Make a living in the Film Industry – 5 Different Ways

July 21, 2011 by · Comments Off on Make a living in the Film Industry – 5 Different Ways 

As someone who has made his sole source of income from the Film World since 1997, I would like to outline the different ways to make a living from Film Making over the next few weeks. Film Making is very much a lifestyle choice. Most people work in Film because they love it. I can tell you that is the same for me. Today I pick my jobs and I do only well paid directing gigs such as "Dealing with Destiny" . I also like to DOP on other peoples films and often do consultancies for projects and of course I make my own passion films. I love the travel to different countries and film making has given me the opportunity to travel with my job. Next month, I am off to Qatar, France, Ireland and London where I will present our first weekend film seminar in the UK. In November, I am off to Los Angeles and Mexico. LA beckons every November as I always attend the wonderful American Film Market in Santa Monica. Since 1997, I have worked in crew roles on other peoples film sets. I have worked shooting behind the scenes footage for many different movies. I use to shoot corporates and I still shoot Music videos as I love them. My golden rule is that I never do jobs that I do not want to do, heart and soul.
Shooting on one of our Film Productions Dealing with Destiny
Since 1997, film has been my absolute source of income. Some years have been big earners and others have been quiet. The best year turnover has been close on $400,000 when films have sold well and the worst has been $80,000 when I first started. I know I have not become rich financially, however the lifestyle has made up for the lack of money. Doing what you love and been around exciting creative people who love their job certainly keeps you young. Also it is certainly more money than most people earn in jobs, they do not like. I see the future as very exciting in the film world with the Internet now converging with Television. Many star film makers will have their own channel where they actually build wealth directly in the future. Even YouTube is now moving into movie areas. Building your audience slowly over many years is a tremendous investment in your future. If you start now, over a ten year period you could build up an audience of close to 50,000 subscribers. How do I know this? Well knowning nothing and learning how to do it over the last two years, I have built a subscriber list of 3500 people and that is only in Australia. With our expansion overseas and the start of our online film school, we are expecting to attract many more subscribers. Now that we know how to attract an audience, we expect to build about 10,000 new subscribers per year. Twitter now also allows you to get your message to hundreds of thousands and not to mention fan pages on Facebook. Yes it is a very exciting new world for the up and coming film maker and the earlier you start to build an audience, the better. If you have 50,000 subscribers and 10,000 buy a copy of your film at $15, that equates to $150,000 before you even make money from your film release and the Film Market. You can learn more about this area on our 2011 Film Courses or by visiting our prime website International Film Base For the next few weeks I would like to go through the best ways and clarify the paths that earn money and how you could go about breaking into them. For this week I would like to list them off and in next weeks post go into more detail about each area
  1. Independent Film Production Micro Budget - Low Budget Feature Films (100k - 5 Million Dollar Budgets)
  2. Freelance DOP and Editor Work on other peoples short films and feature films
  3. Music Videos Corporates and Commercial Film Making
  4. Crew Work on mainstream Film Shoots for TV & Feature FIlm
  5. Working for Film Distributors and Government Industry.
  6. Mega Directing, Screenwriting or Producing on the big budget Hollywood films.
Colm O'Murchu
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Four Tips for Finding the Best Location

May 17, 2011 by · Comments Off on Four Tips for Finding the Best Location 

Location Location I am very much looking forward to presenting the Weekend Film School in Sydney on  this Saturday and Sunday May 21st, 22nd. One of my favourite parts of the Weekend Film School is how we get people to meet each other and network.  On Sunday Afternoon, we launch film projects that then get produced over the following three months. If you are in town and have next weekend free,  please enroll on one of the very best film making weekends, The Sydney Weekend Film School What I want to talk about this week is Locations. Finding locations for your film is one of the easiest part of preproduction.
Beautiful Cafe Scene for Free

