Home Your Ad Here

Go Back   IndieTalk - Indie Film Forum > The Biz > Hollywood

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-14-2005, 09:12 AM   #1
clive
Basic - Premiere Expired
 
clive's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Milano, Italy
Posts: 2,436
When do you decide that enough is enough?

Serious question, at some point each of us has to decide whether we've travelled the filmmaking path far enough and whether it's time to go do something else.

I guess I'm at that point. (Actually I'm not guessing, I actually know that I'm at that point)

So the qustion is, what would need to happen or not happen for you to decide to pack it all in and become an itinerant goat herder instead?

For me, well, I've invested ten years of my life, used every moment I had off work (when I worked for the man) and put every penny I had into filmmaking. In return for that investment, I've got a piece of paper that says I won a regional Royal Television Society Award, tapes of half a dozen short films (that I don't much like) and a digibeta copy of a feature film that currently lives in a box under my bed.

Up to this point the whole process has felt like the torment of Sisyphus; roll the rock up the hill, only to have it Wiley Coyote over you as it rolls back back down. Repeat that process for ten years and you start to get a bit jaded.

The truth is that maybe I'm just not good enough to suceed at this. I made a pretty decent feature film and that's an achievement it itself. I'm an OK writer, but Paul Schrader I'm not.

There is Daoist song that I think is very apt:

"Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream"

I think the message of that song is that you don't get much happiness if you continually row upstream.
clive is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Today   #1A
film guy
Basic Member
 
Posts: 17

 
Old 11-14-2005, 10:58 AM   #2
Spatula
Basic - Premiere Expired
 
Spatula's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,000
Clive! I've never heard you so disparaged!
I've come across feelings like that as well- I'd suggest watching your first few shorts- ones where your crew was your friends, the purpose was fun, and the final product was so poorly planned it embarasses you to show it to people... In fact, I say you head out your door tonight, call up a few friends, and make a crappy DV short which you can send to a crappy festival!
(I hope this isn't IMDB's fault!)
I think you suffer from post-production-itis. Get outside and make a film- no script, no nothing (well, maybe a camera...)- just go out there film!

It's not hard to forget about how much fun filmmaking can be when budgets and production values and huge crews and dangerous formats get involved- I say, bullocks! Get out there, do it, and enjoy it, you maggot!
Oh sorry, a bit harsh... You know what I'm saying! Most people HAVE to do this because it's in thier heads that they have nothing else- but it can really be disparaging to see all the assholes and jerks getting breaks as time just leaves you behind.... well, screw that! Make up yer own new rules!

Have I been the least bit coherent... oh well.. there's always bagging groceries at the supermarket....

Last edited by Spatula; 11-14-2005 at 11:00 AM.
Spatula is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2005, 11:00 AM   #3
NicklausLouis
Basic - Premiere Expired
 
NicklausLouis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 3,852
In the end you have to ask yourself...

"Do I feel lucky?"

After ten years, maybe you don't feel so lucky. Maybe all the heartache and suffering were for naught and you could have been happy doing something else this last decade. Maybe you're right, maybe going with the flow or just going along to get along is the way to true happiness.

But then again....

Maybe you're wrong. Maybe the last decade was a happy time because you were doing things that you loved doing even though it was hard. Maybe you are lucky and you are about to break through the sludge of obscurity and make a name for yourself.

It's your decision, by all means do what makes you feel best. But I have seen your talent and in my opinion, you are better than okay. And while I am stating my opinion, I don't think you should give up, because if you're not good enough to make it in this industry how in the world will I make it?

Poke
NicklausLouis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2005, 11:01 AM   #4
knightly
Basic Member
 
knightly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: MN, USA
Posts: 8,176
Is there a way you can remove the need for success (monetary or otherwise) from you quest for story telling? Then you can start following the stream again rather than struggling against it.

I hate to sound altruistic, but art in and of itself is a noble pursuit...starving artist and all that. I think all of us here would love to have the whole movie thing take wings, but I personally don't have any aspirations for mine other than to share stories with other people.

Maybe we can get the new distribution scene going and help get each other's movies going so we don't have to rely on the juggernaut of a movie industry that exists.

I hope you don't jump ship on the craft...but I do understand your frustration. I've been fixing computers for 15 years and hate it. I started out as an artist, but ended up fixing the tools instead of using them.
knightly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2005, 11:10 AM   #5
clive
Basic - Premiere Expired
 
clive's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Milano, Italy
Posts: 2,436
Thanks guys, but actually I've already decided to give up professional film making.

