Supporting Each Other in Indie Film
I thought I would do a blog on how I see the independent film family supporting each other. OK I get that not everyone is going to get on from the get-go. This can be for many reasons. Sometimes filmmakers have nothing in common. I can understand and relate to this. Sometimes it is down to having a difficult working relationship, or they just do not like each other. All of these are fair and valid reasons on why some filmmakers do not support each other.
For me it is important for us to honestly support our fellow artists. However, what if these individuals are making better films than you? Are we always going to be so supportive then? Well, the unfortunate answer to that is NO, for some of the more calculating amongst us. For me, this boils down to jealousy, which is an emotion we all experience. I can honestly say I am jealous of a lot of my filmmaking friends. This may be because of their vision, their ideas or their film. Indeed, I may sometimes kick myself and ask why I did not I think about an idea first? There really is nothing wrong about being jealous. It is how you apply that jealousy that may be the problem. I personally see it as a compliment that someone’s work is better than mine or vice versa.
By telling a filmmaker you are jealous of something they have done, it is a supportive comment if you mean it. Also, you do not have to like the subject matter of a film or the story for it not to be a great piece of work. For example, I personally do not like some of my fellow filmmaker’s projects. This is mainly down to me preferring films that touch on the darker side. Equally other filmmakers will not like my subject matter for which I fully understand. This does not mean the films are not well made, they just may not be my cup of tea. For example, I am not of fan of the Star Wars films, but they are well made. I love the film Combat Shock, although some people would say that it is not as well made as Star Wars, I still think that it is a good film. It is important to support the filmmaker not because they may be your friends, but because you really do respect what they are doing.
Although there are going to be times when we may feel that a film may not be up to our standards for whatever reason, it is important to remember two things. Firstly, these filmmakers are only trying to do what we are doing, no matter how good or bad their films may be. Secondly, we need to remind ourselves that there was a time when we were making films that were not very good. How we felt when people were not being supportive.
I am a big fan of constructive criticism and feedback. It may be that I am giving the feedback or getting the feedback. When giving feedback, I try to pick out the positives and offer advice on the negatives. If you are receiving feedback and you really do not like what they are saying, my advice is to just accept it. Likewise, do not pick and choose who you support for your own gains, as it will make you an obvious hypocrite.
In summary, there may be a lot of people who only look out for themselves and what they can get out of the community, without giving anything back. Indeed, you may be one of these people. That is fine but you shall have no complaints when it comes tumbling down. For every loud and over-bearing wannabe, there are hundreds of exceptionally talented filmmakers who do not see themselves as special in any way. My advice is to be the latter and support others and progress through their support. We are extremely privileged at White Raven Films that we have a very supportive network which is all you guys whether you like the subject matter of our films or not. You respect us as filmmakers, and we respect you for your honesty and true friendship.
For the indie film network to survive we need to stick together.