“You must knock on doors until your knuckles bleed.” -Michael Uslan

Helped out on a friend’s shoot yesterday as AD and was happy to be filming at Raleigh Studios. Clean bathrooms, hooray! We shot exteriors though and it was FREEZING and drizzling. Luckily my jacket is pleather not leather, and I bought it from a Melrose boutique for $20.

Afterwards Eric, the producer/director treated us to dim sum and I got the chance to ask Ray, the DP, about his experience in film school.  I try not to have regrets, but not going to film school is one of my biggest regrets because I’ve known since I was 10 years old that I want to make movies. Sure, majoring in History at Cal has definitely helped me make a living as a teacher and I’m able to get all stuffy intellectual if the occasion calls for it but I feel that if I had devoted four years to making contacts and creating a demo reel I’d be a lot farther in my film career right now.  Ray dispelled that thought and told me that his honest opinion was that majoring in film was just plain expensive and not at all crucial to giving you an “in” to the industry.  I guess I’m proof of that because almost all the gigs I’ve gotten are through hustling  and I’ve picked up almost all my film skills while on the job.

During lunch, I also got the chance to think hard about the producing aspect of film. Eric hopes to raise half a million dollars for his film. That amount blows my mind although I know it’s tiny even for an indie budget.  My original goal for my feature (still in progress) was to work with a budget of 20K, but of course the more money I can get the better because I strongly believe in giving fair compensation to crew members.

I realized over small plates of pork buns and taro cakes that if I really believe in my project, I have to be willing to share that enthusiasm with the world and I have to REALLY believe that my ideas are worth a shit-load of money.  Perhaps that’s why so many indie film creators are male.  They have the necessary ego to convince others to invest their time and money into making someone else’s dream come true.

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