I may make another film, I may even write more screen plays, but I've given chasing a career. If I make another film I'm going to do it for the sheer fun of it.

But first I've some professional obligations to complete.
clive is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2005, 01:22 PM   #6
bird
Basic - Premiere Expired
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: S
Posts: 1,541
I think you are a wonderful artist and as Poke said, how can he (we) hope to make it if you don't. You have contributed so much to this forum that I can't imagine what it would be without you....No, I can, just like one of your favorite actors in one of the greatest movies...Jimmy Stewart and Wonderful Life. Sorry to be sickly sappy, but it's true, what would Indietalk and film be without you?
bird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2005, 01:45 PM   #7
Velusion
Basic Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 102
I can't count the number of time I've given up but it has always been a temporary solution to other problems.

I don't know if movie making is art or not but if you are an artist, you will always find a way to express yourself whether it's through film making or some other way. You see; we can't help who we are....
Velusion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2005, 01:49 PM   #8
clive
Basic - Premiere Expired
 
clive's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Milano, Italy
Posts: 2,436
Thanks guys, much appreciated.
clive is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2005, 01:55 PM   #9
WideShot
Basic Member
 
WideShot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Inland NW
Posts: 1,379
Clive I hope we see you again soon or at least stay in touch

Good luck with whatever you do! - Trevor
WideShot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2005, 10:01 PM   #10
spinner
Basic - Premiere Expired
 
spinner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,087
...dearest Clive;

...are you sure you are not just depressed? Not in the clinical sense, but in the 'what the hell am I doing with my life' sense? You have had 10 years pursuing your filmmaking dream? How about those of us, myself in particular, who have spent 10+ years doing something that did not include dreaming? You had the nerve to get out there and you better believe I have all the respect in the world for people who do or have done that.

...I agree that it is a professional hazard to become jaded, believe me I know. But as some others have already posted, maybe you need it to become fun again and not a "JOB". This isn't really supposed to be 'work'. Filmmaking is supposed to be a labor of love. If it isn't for you, try to find a way to make it so if you can.

...if you read my 'I'm back' post, there are so many things that went wrong that it would be easy for me to just stop, but I still want to do this filmmaking thing more than anything. And so did you or else you would not have spent your 10 years doing it.

...if you are going to stop, and notice I didn't say quit, then it is no longer a JOB. Make it fun for yourself again and maybe you can begin to love it again. Maybe it won't be full time or your main source of income, but maybe it can be something that you do for nothing more than the sheer joy of creating somethng...

--spinner
spinner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2005, 02:15 AM   #11
FilmJumper
Basic - Premiere Expired
 
FilmJumper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: New Mexico USA
Posts: 998
I hear ya...

Quote:
Originally Posted by clive
Serious question, at some point each of us has to decide whether we've travelled the filmmaking path far enough and whether it's time to go do something else.

I guess I'm at that point. (Actually I'm not guessing, I actually know that I'm at that point)

So the qustion is, what would need to happen or not happen for you to decide to pack it all in and become an itinerant goat herder instead?

For me, well, I've invested ten years of my life, used every moment I had off work (when I worked for the man) and put every penny I had into filmmaking. In return for that investment, I've got a piece of paper that says I won a regional Royal Television Society Award, tapes of half a dozen short films (that I don't much like) and a digibeta copy of a feature film that currently lives in a box under my bed.

Up to this point the whole process has felt like the torment of Sisyphus; roll the rock up the hill, only to have it Wiley Coyote over you as it rolls back back down. Repeat that process for ten years and you start to get a bit jaded.

The truth is that maybe I'm just not good enough to suceed at this. I made a pretty decent feature film and that's an achievement it itself. I'm an OK writer, but Paul Schrader I'm not.

There is Daoist song that I think is very apt:

"Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream"

I think the message of that song is that you don't get much happiness if you continually row upstream.
Hey, I hear ya...

I keep telling myself that I want to be a filmmaker... This screenwriting thing was simply a plan to break into the business so that I could eventually:

a) Make enough money to make my own films with professional production values
b) Keep writing screenplays till someone actually lets me direct a film

I started this process over 10 years ago but have only REALLY, TRULY digging in and learning the craft of screenwriting over the last 4 years...

I finally realized that my "shit" had to be a thousand percent better than the competition... Additionally, after making a few shorts and a half a feature, I also realized that it is much harder to compete with a feature than it is with a screenplay.

I never once have told myself that I was in this for fun... My goal has ALWAYS been to get into the business so I could eventually do my own thing.

Now here's the bottom line...

It wasn't until I finally sat down and realized that all the crap I had written PRIOR to the script I recently sold simply wasn't high enough concept.

