Let’s look at some more recent numbers, using a typical 30 minute feature, and you’ll see…
It’s a little more than $1.50 per hour. That is, it takes 1 hour for each day of work – you’d have to work 2 days, a day of sleep and then some to make this much money. You can do it!
The average salary for a full-time filmmaker working on an indie film can be as high as $50,000 USD (although this is a little unreliable as you’re usually making about half of that).
That’s $50,000 that you didn’t really have.
You don’t need to work this many days and nights, you just need to make a living. You’re not guaranteed to find success, but you are likely to find someone that will accept you and let you have a small part in their next film.
So what is a good starting point to making a career in filmmaking? There is no right or wrong approach, there is just a choice on how much you want to sacrifice to produce something.
One of the hardest things to understand about filmmaking is that it is not a one-shot deal. It is hard to be successful on just one film, let alone multiple films – you need to be willing to commit to an extremely long list of small projects.
I have seen hundreds of aspiring directors who had no idea what they were doing when they quit their jobs to go out and make their first film. It’s no surprise so many didn’t even try it.
Most of us can imagine what we would want to achieve in the industry, and then we think a long time ago. But if you know what you desire to achieve, then what are you spending your energy in the short term?
You know this is the case if you take a step back and think about it.
There are many reasons that you may have decided to pursue a career in filmmaking – you need something unique in order to break into this field, or you simply just don’t want to work the same way every day. But what can you accomplish in a few years that you couldn’t by working at a cubicle or at a desk?
I can tell you right now that there is no shortage of people that are going to quit their jobs if you ask them how many they plan to make after their first film.
Don’t put money on your first film’s success – the first time
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