‘Don’t let your children grow up to be Filmmakers’ is the title of a presentation I’ve given about five times now, and it tends to get me in a little trouble with people who take it too seriously. Filmmaking, as we know it today, will eventually be rebranded as ‘Content Creation’, and in most cases it will be digital instead of film. A content creator is a storyteller who makes products for many different formats; the story you’re telling could go straight to YouTube, it could find a home on Netflix, it could take the form of a video game, and so on. Very few of us create content that originates on film and stays on film for projection in a theater. My presentation has been mostly for a younger audience with the intent to encourage the next generation of filmmakers to see that storytelling exists in countless forms and that they should keep their options open.
Another statement that gets me in trouble and always leads to questions is the reality every artist must face; ‘You are a Product’. You are for sale and so is your art. Every artist, filmmaker, content creator, and so on, is a business and because you are a business you are for sale. It’s a reality we all need to face. You are a product and as a product you have a brand. The marketing of ‘You’, your product, is just as important (if not more so) than what you create. As a filmmaker I have been forced to accept that I am a digital content creator who must market myself and my product to the world. And this is why I start my presentations with the simple statement, Don’t let your children grow up to be Filmmakers. Hopefully they’ll be filmmakers, and also so much more.