their ass!

FWIW (and I'm not taking sides in the Great APE/CF Civil War of 2016) creating a proof of concept/execution, as a loss leading exercise, is a perfectly legitimate business strategy in practically any industry, including film.

I agree entirely and indeed have been part of loss leaders many times myself. However, even though a loss leader is itself intended to make a loss, the whole point of a loss leader is to prove the concept/execution of the opposite, of the probability of making a profit. Making a short (or worse still, an entire feature) which is not only designed to make a loss but which also demonstrates no intention, concept and ability to make a profitable film, will obviously not attract investors. Such a film does not "lead" to investment and is therefore not actually a "loss leader", it's just a loss!

G
 
APE, I thought you were getting bored with this. Don't make me pull out the big guns again. I'm on my way to work, can't comment right now. Have you not noticed that my positivity is just a tad bit popular here? I'm Yoda. You're Darth Sidious. It doesn't matter who "wins" the argument. The audience has already chosen their favorite.
 
For now, and just for now, APE, I'm going to keep the gloves on. You don't want me to take the gloves off. This ain't my first rodeo, son. This is me being nice to you. I'm more sick of this conflict than anyone else. Is there no room for difference of opinion? Can I not have my pursuits in life without being told, by someone who has no experience doing what I do, that I'm destined to fail? I've never tried telling you that any of your pursuits are going to fail, why do you do it to me? That's not what this website is about.

Err, you're not being the least bit clear about that! Pretty much everything you've stated about your film defines it as a hobbyist film (the previous point being just one example), apart from just one exception, your statement that you're not making a hobbyist film?!

I'm investing time and money with the intent of making money. By definition, that's not a hobby. Why do you brandish that word like it's a weapon? Are you aware of the fact that people like me far outnumber people like you? You alienate all of us when you talk down to me like that.

No it's not, there's countless places aspiring filmmakers can go to get smoke blown up their ass.

I don't want you anywhere near my ass, and I really don't want you blowing anything even just in my general direction. Just leave me alone, why is that such a difficult request for you to comply with?

I agree entirely and indeed have been part of loss leaders many times myself. However, even though a loss leader is itself intended to make a loss, the whole point of a loss leader is to prove the concept/execution of the opposite, of the probability of making a profit. Making a short (or worse still, an entire feature) which is not only designed to make a loss but which also demonstrates no intention, concept and ability to make a profitable film, will obviously not attract investors. Such a film does not "lead" to investment and is therefore not actually a "loss leader", it's just a loss!

So, obviously I can't speak for Nick, but I interpreted his statement as a reference to Antihero. He knows why I made it and how I'm using it to increase the odds of my next project succeeding. Why won't you just allow me to do things the way that they best work for me? You're telling me to do things the way that professionals do. That's literally not an option for me. I have no choice but to find a path different from the one you are on.

Regrets, I've had a few. But then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do, and saw it through, without exemption. I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway.

Oh, and guess what? I currently have a team of five co-producers, all of whom I'm very fond of, all of whom brings a different skill-set to the production, including a professional sound guy. So yeah, maybe I should continue doing things my way.

APE, the whole world doesn't have to be just like you. Some of us want to do things differently. Some of us enjoy doing things differently. And every now and then, some of us beat the odds and score incredible filmmaking success by doing things differently. Isn't that kinda what defines art? It's not supposed to be the same all the time.

Okay, so I was wrong about your lack of risk-taking. I'm glad to see that your gambles paid off. Here's the irony - included in your success story was the fact that you did things differently. It paid off for you, I'm sincerely happy for that. Why can't you allow me to forge my own distinct path?
 
I'm more sick of this conflict than anyone else.

Of course you're not, the opposite is true; you're less sick of this conflict than anyone else (with the possible exception of me). If you really were sick of this conflict you wouldn't have started this thread the way you did, let alone contributed to continuing it. I don't get this tactic of yours, here's another example:

Just leave me alone, why is that such a difficult request for you to comply with?

You aim questions and make points aimed at me, goad me into responding and then when I do you complain that I'm not leaving you alone?! If you really wanted me to leave you alone then why post statements specifically designed to do the exact opposite?

I'm investing time and money with the intent of making money. By definition, that's not a hobby.

That's not the definition of a hobby, the definition of a hobby is: An activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure. I dare say that most hobbyist filmmakers dream of their films making money and most serious hobbyists put time and effort into certain actions with the specific intent of making some money. Just having an intent or dream of making some money does not suddenly make one something other than a hobbyist.

Why do you brandish that word like it's a weapon? ... You alienate all of us when you talk down to me like that.

Just in case I haven't already been clear, I'm full of admiration for hobbyist filmmakers!! It's not like playing footy on Sunday morning or having poker nights once a week with your mates. Even making a short is an achievement and completing a feature length film as a hobby is a huge achievement, an achievement which few who dream of it actually manage to realise. I don't think I could do it (!!) and I've already commended you for not only achieving such a daunting task but for going even further and demonstrating that you've achieved it better than many others who've also achieved this daunting task. Just to be crystal clear, I intend absolutely no sarcasm or patronisation in saying any of this!

