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.