50 hours a week — filmmaking when you have a day job
40 hours a week, I work in an office. My occupation doesn’t have anything to do with what I studied in school and it doesn’t have anything to do with filmmaking. I’ve gotten pretty good with it and all around I and my employer seem content.
10 hours a week, I make films. When I get home it’s time to write, time to edit a short film, time to do color correction, time to distribute a film, time to prep for the next film, time to send out agreements, time to find actors, time to hold auditions, time to work on the filmmaking Guidebook, and time to do something.
Usually we film on the weekends. Most of our shorts film for five or six hours hours on Saturday and Sunday. When we’re not filming I’m trying to tackle the to do list of things that I didn’t get to during the week.
On this schedule I’ve been able to find time to make sixteen short films in the past four years. I was able to do 100 days of timelapse & 100 days of vlogging. I was able to write a first draft for a screenplay in a month.
I’m doing what I can with the time I have.
I know that on professional TV & Film sets cast and crew sometimes work twelve or fifteen hour days. While I’d like to be a filmmaker full time I don’t envy that schedule and I recognize there are plenty of people who put in more time than me.
You can’t compete with those able to work as filmmakers full time.
Sometimes I feel paralyzed by what needs to be done. It’s been 8 hours at the office and my to do list with three items feels like a lot.
Just do one thing. Do the first thing on the list.
If you don’t need a full time job to support yourself don’t squander your time. There was a little while after college and before I got a full time office job that I was able to write two full length plays. When I was in college when I wasn’t doing homework I was learning to write.
Film school is wasted if you’re not making or helping someone else make personal films.
If you want to be a screenwriter or filmmaker figure out your goals and take the next step.
Sometimes I feel like I don’t ever put any time in but somehow things get done.
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I post a new blog article on filmmaking or screenwriting every Thursday. If you have a question about filmmaking or screenwriting, contact me at info[at]bridgeportfilmclub[dot]com.
Check out my previous blog: Whatever it takes to finish your film — get it done!