I don’t make people work for free.
I remember what it felt like when people asked me to work for free and I accepted. First, there was a self-reflected warmth from my benevolence and charity bedazzled by the heap of compliments from the favor-asker about my talents, my hair, my pants, my parallel parking skills…
Second, there was the realization that I was about to be very much exploited, indefinitely, and without recourse.
I resolved, when I made Remedy, never to put anyone in that position. I simply would NOT ask anyone to work for free. No interns. No unpaid non-union actors. If someone said they wanted to donate services, I accepted — but I slept better if I knew I had an invoice coming.
As of right now, I’m in the middle of my second Indiegogo campaign and while its hits exceed that of the first campaign (which raised $5001) by about threefold, the money just isn’t coming in. This is troubling because just one day of post production costs me between $400 and $1500.
Let me break it down like this:
I get the studio time for free. It’s my dad’s barn. I’m fucking lucky.
But I have to pay the engineer, the actors, the musicians, update or repair equipment, buy software so that it won’t take three more months to finish this thing (which would be a disaster if I make it into any one of the six festivals I’ve applied to), and hope that my computer makes it through the day.
Add the cost of promotions, advertising, and marketing — even on a minute scale…
Add the cost of color correction, special effects, music licensing…
Legal fees, accounting fees, festival fees, liability insurance…
You get the point. Or maybe you don’t.
The point is, I cannot finish this film without money, and it’s more money than I can make and still have enough time and energy to complete the film. This is why I’m pimping on every social networking site I can think of. This is what true independent filmmaking means.
But I also cannot bear to ask my friends for *more* money after they’ve already been so generous.
But I can ask my friends to ask their friends to ask their friends to interview me for their blog, and I can hope that the right stranger hears about it and decides they have a few thousand dollars of disposable income to invest.
I can finish this fucking movie, goddamnit.
Now I just need you people to prove me right.