How To Start From Nothing part 03 of 03 | 怎樣白手起家?(3/3) | 怎样白手起家?(3/3)
So, how exactly does one start with nothing?
So far, you:
know how your target industry works.
have a talent for something and spend every moment you can developing and expanding that talent. It will cost some friendships, it will cost lots of TV watching, internet surfing and instant messaging.
you are working efficiently - not just hard.
You know who you are. You've embraced yourself. You've recognized your weaknesses or anything that might obstruct your path and you are working to change them. You've recognized your strengths and emphasizing them.
You've done everything possible to get to know people in your target industry by working in your industry in some capacity.
None of those should cost you a dime... so already you are starting from nothing! The last one could b e tricky -
You do what you do and let everyone know that that is what you do and don't do anything else.
One of the reasons people in the film industry always say writing is the greatest way to get into your career is that it's the one thing that simply doesn't cost much more than a pad of paper and a pencil. You could access computers at a library. Someone you know has a computer and you can eventually print up your scrīpt. There ARE free scrīpt writing programs (www.celtx.com).
But I have to say - sometimes it takes more than just writing to really get your start.... and maybe writing isn't your forte.
I can't really go through every career - even within just one industry, so let me give some thoughts on how to make things affordable.
Break your dream goal down into mini dreamgoals. Lets say that you're a musician and you define success as playing a sold out show at maddison square garden. Obviously, that is going to require a few things - mainly - people who will buy tickets. So what you really need to do is start generating a fan base. In order to do that, you need to play a lot of gigs, in order to do that you need to maybe record something to share with clubs or show up to open nights. In order to do that, you need to have a guitar or whatever it is you play.
I am not a big Marilyn Manson fan - but his story is an interesting one. He was a music reviewer who wanted to have all the glamour of the people he was interviewing. But he'd never played an instrument. But he knew who he was and who he was not. He was not a glamour boy. He was a gangly sort of geeky guy - so he decided to create someone for himself to be and formed a band (the name of which he later took for himself). Since he was working in the industry already - he knew how it worked, he knew the talk. He had an article about him in a music trade paper before the band had ever played a concert - before they'd recorded a single song. But he knew his audience... because it was himself. And he went after it with no apologies. And it worked. No one gave him permission to do this. Did he need money to do this? This was not a matter of money - it was a matter of following all those rules and then being focused and a leader. He believed in what he wanted and he could talk the talk, so people followed.
A filmmaker can't dream to make a 100 million dollar movie and not work his or her way up to that first? It won't happen.
Whenever you are faced with an insurmountable obstacle, break it up into steps.
So what does a filmmaker do? Well, what is a filmmaker? He's a storyteller. So what does he need to start showing people he can do? Telling stories.
So - yes, writing is a good thing to be doing. And you sure as hell better have a few scrīpts ready for when you get your big break. And if you can't write, you'd better find some stories that you love and do whatever you can to own the rights to them. Maybe it's a story a friend wrote and you make a friendly deal with them. Then use whatever you can to tell your stories. Don't have a movie camera? Make a movie with a webcam or a phone camera. If the story is strong and unique and interesting - people will not only be interested in it, they'll be amazed it ever happened.
The point is that every-time there is an obstacle, you turn it into a creative solution. One of those solutions will become the thing which actually peaks people's interest. But be ready for when it happens, because it happens very quickly.
So - since it's my blog, I will personalize it a bit to close this out... but by giving a personal example, know that I'm absolutely not saying I have done everything right. Most of the passion behind what I've been writing about is because of the length of time I spent doing something wrong and wishing so much that I could have done it better. The best way I know how to do that is to share my experience and let someone else do it better for me. That's you.
But this anecdote which includes a lot of the thoughts is from the start of my career when I did a couple things right - and you'll probably notice a lot of the suggestions I made in these three blogs reflected in this.
My first production out of college was not a movie, it was an opera that I wrote and performed with a group of nine people on the streets of Los Angeles. Total cost - nothing but time. Why? Because that's all I had. However, It became the first time I was written up by a national magazine for something I'd done. How? Because I timed the performances with a very large Arts festival which we weren't even a part of - but I knew that magazines and newspapers would be covering the story and I figured we would be the right story for anyone who was looking for the unusual rebel angle - the angle of people who have nothing but passion. With the buzz from that (and a couple local articles), people were curious about me and that led to someone taking a look at my first finished feature scrīpt which became my first industry sale. How did I sell my first scrīpt? Even-though it was my first feature scrīpt, I'd spent six months during college as a scrīpt reader where I would review several scrīpts a day. Then on the weekends I would find the best scrīpts available at the time and review those just so I knew what worked. If I hadn't spent the time writing this, I'd have had nothing to hand out when people were paying attention.
So that's the last lesson. Think ahead. You may have to spend a little longer than you want knocking on that door to open, but when it does - you had really be ready to hand them something.
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