I watched this video:
I wanted to write a quick post about it because I had so many conflicting thoughts running through my head as I watched this short video. So excuse me if it isn’t eloquently written or organized.
There has been a micro-industry of websites promoting what is indie filmmaking. I don’t think the term “indie” can be applied any longer because with the democratization of film equipment, extremely high quality imagery can be created by anyone with a good amount of dedication to learning how. Financing is no longer an obstacle when it comes to equipment. These sites perpetuate the fantasy that if you make a really good short, that will rocket you to commercial success.
These sites focus on studying scripts of masters, Roger Deakins and what/how he is shooting, the never-ending stream of prosumer and professional products. They want to advertise to masses to sell ads along with the myth of the undiscovered filmmaker.
I can’t count the amount of people who’ve idolized Robert Rodriguez and El Mariachi.
They are still convinced in 2016 that if they can just make their short film and get it online, that it will be a ticket to Hollywoodtown. If you’re making film after film, hoping the next will be a vehicle to success, I think your energy could be spent elsewhere.
If you take a minute and look at popular short films online, a lot of them are done by existing production houses and vfx shops, with resources far greater than most. Shorts are evolving into a promotional/PR tool.
Those indie-to-hollywood days are the past. What will make you successful commercially is knowing how to find a niche that you are good at, and knowing how to market your skills to leverage it. When 50,000 people make a short film, using your own short to market yourself isn’t going to help you stand out. There is a completely unfathomable amount of talent out there.
(yes I know some of them will make a short and be a success story, but that is more attributable to the randomness of the universe and luck)
If you make short films, do it for you. Do so to learn about the craft. Do it to learn about yourself. Don’t do it to earn a reward (or award)