Yesterday I read an article in a non-scripted industry newsletter, wherein the news editor lamented long and hard about how difficult it is to make a buck as a documentary filmmaker. She pondered if docs are so hot right now, why is the money not?
It seems to me that in all sorts of creative endeavors by filmmakers, musicians, authors, artists, etc., in the never-ending recession that political pundits say no longer exists, the clash between commerce and art is at an all time high. However, the ability to publish what you produce is also seemingly limitless with acronym heavy worlds of VOD, OTT, IPTV, PVV and surely more on the way.
I live and work in the San Francisco Bay area, where tech and startups abound but creativity doesn’t necessarily follow suit. A great deal of time is spent looking just like the competition on company websites and social media portals, so the new guy can appear to be on equal footing with the slightly older gal, and mind blowing company videos consist of a bunch of words jumping on to a white screen and/or hand drawn animation that isn’t.
Documentary films can’t fake it, and originality in delivering a message – a passion project, working with what budget you can afford – is why this world is so imperative at this screwy time in history.
In my small family business, sweat equity can get a little musty sometimes, but a quick shower refreshes just fine. Our next show will air on PBS World in the fall and hopefully exposing a few scams in the world of aging.inc will be worth the journey.