Ok, there’s something strange going on here and I think we should be told… Within just a few days of each other, two leading proponents of independent film making and video DSLR’s have both posted on their blogs about the cost of film making. No big deal, I hear you say, money makes the world go round in film making. But just take a look at those headshots… I think we should be told.
Chris Jones of Living Spirit Pictures and author of the superb Guerilla Film Makers Handbook (what, you do don’t have a copy yet?) wrote a very outspoken piece in The Guardian about how money is wasted in UK film making and how here in the UK we need to wake up and smell the coffee if we ever want to actually make a profit out of films. He says that many films have totally unfeasible budgets and therefore never make a profit, yet they continue to attract grant money from the UK Film Council.
He makes a valid point that many films with huge budgets should in fact, cost not more that £500,000 “In 2010 there’s been a tidal wave of new technology – particularly the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, a camera that costs £1,500 and yields images like 35mm film [used in cinemas]. The digital equivalent would have cost £100,000 only a year ago. You don’t need expensive cameras any more.”
Across the Atlantic, Vincent LaForet’s blog post comes at it from another angle. He warns against the current excitement at making great movies and then proudly boasting that it was made for just a few thousand dollars is a BAD thing. He’s the first to admit that his Reverie video was make in just such as way and that they have a place, but that it’s important to value yourself and not work for food. His final comment makes sense:
Value yourselves as filmmakers. Don’t sell yourself short. Your skills are in high demand, and they are worthy of appropriate compensation.
I’d urge you to read both blog posts in full. Chris Jones has many hard truths about the ‘old guard’ of film making and his blog is full of ways to make and distribute your own movies. Vincent LaForet’s blog has been a mecca for Canon DSLR video makers ever since Reverie signaled the beginning of the change in the ways that video and movies are made. Their views on budgets also make perfect sense, take a read….
Finally, I have no excuse for embedding this after seeing it on Vincent’s Blog. You know that feeling..