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As a leader how do you motivate creatives — or even motivate yourself as a creative person? As roller-coaster rides of emotional stability and productivity, how do you bring out their best? After all, we’re willing to put up with this instability for a reason — creativity, in our book, is one of the defining attributes for meaningful work. It’s probably worth learning how to work with them.

Building a production budget is arguably the most important part of the filmmaking process. It creates the framework for the project, a rough outline for what will eventually be a film. But, it’s also one of the least fun parts of the process as well, probably just because it’s so damn difficult. There are an infinite amount of moving variables and unknowns — yet another reason building one is so important.

Micro-budget filmmaking is not for the faint of heart. You end up wearing multiple hats, taking on debt, asking friends to work for free, and toiling away on a project — likely for years — without seeing much (or any) monetary return on your investment. Not to mention it’s highly unlikely you’ll attach a star of any kind at this level, so getting press or festival attention for even a great film can be challenging.

On certain levels, developing a production budget is the same regardless of the type of film, whether you’re diving into a personal project or developing branded content for a client. We’ve already tackled a few notes on developing a production budget on the personal side, but after speaking with producers Sarah Schutzki (Feral Creative) and Zanah Thirus (BBDO Atlanta), we decided the commercial side deserved its own article.

A few months ago, we were talking with Vimeo’s creative director, Jeremy Boxer. We asked him what he was most excited about, and, without hesitating, he said Vimeo On Demand — Vimeo’s newish service that allows filmmakers to sell their work directly to their audience. Vimeo On Demand, he told us, is going to radically change not just the economy of filmmaking, but films themselves. We asked him what in the world he was talking about. “I think the first thing it’s going to do is erase the idea of traditional formats,” he said. “We’ve had filmmakers who’ve made 35-minute films about a specific subject for a specific audience, and they’ve done better than some feature films. It [becomes] more about the storytelling. I think you’re going to start seeing a lot more odd-length projects coming out in the next couple years.”

Question: Are you the type of person who carefully checks the temperature of a swimming pool before slowly, over the course of an hour or so, working your way into the water? Or are you someone who dives into the deep end headfirst like a lunatic? If you’re the second type, then you might have a bright future in film.

We’ve been fans of Diego Contreras since before his breakthrough film Islands nabbed a Vimeo Staff Pick in 2013. Since then, his career has been on the rise, taking him briefly through one of the most well-respected ad agencies in history (BBDO), and more recently into the realm of professional filmmaking. Not long ago, he directed two stunning short films for The Lincoln Motor Company, Bloom and Open Your Eyes. And he’s done it all within two years.

We’ve talked about healthy ways of receiving feedback. Now let’s talk about healthy ways of giving it. In almost every way, giving good feedback is harder than accepting it. It is a discipline. And it takes a long time to master. Any novice can teach himself to listen to wisdom. It’s a thousand times harder to speak it.