Most advice you’ll get in filmmaking is people talking down to you, as if they’re better than you. It can feel icky, like that one night stand you unfortunately remember.
Instead, I wanna talk with you for a second.
I know how hard it is to be an artist — scratch that, I know awful it is to be an artist. To not be a “self promoter.” To not know what to do next. To not how to support yourself or organize a shoot with all the actor’s agreeing on a god damn time!
That was me just two years ago. Fast forward to yesterday, where my team was looking through our festival submissions…
90% of the films we think suck, and that’s OK… It’s just not for our festival.
But today I want to give you a quick tactic on how to avoid this.
Most of our programmers are themselves filmmakers and they found it INSANELY useful to be judging other people’s films!
Why? Because in additional to learning more about the craft of filmmaking by watching 20+ films a day, they also learn HOW PROGRAMMERS THINK.
And as artists, we want to ALWAYS be thinking about how is the other person thinking.
We live in a world of other people and the tendency for artists is to be like “I just want to express myself, and have the world love me for me in my real and raw splendor.” (sorry, this only works if you’re me, being painted in the nude)
That’s the dilemma of an artist: “Do I do my own thing? Or do I sell out?”
But what’s wrong with this line of thinking?
Fuck selling out! I say do your own thing AND make money doing it.
Think about your art from the other person’s POV.
You’re not just creating for yourself; don’t lie to me.
There’s a part of you that wants people to understand your point of view. There’s a part of you that wants people to understand what you’ve been through. There’s a part of you that just wants people to understand!
So study how people understand!
One of the ways I’m able to actually get results for filmmakers is that I’ve NEVER been satisfied with sitting on just one side of the table.
Curt’s “Switching The Seats” Tactic
Whenever you want something from someone else, instead of mentally putting yourself in their place, actually walk over and put yourself in their place; switch seats.
- You want to get your film funded? — Offer to help get other films funded. Hell, even fund films yourself too to see what it’s like from an investor’s POV. (we gave away $1,000 grants just to learn what it’s like as a funder, for our 60 Day Feature Film Challenge).
- You want to get your script made? — See what it’s like to solicit scripts. Hold a script competition and see why your script failed by analyzing others in the process.
- You want to get a TV series made? Festival awards? Intern at a TV Station’s acquisition’s department, or volunteer to be a festival judge at a local festival and see actually what goes into getting a TV contract or an award.
- You want distribution? Ask your local distributor to give a talk at an event you organize. Build a relationship with them. Ask if you can deliver a bunch of films to them, and then solicit films from the public as a middle-man and see what it’s like.
All of the above are things I have personally done in some way.
If someone else is the one that has the power to say “no” to you then, to quote George Bush, you want to switch seats and become “the decider”: see what it’s like from the other person’s POV by switching seats.
Leave a comment with how YOU will apply my Switching The Seats Tactic to your life.
- Maybe you’re not getting dates on Tinder. Then make a profile of the opposite sex and see the creepo responses others generally send. Don’t send responses like that.
- Maybe you want to get a raise at work. Reach out to other bosses in your industry and find out what their pain points are, come in with a plan to your boss, and agree you can solve it if you can negotiate your rate.
Director / Writer / Producer
You know how Eminem is the Rap God? Well up North there in Canada, Curt's referred to as Toronto's "Film God." Studying mathematics and physics, his switch to filmmaking has given him a unique eye where he sees how things are traditionally done in the industry and goes "Um.. WTF." With a focus on results, and not just "festivals", Curt has taken cues from the startup world as well as deep psychology to help other independent filmmakers get connected, get funded, and make money with their films.