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Ben Yennie: Do Romantic Relationships Correlate to Success in the Film Industry?
8/17/17

We all know relationships matter in film.  However, few think of romantic relationships when we consider the trope.  Even fewer ask whether or not getting married increases your chances of success in the film industry.  The question may seem counter intuitive, and honestly, it’s not something we thought we’d be asking until we started diving into the data.  We invite you to do the same now.

State of the Film Industry Part 5 - Relationships and Filmmaking from Ben Yennie

We all know relationships matter in film.  However, few think of romantic relationships when we consider the trope.  Even fewer ask whether or not getting married increases your chances of success in the film industry.  The question may seem counter intuitive, and honestly, it’s not something we thought we’d be asking until we started diving into the data.  We invite you to do the same now.

As we see on slides 2 and 3, Filmmakers are mildly less likely to be married than who national average.  However, that and much of this entire section may be impacted by the fact that our sample size skewed very young.   Primarily due to this, almost all of our findings in this section should be taken with a grain of salt, and our correlations will be somewhat tenuous and likely to be impacted by age.

Our data on slide 5 illustrates that filmmakers tend to get married rather late in life. When my editor got to this section, he said that we should perhaps title it the effect of filmmaking on relationships, not the effects of relationships on filmmaking.  Given the time we had, we couldn’t find sources by age for the marriage rate.

Slide 6 breaks out filmmakers household income by age and marital status.  From this slide, we see that married filmmakers have a significantly higher household income than unmarried filmmakers.  however, this could simply be because the filmmakers have a household of two instead of a household of one.

On slide 7, we see that married filmmakers tend to make moderately more money from filmmaking than single filmmakers do.  From the way we asked the question, it’s clear most of this income is from a single breadwinner, so the fact that married people still make more than their single counterparts is worth noting.  It is also worth noting that the discrepancy is not as great as we saw in household income, so the fact that two breadwinners are in a married household likely does play a factor, albeit not the sole factor.

On Slide 9 we examine the differences between the likelihood of filmmakers to get married based on their film school graduation rate, and we find some particularly interesting things, especially since this slide is also segmented by gender.  First, while male filmmakers who graduate are significantly more likely to get married than filmmakers who drop out, female filmmakers are exactly the opposite.

This could be that female filmmakers are significantly more likely to attend a graduate level film school and given our sample size skewing young, female filmmakers who graduate have not had a lot of time to get married by the time we surveyed them.

On slide 10 we break out how likely filmmakers are to be married by age and film school attendance.  Overall, the results are unremarkable, and it appears graduating film school has little effect on how likely filmmaker is to get married.  However, there were segments of the study affected by a small sample size.

Slide 11 takes a detailed look at how filmmakers marital status effects their likelihood to spend time on paid work on set.  The trend here is that filmmakers who are married are more likely to spend paid time on set.  This could be due to increased demands on time forcing filmmakers to prioritize paid work or many other factors that it would be pure speculation to remark on.

Thank you for reading! Next week we’ll be examining how owning equipment can help your film career, and whether or not it’s a wise investment.   If you don’t want to wait, you can order the FULL State of the Film Industry Report on amazon.com!

It’s available on paperback and Kindle, and includes all 7 sections plus a whole lot of bonus material and information, including a standard export of the report, so you can see some of the raw data we’ve been working with.  This section has a lot more segmentations by gender that we couldn’t fit into the web version.

Perhaps best of all, for every copy sold through Amazon, we’ll donate one copy to a relevant non-profit.   

Until Next time!

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If you want to read the other sections of this report, plus lots of bonus content, plus an entire standard survey export, check out the paperback version of this book on Amazon.  It's more than 110 full-color pages of data on the Film Industry.  Plus, for every copy sold, we donate a copy to a relevant educational institution.  Click the image below for mor information.

If you want to read the other web versions of this report, here's a table of contents.

Section 1: Overview/Key Metrics - 
Section 2: Economics of being a filmmaker - 
Section 3: Does Film School Matter - 
Section 4: The (Not So) Changing Face of Gender in the Film Industry -
Section 5: Do Romantic Relationships Correlate to Success in the Film Industry - (This Section)
Section 6: Is Equipment a good investment for filmmakers? - 
Section 7: What makes for Economic Success in the Film Industry? - 

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