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Ben Yennie: 7 Reasons COMMUNITY will MAKE or BREAK your IndieFilm Career

Filmmaking is HARD. Far fewer people succeed at making a filmmaking a career than attempt to do so. This is evidenced by the fact that the average filmmakers household income is 60,000, but their average filmmaking income is around 15,000. In the wild west that separates the wheat from the chaff in today’s industry, the filmmakers who rise up to make a career out of creating content are those who have the ability to build community. How does a community help you grow your career? Here are 7 ways.

Community Creates a Network to Support you

As stated above, Filmmaking is HARD. It’s emotionally draining, it’s risky, it’s underpaid, and the only thing that would cause a (Mostly) sane individual to do it is that they have no option but to do it. They’ve got to be driven to create films in a way that means they can’t be happy doing anything else. Unfortunately, those who aren’t a part of the industry have trouble understanding the long hours, inconsistent pay, and low wages.

That’s one reason you need to be a part of your community. They’ll understand everything the perils and pitfalls of the industry, and they’ll help you move through it. They’ll be there for your successes, your failures, your bad days, and your great days. But they’ll only do that if you’re there for theirs.

Community Gives you a Network to Learn and Grow from

If you want to be a director of photography, you’re going to have to put in a lot of time as a gaffer, camera operator or 2nd AC. Either that, or you’ll have to start on tiny projects and work your way up to bigger ones. Either way, it’s certainly helpful to be able to ask the advice of someone with more experience than you.

Or maybe you have a question about financing and you want to ask an Executive producer. Or you have a question about how to better structure your screenplay and you want to ask screenwriter. All of these things rely on having a community to ask.

Luckily, we have some community features right here on Productionnext where you can ask questions and get them answered by people within the community. If you ask a financing question to an EP, you might just get me responding to you. Log in and try it out, or sign up!

Community Gives you a Network to Help You Make the Film

When you get around to making your film, you’re going to need crew. Your community can serve as the network you draw your crew from. They can be the people you call when you get a corporate gig and need a crew. They can help you make your short, your Webseries, or whatever else it is that you’re making.

Community Gives you a Network to Help you Find Work.

Just like you call your community when you need to staff a project, they’ll also call you when they need to staff their own projects. This business is incredibly dependent on relationships, and if you don’t cultivate strong professional relationships with other filmmakers you might have to wait a bit too long between gigs.

Community Network to help you find the stuff you need.

Films don’t just take crew, they also take stuff. You often need to find things you don’t already have, be they locations, equipment, props, or wardrobe, Until now, finding these assets could be a gigantic pain in the rear, often encompassing much of your preproduction time.

Productionnext’s classified system can help you find just what you need, in the area you need it in. You can find items, people, work, or whatever else it is you need to make your film happen. Log in and try it out, or sign up!

Community Gives You an Audience to Sell your Content to

It used to be that not enough people had access to distribution to really break out, and if you did you had to appease gatekeepers to take your project to the masses. But with the increasing ease of self distribution, and inexpensive gear to help you make a film for almost no money, the reason most filmmakers fail has changed.

Now, instead of needing to appease a gatekeeper, a filmmaker must rise above the white noise to make a film that helps them break out. If you have a community behind you, you’ll get that seed that can help you rise above the white noise and make a real splash with your film.

Community Gives You an Audience to Crowdfund From

Finally, being a leader in your community can even help you get your film funded. This won’t help you too much if you’re only a leader of your film community, since filmmakers tend to not have much to donate to other people’s projects. However, if you’re an active part of whatever niche community your film takes place in it can help you a lot.

If you’ve been an active part of your various communities for at least 6 months before you decide to launch a crowdfunding campaign, the amount of money you can raise will skyrocket. Maybe you can get 10% of your budget instead of 5%, or perhaps even more if you’ve got a small budget. Being an active and vocal part of these communities can even make the difference between crowdfunding success and crowdfunding failure.

If you’re not an active part of at least one community, then crowdfunding isn’t really going to be an option for you.

Thanks for reading!

One of the things that sets ProdcuctionNext apart is the fact that it’s built on top of a powerful, collaborative, community platform. We’re not just about project management, we’re also about helping you build and grow with a filmmaking community. That’s everything from sharing and getting feedback on your videos, to getting questions answered, to helping you find what you need.

Not sure what I mean? Sign up and find out. The banner below tells you a bit more about what we do.


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