For the new and independent film maker, this is a constant and nagging question. How is your financing coming along? During the past year as I have been working with the money people to get my project going, I have in effect learned the wisdom of Thomas Edison who once said, "I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won't work." I've said before in my posts that making a movie (especially for someone new to the field) is about not giving up....ever. While I have not kept count, I can appreciate the statement regarding finding 10,000 ways that won't work.
I know that there are many people who read this blog who have never made a movie, but would like to do so. Therefore, I want to share a bit about the "ways that won't work" or rather, how to find the way that will so that you can be successful:
THIS IS THE LAST OF THREE BLOG POSTS BY GUEST BLOGGER, JOHN GERDS. JOHN IS A SEASONED PROFESSIONAL IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY
Life on set, any set, can be very challenging. There are a dozen different factors coming together with the people and the workload. When it comes to the people, there is such as a wide range of experience from newbies to those who have been around forever. Also, there are different temperaments and perspectives represented by these people. The workload speaks for itself. The hours are hard, and just all around the work never seems to end. But for some reason, when I do a comedy it all seems to go away the moment I shout “ACTION!” When we start filming and actors start performing it just turns into a ball of laughs. We try and follow the script, but when an actor really gets into the comedy they tend to go off script a lot which usually makes for a better scene. We have a ton of bloopers (out takes) that are usually funnier then the scene we pick. Traunik has a great feel to it and with the right combination of crew and actors like we have the situation is ripe with opportunities to get carried away and have fun. I already expect lots of bloopers that we can share at the end of the movie. This makes the whole experience amazing and it creates a wonderful sense of community because laughter melts the stress and once it’s gone we’re just having fun.
I have been a storyteller since I could first talk. My father was an avid storyteller and I can remember Saturday afternoons where he and I would sit in the yard and he would tell me stories. Being ablet to have the spark of an idea and then develop it into something much greater that can be shared with others is the most amazing experience.
This has been my driving force my entire life: storytelling. For the early part of my career it came through my role as a journalist and then later as an educator. Even while I was working on my dissertation and my fellow students bemoaned not having a moment to spare, I was sneaking off to learn how to write scripts in every moment I could get free. I actually completed my first script the same week I completed my dissertation. I was so proud that week....and it was at that moment as I first look at both completed documents that I knew I was never going to be a fulltime academic again.
I am so excited to share my characters and stories with all of you as we plan out five movies that will be produced by Three Socks Media, LLC.
fOR THE NEXT THREE BLOG POSTS THREE SOCKS MEDIA, LLC WILL HAVE A GUEST BLOGGER. JOHN IS A SEASONED PROFESSIONAL IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY.
No experience. No education. Yes, even the most successful film makers today began from that very spot. But what’s the difference between these amazing people and the ones who had good intentions, but now spend their lives sitting on their butts watching other people’s work? The successful group was willing to listen and learn. So if your inexperienced, but wanting a career in the entertainment industry I have two key pieces of advice: keep your mouth closed and your eyes open. In other words shut up and value the people around you. Watch what the experience team members are doing. Learn from them, and while you’re doing this, if we get stumped and you have an idea that could solve it, that’s a good time to open your mouth and say something. In my projects I always want newbies to know their worth and grow into leadership. Just remember, however, that there are rules and expectations that truly demonstrate your level of professionalism. For example, don’t ever approach people on the set of a movie asking for them to read your script. That is my biggest pet peeve! I don’t mind if you have fun but if you go to a talent or cast member and ask them to read your script you will be fired, NO QUESTIONS ASKED! They are there to do a job for me not be accessible to you or distracted by your script. Completely inexcusable! If you keep your mouth shut and your eyes open, you’ll learn rules like this and in time you’ll become the experienced team member that everyone wants to work with….ignore this wisdom and you’ll be just another nobody sitting in your living room watching the work of others.
FOR THE NEXT THREE BLOG POSTS THREE SOCKS MEDIA, LLC WILL HAVE A GUEST BLOGGER. JOHN IS TA SEASONED PROFESSIONAL IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY.
Lynne and I have a passion for the Truanik project and we are riding on the adrenaline of being a part of this. Recently, we had a conversation about how we both got started in the movie industry and it reminded me of how much I love what I do and why. I love to create things and make things out of nothing. Whether the project is a reality show, a comedy, a documentary, T.V. series , feature film or whatever, I love to read the idea and form the vision in my head and get it out on camera. It doesn’t matter if the project is low budget or a high budget, I can make anything out of nothing; success is all depends on how much you want it and how you can work with what you have. This industry definitely has its challenges and I can tell you that I have certainly faced many during my career, but it’s never the challenges that matter. It is getting through them. Getting through them often means relying on your team. When the team is right, the project is right. Nothing else matters. So, for example, even right now as Traunik is wrapping up the paperwork with investors, Lynne and I are grateful to have each other to have leaned on while getting through this phase and I know that our cast and crew will work together to create one killer comedy. This is why I am in the movie business.
Lynne M. Smelser is an executive producer and scriptwriter. For more than 20 years she has been an active writer who has won many national awards. She also holds a Ph.D. in English from Michigan State University.