However, you've decided not to talk about the huge obstacles and great difficulties of making a feature length film as a hobbyist and instead decided to talk about "Hollywood" and the film industry. Or rather, you haven't!! You're still talking about filmmaking in terms of the hobbyist filmmaking world but you're trying to apply the rules, goals, methods and approach of that world to an entirely different world. The film industry is not the same world as the hobbyist filmmaking world just with more money and fame, it's a different world entirely, with different rules, different goals, different methods and a different approach!

[1] Are you aware of the fact that people like me far outnumber people like you? ... I'm using it [Antihero] to increase the odds of my next project succeeding.
[2] Why won't you just allow me to do things the way that they best work for me?
[3] You're telling me to do things the way that professionals do. That's literally not an option for me. I have no choice but to find a path different from the one you are on.
[4] APE, the whole world doesn't have to be just like you.
[5] Some of us want to do things differently. Some of us enjoy doing things differently.
[6] And every now and then, some of us beat the odds and score incredible filmmaking success by doing things differently.
[7] Isn't that kinda what defines art?

1. Yes, I am aware of that fact. Are you aware by how much people like you outnumber people like me? There's how many videos on youtube, a billion? How many people have dreamt of making a feature length film, several million, tens of millions? Having already made a feature length film gives you some knowledge many/most others don't have and you've potentially dramatically reduced your odds, probably down to say one in half or a third of a million or so. Why stop there though? 1:300,000 is still 100 times less likely than getting struck by lightning!

2. But they don't work best for you, in fact, they haven't worked at all! Yes, they've worked very well in terms of overcoming the tremendous difficulties of making a feature length film as a hobbyist but as far as your stated goal of the film industry is concerned, you yourself stated that you have failed, the film industry has not noticed you and has not funded your next film.

3. This is not true, you do have the choice, you just don't want to take that path because you either can't be bothered or you just think it's not enough fun. Furthermore, there is a professional approach and professional methods which can be applied to greatly reduce your odds and which don't require a professional budget. It's largely for this reason that I post here! But you're not interested in discussing or even hearing about any of that, it's "your way or the highway".

4. Yes they do! OK, I don't mean this absolutely literally. The whole world doesn't have to be "just like me", only those serious about a career in the film industry and, they don't have to be "just" like me, just somewhat like me. I'm not saying this because I'm an egotistical megalomaniac but because I'm the opposite! I am the way I am because that is what I've had to become to survive in the film industry. They are not MY rules, I had nothing to do with setting them and I'm not egotistical enough to believe that I can single handedly revolutionise all the industry's rules. All I or anyone else (who isn't already a huge player) can realistically do is understand the rules, look at where the industry seems to be going and work those rules as best as I can.

5. I get it, you enjoy doing things differently. As I said (several times already!), I've got no problem with that, that's entirely your choice. But, don't try to kid me or others (kid yourself if you want), that doing things differently (because that's what you enjoy) is anything other than a hobbyist approach. It's not the approach of the industry or those seriously aspiring to enter it. And, are you really doing things all that differently to countless other hobbyist filmmakers? Don't countless other hobbyist filmmakers make films the way they enjoy and dream of "Hollywood" success?

6. No, not really! All of us have to beat the odds to get into and the film industry. Exceedingly rarely, someone succeeds hugely, against massively bigger odds and jumps many of the steps others have to take. Generally though, this isn't by doing things differently but INSPITE of them doing it differently and incidentally, they usually haven't jumped as many steps as the hype/myth suggests. Regardless of the details of those incredibly rare exceptions, you're now counteracting some of the odds reduction work you've already achieved. If this is your approach you're back up towards a million to one odds.

7. You can define art however you wish and of course you can make films according to that definition if you wish but obviously, that's YOUR wish and YOUR pleasure to pursue in your leisure time ("hobby")! The film industry on the other hand is, as the name suggests, an industry, NOT an art! That's not to say of course that the film industry doesn't contain a lot of art but art is just part of the equation and it's art which in general terms is defined and dictated by the industry, not by you. Or at least, not by you until after the revolution when you get to rewrite all the film industry's rules. :)

Okay, so I was wrong about your lack of risk-taking. I'm glad to see that your gambles paid off. Here's the irony - included in your success story was the fact that you did things differently. It paid off for you, I'm sincerely happy for that. Why can't you allow me to forge my own distinct path?

No, that's not the "irony". The irony is that you failed to understand what I wrote, misquoted it and then used that misquote to support your argument! I specifically stated that my story was NOT that different to most other pros I know, maybe in some of the fine detail but not in substance. Also, I didn't say I'd taken gambles or that they'd paid off! I've taken a number of calculated risks and failed on occasion. And lastly, I am not allowing or disallowing you from anything, you can forge any path you desire, however you desire and in any direction you desire.

