September 30, 2018 at 9:32AM

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Is it essential to go freelance to make it as a filmmaker?

So I'm a writer/director and I'm working full time 40-50 hours a week. I balance my work and my directing and my writing, and I usually use my own money from my job to fund my movies.

I've always wanted to get into freelance but I keep feeling less and less interested in doing so, mostly because of how slow money could be coming in for a few months.

I was wondering if it's essential to go freelance? Or could I make it in a full time job while making movies/writing?

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I think it depends on the specific job and your ability/want to hustle for work. I know some guys that are killing it as freelancers. But, they're super motivated and in everybody's face about their work (in a good way)

On the other hand, I know some guys working for a company, directing/writing, that seem to have basically the same issues as freelancers without any of the freedom.

Personally, I'm a big believe in being self-employed. But, I believe you have to be super motivated and sharp with money, or you'll get in a situation where you don't work for months (something I've done) and get super scared and make a bad decision because you didn't quite plan for it.

Ideally, if you can work your day gig, sacrifice for a little while, and get a few months living expense in the bank you'll have a decent cushion for when the slow times come. Maybe even pick up a few weekend gigs (wedding videography, event videos, etc) to get that much further ahead to focus on main goal.

Also, if you plan on going full freelance/self-employed, I would recommend taking hold of you retirement and becoming familiar with ways to save for it. Because, being a freelancer you wont have a company doing it for you. In my opinion, Roth IRA's are a great place to start studying, but obviously do your own research for your specific situation. This book was a huge help to me. https://www.amazon.com/Bogleheads-Guide-Three-Fund-Portfolio-Outperforms...

I hope this helps. Good luck in your journey!!!

October 1, 2018 at 1:56PM, Edited October 1, 2:00PM

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Josh Molen
Music Composer for TV and Film
81

TBH I think in the freelance world, you end up working 10x as much for less pay than an in-house position. A few years ago, there weren't as many in-house creative video production jobs as there are now, which is both a good and bad thing. Bad, in that new freelance clients are harder and harder to compete for, so most freelancers who are successful are good (or lucky) at having a continuing stream of work. But good in that now you can find creatively fulfilling jobs out there that pay well and don't require nearly the same amount of selling, marketing, customer funnels, technical SEO know-how, and all the other things that end up taking all your time just to land the work itself.

Good luck,
Slavik

October 8, 2018 at 2:24AM

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