That thousand percent better isn't just the screenplay but the concept as well...

So what does all this have to do with you?

Here's my take...

You have already proven that you can make films and write screenplays and by your own writing, it seems that you've been mainly interested in Avant-Garde and experimental stuff when you can clearly compete with the likes of Hollywood...

It seems to me that that type of path is also a thousand percent more difficult than the mainstream path. I know I have a couple of very quirky film ideas rolling around in my head but I also know that before I can get people to pay me to make something like BRINGING OUT THE DEAD, I'm going to have to get them to pay me to make something like... Well, something mainstream. LOL.

I for one would much rather see you try your efforts in the mainstream arena before I would want to see you selling used cars... LOL. In other words, stay in the biz instead of becoming a citizen.

Wouldn't they both take just about the same amount of time and effort to figure out? Probably not for you actually since you already know so much about it but I guess what I am asking is this...

Have you ever focused on the mainstream? And if so, for how long?

Having said all of that...

If you're just totally burned out and bummed out, I understand... Just had to get my 2 cents in there...

GOOD LUCK NO MATTER WHAT YOUR DECISION.

filmy
FilmJumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2005, 04:03 AM   #12
DirectorX
Basic - Premiere Expired
 
DirectorX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 220
Clive,
That is a very serious question. I've only briefly thought of it before. To be honest I hope I will never have to find an answer to that.

I hope your decision is not permanent. You are something of a rolemodel on this site (trust me).

Maybe this will cheer you up a bit.
Sometime in the future I was thinking of contacting your production company in regards to a 'coming of age' film to be filmed in Romania. You can't quit now!

Also, for me, when I'm feeling "blue" (I've never used that expression before) a change in scenery does me quite well. If I were you, I would take some 'time off' (or spend some time alone) if possible. Which reminds me, next time you're in Los Angeles/So. Cal, let me know!

PS: How does your wife feel about this?
DirectorX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2005, 05:35 AM   #13
clive
Basic - Premiere Expired
 
clive's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Milano, Italy
Posts: 2,436
Thanks guys. I do appreciate everything that everyone has said.

I'm taking a little bit of time away from thinking about the industry and my relationship with it.

For the last ten years it's been all I've done and there are other factes to who I am as a person which I've ignored. I stopped singing with my band, stopped doing stand up comedy, I stopped teaching Tai Chi, all to make films.

At the very least I've got to take a step back and remember why I got into this in the first place. I also can't base my family's entire financial security on the possibility that someone might show interest in one of my screenplays. There has to be a little more security in my life.

I've got another screenplay that has to be written, I'll write it and put it out on inktips and script pimp, then I'll decide what I'm going to do next.

In the meantime I'm concentrating on finding a way of making a living that works for me, then perhaps I can look at the film industry again.

Quote:
Sometime in the future I was thinking of contacting your production company in regards to a 'coming of age' film to be filmed in Romania. You can't quit now!
I'd still be more than happy to help out with contacts and things for any European production, and I'd also ask you whether it has to be Romania, as Zagreb in Croatia is a very interesting place to film and has the same feel. I have excellent contacts there. email me when you want to discuss this.

You see, the great thing about giving up my career in film is I can now look at a request like this without having to worry about the busienss side of it, I can just help someone out for the love of it.

And anyway, I've already bought my official goat herder hat.
clive is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2005, 07:20 AM   #14
clive
Basic - Premiere Expired
 
clive's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Milano, Italy
Posts: 2,436
Time is odd. I feel like I wrote this thread months ago, but actually it's only last week.

I wanted to thank everyone who e-mailed me and encouraged me to stay in the industry.

A week of looking at other options for making a living have seen me apply for a job as an education and outreach officer for our local arthouse cinema and a new commission to do a video project.

More importantly I've been reading my last screenplay "True" and have come to a number of conclusions:

1) I know how to write a screenplay
2) I know how to shoot that film
3) I don't see myself giving up writing anytime before hell freezes over.

With this in mind I'm now working on the following basis

a) I have to find a way of making a living that I can rely on to put food on the table
b) I'm going to just chip away at screenwriting (I've a ten year Script Pimp account and a script, I may as well use it)
c) As and when I make any money from a screenplay, I'll invest it back into a production of my own and start calling myself a screenwriter again.

Cheers
clive is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2005, 07:59 AM   #15
John@Bophe
Basic Member
 
John@Bophe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Norristown, PA
Posts: 1,839
Glad to hear it Clive. Sounds like a reasonable plan...one you can live with! Good luck!!!!
John@Bophe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.


©IndieTalk