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Four Ways to Make Money As a Filmmaker

By Hanssie on October 26th 2015

We’ve all heard of the term “Starving Artists.” In fact, I’m willing to bet that many of us could fall into that category. Forsaking the corporate paycheck, we hustle and struggle, all for the sake of creating art. The path to success as an artist is rocky, uncertain, and challenging. It’s certainly not the most practical career path (as I write that, I picture my mom’s blanched face when I told her I was leaving my solid, relatively well-paying, teaching career to pursue writing and photography).

This Starving Artist archetype is rapidly becoming more and more outdated in this world of self-made millionaires, YouTube stars, and Insta-famous “celebrities.” Right now, you have more opportunity than ever to make it big with little more than leveraging your social media following, using the free tools that the Internet has to offer, and creating viral content.

[REWIND: MOVIE STUDIO SPENDS ADVERTISING BUDGET ON PHILIPPINE RELIEF AID]

filmmakers

So as an artist, specifically a filmmaker, how do you support yourself until you hit it big? In the following video, Simon Cade of DSLR Guide, talks about getting started as a filmmaker and four different routes you can take to support yourself with filmmaking. In the first of the four routes, the “Commercial Route,” Simon suggests that the best way to get started is to offer a small business to make them a commercial or ad free of charge so you can build you show reel and make contacts. Simon also gives some tips on what to charge when you are ready to begin charging. Another route is the “Independent Route,” where you use your own money and build your own audience. Here, he gives you the four ways to generate money from those films. He talks a bit about AdSense, Sponsorships, Pay-Per-View, and Crowdfunding. He also discusses the “Traditional Route” and “Selling Footage Route.”

No matter which route you want to take, as a new filmmaker, this is a great video for you. Also, this video reminded me of a podcast I recently heard on The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes. In the interview, Casey Neistat, a popular YouTube and commercial filmmaker discusses his journey from a high school dropout to dishwasher to one of the “biggest filmmakers on YouTube, with over a million followers, and one of the most sought-after creatives for major brands and labs.” Listen to that interview here and watch the DSLR Guide video below.

About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com and www.fittedmagazine.com. Follow her on Instagram. Email her at:
[email protected]

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  1. Armands Sprogis

    I keep saying this to my filmaking friend, but he keeps saying I need to make money and not working for free. Doing nothing now.

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