Beautiful Cafe Scene for Free on The Makeover

Tip One Do not be afraid to write as many locations into your script as you need for your story to be told. I love beautiful locationsand finding the best locations in your city is rather easy. There is an old adage in low budget film making that says "Shoot in a one loacation for three weeks and never move out of there. Yes that is called a play and there is nothing wrong with plays. But if you are shooting a movie, make the movie visual. One can do this by having appropriate locations in your film. Tip Two . Only have one location move per day and do your best to to schedule only one location for a full shooting day. Over a 30 day shoot, you could have 30 locations. Moving in the middle of the day chews up time. I remember supervising a student short film called Money We only had a one day shoot and we had five locations to shoot in. We spent half the day in the car driving from one location to the other.  If you have to change locations,  only move once on the day. I know this seems contrary to what Tip One outlines. It is important to find the balance. Tip Three: Make sure that you have a written agreement with the location owner. Most locations are free and are contributions to the film. Still it is very important to have an agreement. with the owner about the hours and day the location is needed for. Also outline
  • Will the location get an end credit in the film?
  • Will the location signage be seen in the film?
  • Make sure that the location is free of all external people or customers. There is nothing worse than shooting in a cafe that is still open to the public. If the location has external people, pack up and go home.
Bar Location for Free

Bar Location for Free The Makeover

Tip Four. Clean up the location after the shoot and make it cleaner than before you arrived. This is very important and I know I am stating the obvious. If you get the owner excited about your film in advance of shooting and then when you leave the location,  the owner is  happy , you will help future film makers have an easy time. That could be you again. Invite the Location Owner to all parties and screenings. Leave a great impression. Of the 55 locations that we found for The Makeover Feature Film, 44 of them were free. When an owner, contributes a location to your film, they are in a way an investor in your project. On our courses, we teach you how to find locations with ease and for free. Find out more about our courses by clicking on an interesting course on our home page

Strong Mindset is exceptionally important in the film business.

August 25, 2010 by · Comments Off on Strong Mindset is exceptionally important in the film business. 

Strong Mindset is exceptionally important in the film business.

Why is that? Well when you start out in the film world, it can seem like Mount Everest is in front of you. It seems like you will never get to the summit and this can lead talented people to give up.

I think the mountain analogy is a wonderful one. I remember when I climbed Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, I was not prepared for how difficult it would be to climb. My mindset was not initially strong.

Mount Kinabalu is exceptionally steep. It just rises out of the ocean and goes up and up to 4300 meters or about 14000 feet.  It is the biggest moutain in South East Asia.  There is no let up, it is just one direction...UP.  When I started to climb the mountain, I kept looking up at what was ahead and it seemed nearly impossible. I felt exhausted and dispirited.

Once you get to the half way point at 2100 meters, you naturally begin to feel altitude sickness. What I discovered is that if I just looked at my feet and took it one step at a time, I discovered that I did not get tired or dispirited. If I just kept focused on my feet, I began to feel fine and just found a rythm. However, if I looked to the top I would once again become exhausted. When I stayed focused on the now and on where I was now, I felt fine and energized. And what happened after two days of climbing, I arrived at the summit and could see all over the island of Borneo. Beautiful.

The same is true for film. Just stay with what you are doing that day.

If you are starting out in film, set a goal of making your own short film now and take one step at a time. Keep with what you can achieve that day and when you have completed production, do your very best to get your short film out to the world via film festivals and the internet( You tube, Blip TV)

Then move on to the next film. It is a great idea to get five short films behind you and then move on to feature films or documentary at that point. Till that point, do not even think about them. Just one short film at a time.  Five Short films gives you a chance to learn how to produce and direct films and learn via film courses how to make them better and better.

The second part of a strong mindset is having a supportive team and people you like working with. Everyone has their strong points and therefore teams that work the best is where everyone is working to their strong points. That is a Producer and Director team.

There is nothing worst than feeling lost and isolated and not knowing how to get motivated to make a film. That is why it is so important to attend film courses like ours.

Why because you will

Learn how to make a short film

Network with people who want to make films

Become very motivated and find that strong mindset that you need to make films.

And if you have all ready made short films, you will re-energize and get your next film happening with enthusiasm and gusto.

Please look at our film schools on our website and we look forward to meeting you there.

Till next time, have a great week          Colm

Colm O'Murchu is the owner of Australian and International Film Base.

He has produed and directed films for the past 15 years