March 6, 2015

To All of You Indie Filmmakers with Day Jobs, This Video is Like a Nice, Warm Hug

You have dreams of being able to quit your day job and make art full-time? These artists did, too.

Before becoming professional creatives, individuals like James Franco, Marielle Heller, and Common worked jobs that we not so artsy. However, like the vast majority of us, they managed to balance work and creativity (if you're lucky, your work is creative) to bring something to show to the world -- an act Selma director Ava DuVernay describes as "risky".

The Sundance Film Festival interviewed a handful of filmmakers and visual artists and asked them about their past day jobs as well as the risks of being an independent artist. You can see their responses below.

Trying to make a living as a filmmaker is risky enough, but being an independent filmmaker increases that risk exponentially. It's rare that you encounter an indie artist who doesn't do commercial work on the side, or who doesn't work at the mall to make rent (or most of it, at least), or who doesn't get $7.63 in gas, because that's all the change they had under their seat. The struggle is real, people.

It's nice to see that some indie artists are able to walk away from their 9-to-5s to focus on making awesome and beautiful things for the world to enjoy full-time, but it's truly inspiring to see those who can't. Because they haven't stopped making stuff. And neither should we.

So keep making those films, you brave souls -- over-worked, underpaid, and overjoyed to be able to exercise your passions and create things that move and inspire not just others, but yourselves.     

Your Comment

10 Comments

Sincerely - thank you for this.

March 6, 2015 at 5:10PM

5
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Speaking of day jobs, this is a great take on the subject : http://tumblr.austinkleon.com/post/69005574484

March 6, 2015 at 5:21PM

0
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Oh Sh*t!

March 6, 2015 at 5:25PM

1
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João Peixoto
Freelance Videographer
81

I was a janitor! I'm pasted that now but not were there guys are... yet...

March 8, 2015 at 3:01AM

3
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Max Ciesynski
Gaffer
587

Thank you. Eyes was getting all glazed up.

March 10, 2015 at 6:27AM, Edited March 10, 6:27AM

8
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A boring day job has been one of the best things for my projects. It gives me time to think, take notes and analyze my art. I keep my phone handy to type ideas as I work. A lot of creativity has come from the mundane activities of manual labor.

March 14, 2015 at 8:55PM, Edited March 14, 8:55PM

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Ryan Gudmunson
Recreational Filmmaker
376

This was very inspiring.

March 22, 2015 at 8:37PM

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Darious Britt
Director/ writer/ actor/ producer/ youtuber
165

Wow. Just today, actually right now, I was just hating my life and how I'm stuck at the restaurant all the time...leaving no time or energy for me to create...almost to the point of saying F it all and giving up and then I see this post, which refuels my momentum to keep pushing to break free!

May 1, 2015 at 12:13AM

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Nima Tajbakhsh
Writer/Director
229

Wow, I really needed this... thank you!!!!

May 1, 2015 at 5:54PM

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Zach Delano
Filmmaker
81

it takes guts to follow your dreams, but passion is a driving force that cannot be reckoned with once unleashed. Finding the balance to do what you want and pay the bills should be about time, not money, that being said it is always nice to have money aaaaand time so you can just concentrate on doing your thang :) great article!

June 8, 2015 at 9:12PM, Edited June 8, 9:12PM

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Seán Ó Cearrúlláin
Project Manager / Author
181

Great Post V Renée!

We all think like you but you said it... :)

June 9, 2015 at 6:21AM

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Julio Vidarte
Videographer
74