Most cities have small film communities. The same principles can apply on a smaller scale. Though I will be the first to admit that LA offers more opportunities than any other city in the world.
I wanted to chime in here because I'm in the middle of "slugging it out" like Ben says above. I attended a university in the rocky mountains that had a good "media arts" program compared to most universities in the US, but it was NOT a film school like people usually think of (USC, AFI, Chapman, etc.)
I've been doing freelance work full time for over 5 years, and I've been in LA for over 3. I came up as a camera assistant and an editor, and this past year I've been fortunate enough to make most of my money operating and doing cinematography. In fact, I'm in the middle of shooting a feature for the first time, and crazy enough the budget is $1Million. Still low-budget, but not as low as many people I've seen on their first feature.
There has been a huge amount of luck on my end so far, but I've also worked insanely hard. And I’ve done plenty of low-pay or $0 jobs just trying to keep busy and meet new people. I always try to be the most responsive, driven, positive, attentive person on the project, and people usually notice that. On the other hand I've NEVER been asked by a producer, director, client, etc. where I went to school before they hired me. In fact, I've never seen anyone get hired because of where they went to school.
It's definitely true that school creates a built-in community that can really benefit you. But Ben is just proposing another way to build a community. And here's a news flash: school doesn't teach you everything you need to know to be good at your craft. In fact in my experience—and looking at a lot of my colleagues who went to real film schools—you STILL do most of your learning on the job AFTER you've graduated. I would say that film school might give you a 6 month headstart in terms of learning vs someone who just gets themselves onto film sets without knowing anything first. After a year or two, there won't be much difference between the two people in terms of knowledge or technical ability.
I can see how in other countries where the community is so much smaller and perceptions are different, your school credentials might mean more, but in the US your resume is worthless. All people care about is how well you can do the job, how hard you work, and how cool you are to work with. It's easy to hold yourself back or blame a lack of success on not going to film school or on people who didn't go and are bringing the market down with their cheap rates and sloppy work. I'm just here to tell you and everyone else reading this that ingenuity, hard work, and a good attitude will take you further than a diploma. Even if you had that diploma, you'd still need to find your own way.
Also a final note: the people who build a community by doing occasional $0 jobs have the benefit of living debt free--as opposed to my friends who walk out of USC with a $180K loan...
Can't knock the basics man. If your script and performances are interesting enough, no one will care if you deliver a scene in three sizes or a oner. Do what works. For a lot of young/inexperienced filmmakers, coverage is a good exercise so you can cover your butt in post.
One of my favorite movies this year. Thanks for this interview! It was awesome to hear their process.
Nice one! This is fairly plausible.
Yeah it seems odd they didn't go with the Mini to match everything else...