Joseph & Stacie's Blog notes from the journey & pictures of Peter, Eric, & Hudson

Filmmaking: Business or Ministry Part II

by Joseph Graber

As far as I know, none of my filmmaking friends gets up in the morning and says, “I want to really make a failure of a film.”  No, we all have good intentions. Our good intentions cover several areas.  One, we intend to be successful in our chosen field of work.  Two, we expect other people to enjoy or find value in our work.  Three, we believe
that what we have to say in our projects will change peoples lives for the better.  But, sometimes we fail.

Sometimes we are not successful in our filmmaking efforts.  Sometimes no one except our polite grandma wants to see our projects(and my grandma is Amish so I don’t even have this benefit).  Sometimes, despite all our efforts and good intentions, the messages in our films fail to inspire people.  Sometimes this happens because we just really had a bad idea and ran with it.  Other times I believe this happens because we allow the visionary side of our thinking to run away with us and we neglect the practical, logical, business side.

ch_dsc_0137_100nd40x_10-20In short, I am concerned that we may not be able to minister as much as we would like with our film projects until we are ready to look past all of our good intentions and actually learn the business of filmmaking.  It is possible that our ministry objectives could get in our way of the business side of our projects.  I believe learning the business of filmmaking is just as important as learning the art of filmmaking.

In this short video I discuss part of my own journey of overcoming the entitlement mentality and understanding the importance of learning to excel in the business of filmmaking.

This is Part Two in this series about filmmaking: See Part One at this link.

What if I love filmmaking but I don’t want to make it a business?

Not that long ago, filmmaking was done only by professionals in Hollywood.  But with the recent digital revolution all that has changed.  Now, most of our phones can capture better video than our parents camcorders could capture in the 1990’s.

In the next installment I will share some of my thoughts on doing this for the fun of it versus doing it for business.  See you then!

2 Responses to Filmmaking: Business or Ministry Part II

  1. Great points Joseph! The feeling of entitlement can even take root in our money making (not just money asking). When it does, bitterness scuttles our work.

    Here is something I have experienced many times over. After thousands of hours, I’m getting to feel pretty good about my filmmaking “sklilz”. Then I watch a movie and think “I could have done better. Why didn’t they choose me! In fact, they should have picked me, paid me more, and been privileged to do so!!!” Really? How am I entitled to work that someone else earned – and ultimately delivered?

    I didn’t get that job. They did. Good on them.

    Falling into this trap leads to lost or inferior productivity. If I spend time in Grumpy Entitlement Land fixated on work that ISN’T mine, the work that IS mine suffers. On the extremes, I have met a few bitter LA actors who think the entire system is rigged because they did’t get picked when *obviously* their audition was superior to everyone else’s. This entitlement thinking makes us blind to our own need to keep pushing forward.

    The person choosing to give money into a film project are simultaneously choosing to skip Disneyland with their kids. When a Producer decides to pay me, they are choosing to not pay someone else. Remembering this helps me stay humble, do the work in front of me, and focus on God as my quartermaster.

  2. Geraldine says:

    Good point. I hadn’t thhougt about it quite that way. 🙂

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