Independent Filmmaking >> Playing Well With Others

“I’m not under too much of an illusion of how smart or un-smart I am because filmmaking ultimately is about teamwork.”  – Guy Richie

Breaking Hollywood’, Los Angeles, CA May, 2013 

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Accepting that you, as a director, writer or producer are just one small part of what makes a film a film is one of the most stunning epiphanies you can have as a filmmaker. 

You make the world turn just as much as the next person, and of course if you wrote the film, the world could not exist without you, but once it does exist, it can go on and on and on, with or without you.  

And, in the filmmaking world, it frequently does.  

That can be a little hard to accept at times, for even the most ‘at peace’ of us. 

But don’t fight it!!

Embrace it!! 

So now here I sit, on my hotel bed in Sacramento, CA, considering the last few weeks work and the next few days work and pondering about how reliant we all are upon the happenstance of fates fickle…. whatever. 

And how wonderfully fulfilling it is to be a cog in a machine, at least when said machine is a lovely one. 

Over the past few weeks I have been working on someone else’s lovely machine, which because of writers and a director who were both so open and sublimely gifted and wonderfully giving, quickly became my machine too. 

This project was gifted to me through the recommendation of an actor I had previously cast in one of my films.  Which furiously compounds my filmmaking karma mantra theory.  

So, because I am perceived by at least one person I have worked with before to be good and nice and worthwhile, and also, in this case anyway, cheap/free,  I was hired to DP and then co-direct an extremely funny TV pilot written by a British and Irish writing team and cast with a mixture of actors from the UK, Ireland, Australia and the US.  

As soon as the first episode is completed I will post the link. 

It morphed from a trailer of a show, to a TV pilot to an 8 part web series, all after the first day of filming.  

Proving that if you can get the mix right, writers, actors, passion and timing, absolutely anything is possible. 

And also proving that if you keep working, keep saying yes and keep being true to the filmmaking fairies, it will pay off, eventually, if only with more work.  

But also with the respect of your peers, which may not pay the bills, but certainly and hopefully keeps you chugging in that general direction. 

So, because of another recommendation from an actor I have worked with, I am now about to embark on another filmmaking adventure. 

Tomorrow morning I will, along with 26 actors, set out from Sacramento airport on a 5 hour drive into the Trinity National Forest of Northern California to the Bar 717 ranch for an actors retreat with the delightful Molli Benson, fearless acting coach extraordinaire… 

I have been asked to film the four days of activities with the 26 actors in this amazing and beautiful, and very, very remote part of California. 

And, even though I do have the plot of several dozen bad horror films playing in my unconscious mind, I have a feeling it will be the trip of a lifetime, hopefully! 

Either way it will make for a very interesting article!! 

Or headline…. 

So I think what you can take from this brief but heartfelt article, is this: 

Playing well with others really does pay off! 

Being driven, even when you run out of time, money and everything else, is what makes you float ‘yaringly’ on the ocean of wannabes. 

Making connections and keeping them alive is worth your time. 

And finally…. 

If you are true to your purpose, whatever you decide that is, people will recognize it and reward you for it, not necessarily with the obvious, money, position, chocolate….but with the one thing that can’t be bought…..respect. 

Well, you can buy chocolate, but it always tastes better when you don’t have to pay for it.

And, lets face it, respect will lead you to everything you need to help you keep following your bliss. 

Being a very independent filmmaker…