Passion projects are nice...when they pay off.
You probably read this website because you love filmmaking. Maybe you work full time in the industry or maybe you want to. The thing is, we all make videos and movies and shorts because we love storytelling, but we ideally want to make a living doing these things.
But it can be tough to monetize these endeavors.
Even if you have a great piece of material, you need someone who wants to pay you to exhibit it, or option it, or pay for the rights to the materials.
So, how can filmmakers make money from their short films?
Filmmaker Dui Jarrod recently sat down with Film Courage to teach you how to do just that.
Let's take a listen and talk after the jump.
How to Make Money With Short Form Content
When you're starting out, your goal should be to become better and better at being a filmmaker. Don't think about the money, think about the building of a skill. But, you should also be preparing yourself and understanding that you deserve a living wage for your work.
That means, even in your practice rounds, you should be building a line item into your budget where your salary is reflected.
Even if you only give yourself $1.
Not only will this train you to think ahead when it comes to bigger projects, but it also ingrains in you that creative work has value. Too often we hear these narratives about people willing to starve to make their passion projects.
We lionize these efforts without thinking about their creative repercussions.
Whenever you're putting a budget together, think about how long it will take and how much money you need to make that project your full-time job. What does a month of expense look like for you? If it's a 30-day shoot, you should build that item into the budget so you know you can make enough to survive and devote your time to the project.
Also, think about the life of the project.
Will this be sold later to a company as a commercial or short form to run online or even in theaters?
Then you should own a portion of that movie so that if it ever makes its money back and renders a profit, you get paid too.
So much of the way we've been trained is to hold things inside instead of saying them out loud. You need to learn to share needs for yourself and for the project. If you need money to live, get it. If you need money for lenses, get it.
Be open and truthful. People can help you that way. Also, there are people like producers, agents, managers, and lawyers whose entire job is to get you money for selling products. Make sure they're doing their best to market and sell your work.
Right now, short-form content is very valuable. Every single channel is looking for short content they can use on their YouTube channels or for their streaming services. Do your research and learn who is looking for what kind of story.
After you've created that content, try to get in contact with the executives looking.
They might license your content and pay you a reasonable sum to create more items for their channels. Try to make sure the things you pitch or sell them directly align with what they're trying to do. Send projects to the people who align with the brand you want for yourself as well.
There is no "one way" to do it, but all these suggestions can help you make your own path toward success.
I really appreciated all of Dui Jarrod's advice. Want to add to the conversation? Put your thoughts in the comments!
Up Next: Learn how to write short films!
Chances are you’re reading No Film School because you’re not only obsessed with Hollywood but you want to be a part of it. But breaking in is never easy. That’s why I think writing short films and even making them yourself, has become a viable option for breaking into the business.
Keep reading to learn how.