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Here's My Vimeo Panel on 'The Art of Getting Paid' (Bonus: the History of NoFilmSchool)

06.20.12 @ 10:30AM Tags : , , , ,

This year’s Vimeo Festival + Awards screened a bevy of award-winning awesome videos (many of which we featured here on NFS), and also featured a number of workshops, panels, and the like. I showed up on one panel as a sort-of surprise guest, joining Brian Newman (who recently guest-posted here) to talk about “the art of getting paid.” Whether it’s an art or not, in the independent film world getting paid at all can sometimes feel like a triumph, and so we talk about many different approaches, including web series, merchandising, Kickstarter, this web site, and more. The full panel is below.

First, however, since the panel is on “the art of getting paid,” allow me to use this space to present not just the official Vimeo blurb, but also a paid advertisement (wink wink):

If you want to make a living doing what you love, you need a plan. At the 2012 Vimeo Festival, fundraising expert Brian Newman and maverick filmmaker Ryan Koo sat down for a practical discussion designed to help career-minded creators. Their candid back-and-forth touched on lots of moolah-related topics, including where the money is, how to make smart sacrifices, and what self-promotion skills come in handy as you try to drum up dollars.

Sweet, I’m a “maverick filmmaker!” Here’s the panel in full. It’s long — play it in a window while you do something else (preferably something you’re paid to do).

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Were we “on topic” enough? It was a challenge to navigate the conversation away from focusing entirely on my Kickstarter experience, especially given so many filmmakers are thinking about running their own campaign, but I tried to stress the kind of experimentation I talked about in the NoFilmSchool manifesto — all of which, two years later, still applies. I hope something in there was useful! Any tips of your own for getting that money?

Link: Learn the Fine Art of Getting Paid – Vimeo


We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

Description image 25 COMMENTS

  • Thanks Koo. I really enjoyed this.

  • Awesome stuff Koo!

  • Very great posting. I’m really digging the Vimeo-Fest coverage.

  • john jeffreys on 06.20.12 @ 5:12PM


  • Ryan Farner on 06.20.12 @ 7:35PM

    Took your advice listened to the whole thing at work and got paid for it. Awesome stuff like always. Thank you.

  • I really like this video! Very interesting content!

  • I am about halfway through the video and I must say it’s very inspiring stuff. Can’t wait to see the second half tonight after work.

  • I like the way narrative is going, but it also seems daunting because I’m not sure I can do all that. That’s why you find people though. Just finding those people is going to be interesting.

  • Great stuff Koo, the “take-aways” from you and Brian are solid points, this has got the wheels turning in my head now, I liked hearing your story of NFS as well, gives me confidence. Thanks

    Paul B

  • Interesting and honest. Worth the 70+ min. – Manchild backer :D

    • Thanks! I should’ve included a link in my latest Manchild Kickstarter update…

      • As you said there is not much to update, link’d be better off as a 14th update in a few days.
        Although I would have backed anyways, as I felt I owed it being a regular visitor here, but the unique frames idea is what definitely got me hooked. It had a certain “film” sentimentality to it. Great question by the lady about future role of the producer (and one of the rare ones not talking about Kickstarter).
        - 7300 miles away, India

  • Hey Ryan, just finished watching your video. Great conversation, so many great takeaways. This is my first comment on your site but I have been following your posts for a while now. I am Canadian lecturing English at a foreign university here in Osaka, Japan. It’s been a great experience working with the Japanese learning their language and culture.

    The main takeaway for me is to “build an email list” and “give something away for free to do it in your vein of value”. Basically, you gotta see indie filmmaking now as a hybrid web-business and take a Timothy Ferris like approach. The web start-up business world is a great source of inspiration and offers a lot of cross over and great biz models.

    Just a couple of quick questions for you if you don’t mind.

    1) I am now trying to build a list with mail chimp. At the moment I am only collecting email addresses. Should I also collect their names?

    2) I just recently got accepted to the International Film School of Paris to study my MFA in Directing(course begins in January). My question is what do you think of using my whole18 month Paris film school experience to build my fan base by posting behind the scenes videos? For example, on set at school, challenges and fears, the neighborhoods and cinemas, etc. After I return home launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund my indie film dream?

    Also have a t-shirt venture and I am co-founder of So many ways to go. Ryan or anybody out there have some advice?

    Ryan, good luck with Manchild and thanks once again for being such an inspiration.

    David S.

    • David,

      Thanks for your first comment! And yes, absolutely “you gotta see indie filmmaking now as a hybrid web-business.”

      1) YES. This way you can address folks by name through Mailchimp. I think it helps.

      2) Re: “using my whole18 month Paris film school experience to build my fan base by posting behind the scenes videos” — yes. I think this is a great idea. Let us know when you have something!

      Good luck and all the best.

  • Wow… I’m Asian American but I’m not getting anywhere! lol. Maybe ’cause I don’t do “reality” videos…

  • Btw, awesome tips Koo! thanks

  • Many thanks to Ryan and Brian for a first class talk on the new model of indie film making.

    I’m planning an ambitious and major crowd funding campaign for 2013/14 for two feature film projects, I’m in the process of developing the business plan and watching this video has helped (and inspired) me immensely. I must have about 10 pages of notes and ideas off of the back of the video.

    Thanks again and keep up the great work you guys are doing here.


  • It’s a nice video, Ryan!
    It’s always good to find additional inspiration.
    Greets from Bulgaria :)

  • PS: may be you should make you comments with AJAX because when a person clicks “submit comment” the video is stopping… 8)