G
 
Dammit, APE, you've forced my hand. I have no choice but to take the gloves of. Here it comes -- you've been warned:

I appreciate your input. It's really nice of you to take all of this time to respond to my threads, warning me of my impending doom. I know that it probably hurts you to trample on my dreams but you're doing so for my own good, and the good of others. It's a tough-love sort of thing, I get it.

I'm going to do my best to listen to all of your advice, even when it's advice I don't particularly want to hear. I finally realize that you're giving me this advice because you want me to succeed. I get it now. You're my guide.

I hope your feelings won't be hurt if I end up doing the exact opposite of your advice. If/when I do, please do not take this as a reflection on any shortcomings on your guidance. Should I end up completely ignoring your sage advice then that is entirely my fault. I hope you'll forgive me for being insubordinate. I hope we can put this behind us.

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One small question:

How does APE know everything there is to know about Hollywood, but lives in Europe?

Maybe he went to Film School in LA? (what a joke that is...)
 
One small question:

How does APE know everything there is to know about Hollywood, but lives in Europe?

Maybe he went to Film School in LA? (what a joke that is...)

It's OK, he means well. He wants what is best for me, and is nice enough to take the time to advise me on how best to succeed. He doesn't know that it's in my nature to rebel, and that's my fault. Thank you for looking out for me, APE! I get it now.
 
One small question: How does APE know everything there is to know about Hollywood, but lives in Europe?

Really? You're a filmmaker and you don't know that "Hollywood" is not so much of a place but more of a thing, an international business/industry which doesn't necessarily actually happen in Hollywood? You think that all the James Bond films, Harry Potter films, Tolkien films, Star Wars VII and countless other films are not "Hollywood" films?

He wants what is best for me, and is nice enough to take the time to advise me on how best to succeed. He doesn't know that it's in my nature to rebel, and that's my fault. Thank you for looking out for me, APE! I get it now.

That's both a misquote (again) and a shame!

G
 
Aww, APE, you still care. Thanks for taking the time to instruct me, the world, or whoever it is that the post above is intended for. That's really nice of you, and I apologize for being so much of a rebel that I refuse to take your advice. That's my fault, not yours, I've never been one for authority figures. Thanks for the advice, dude -- you and me are gonna make the world a better place! :yes:
 
I've never been one for authority figures.

Huh, really? Apparently you are one for completely contradicting yourself though!

What do you hope to gain from adding sarcasm to misquotes, misunderstanding and contradicting yourself and, what does it gain anyone else reading this thread? If you want to believe that doing pretty much the same as almost every other serious hobbyist filmmaker somehow makes you different, a rebel and more likely to succeed, you're entirely free to believe that.

Be honest here for a second though, you don't really believe most of what you're saying. If you really did believe it all, why do my words represent such a huge threat that you feel compelled to waste so much of your time and devote whole threads to arguing, misrepresenting and discrediting them?

G
 
@APE that's like myself stating I know everything about Bollywood.

But I'll be quiet from now on. I don't mean to insult anyone. I'm just here to help out, give advice and pay it forward. Sorry if I offended.
 
Huh, really? Apparently you are one for completely contradicting yourself though!

What do you hope to gain from adding sarcasm to misquotes, misunderstanding and contradicting yourself and, what does it gain anyone else reading this thread? If you want to believe that doing pretty much the same as almost every other serious hobbyist filmmaker somehow makes you different, a rebel and more likely to succeed, you're entirely free to believe that.

Be honest here for a second though, you don't really believe most of what you're saying. If you really did believe it all, why do my words represent such a huge threat that you feel compelled to waste so much of your time and devote whole threads to arguing, misrepresenting and discrediting them?

G

What makes you think I'm being sarcastic? I'm being honest -- I get it. The advice you're giving me is what you think will be best for me. You're not telling me this advice to be a Negative Nancy. I was wrong when I said that. You're giving me this advice because you truly feel that I'll be wasting my time by travelling down the path I'm already full-blown committed to.

I don't think you have any idea how much time and work I've already committed to this project. I've been working on it for the last five months, hardcore. The amount of time I've spent on it is about to become more apparent to the public, I don't fault you for not being aware of how invested in this project I already am.

Have you ever heard of "killing with kindness"? That's what I'm doing, silly-Billy. I can't believe it took me so many years to figure out that that's the best way for me to deal with you. No, I still am not a fan of the negativity that you send my way. But you can rest assured that I'm not being sarcastic here. You may say that I'm mis-quoting, or whatever, but I don't believe I've ever actually quoted you. All I've said is that I believe you're offering the advice you give out of the goodness of your heart, and that's a really nice thing to do. Thanks! I'm sorry that I'll be letting you down by not listening to it.

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