Saturday, July 26, 2008

Downtime and Day Jobs

Okay, I admit it, I'm a loser. I have so many ideas for this blog that I've been constipated from actually DOING anything about them. I'm disappointed with myself that it's been so long since I've posted.

My excuses: always, baby time with my toddler daughter. Plus, my husband's still doggedly pursuing a full-time job, and in the meantime, he's home with us, and that gets distracting. And, it took a while to get the laptop operational, so that I can leave the baby and husband at home and go off yonder to post to this blog. :)


So here I am, let's move forward!

Something I always wonder about fellow indie filmmakers is how they manage to pay the bills while building their careers?
  • What do they do between projects?
  • Do they have downtime between projects, or do they always keep 3, 5, 8 plates in the air at all times?
  • Do they consistently eek out money from their producing work, or do they have to supplement with other income-generating activities?
  • Was/is there a turning point for them into profitability/revenue stability?
I've been on this journey for over 12 years now. I'd consider at least half that time as a sort of personal grad school for myself. But, in the rest of the time, although I've earned income from my efforts along the way, I'm still not in the black with my filmmaking/producing efforts. And, I haven't made a consistent living at it, yet.

Things I've done for money while trying to build a filmmaking career, so far:
  • Had a corporate day job as an instructional designer.
  • Managed a native plant nursery outside of Austin, Texas.
  • Garden design and maintenance for homeowners (this lasted a couple years, until I got poison ivy for a third and vicious time, ack!@).
  • Screenplay consulting.
  • Coaching other filmmakers and screenwriters. Either on creative/writing objectives, or on the marketing/business aspects of developing their scripts into feature films.
  • Temping. At studios, and not.
  • Water fitness instructor.
  • Teaching filmmaking to high school students at an "alternative" high school.
I'm sure I'm forgetting some stuff, too.

I like the coaching, consulting and teaching gigs. I really like that exchange between my client and me. It's very gratifying if/when I can be an effective catalyst for someone's creative process. And, I've been fortunate that those types of gigs are picking up for me since my move to the Great North.

I'm still figuring out some formatting and organizing schema for this blog, but I plan to query other producers on their income-generation habits and efforts. Please stay tuned.

Or, post a comment with your experience(s) paying the bills while pursuing your muse!

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