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Mark Allen
Director , Screenwriter , Composer
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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.

So... go make something happen.

那麼,你究竟該如何白手起家?

你必須:

-定位你的事業範圍-有某些方面的才華並為充分拓展、利用它而努力。也許要找朋友幫忙、也許要拍電視、上網和發信息。 -你很有成效地工作-不僅是努力。-你知道自己是誰。你信奉自己,知道自己的弱點,預計到可能的阻礙或需要克服的困難。你已經鼓起勇氣面對他們。 -你已經盡所有努力認識了在你發展領域裏的必須認識的人。

上面沒有一項需要花錢…所以,你是白手起家!最後一項可能有點滑頭:-你做你想做的,而且讓每個人都知道你在做什麼,沒有幹別的。 

電影圈流傳著一句話:寫作是發展事業的最佳辦法。原因很簡單,寫東西比分發你一摞摞材料更便宜。你可以把電腦當作圖書館。只要你知道某人在用電腦,你就能發表你的劇本。這兒有免費教你寫劇本的地方( www.celtx.com)。

但我得說-有時僅有寫作也無法開始事業…而且可能你並不善於寫作。 我不可能在每個領域都成功-甚至在一個事業上也無法全部涵蓋,我只是給你些想法如何去做。

把你的夢想分成幾個小目標。假如你是音樂家,你的成功目標是在麥迪遜音樂廣場售票演出。顯然,要完成這個夢想需要幾個步驟-最主要的是-人們要買票。所以你現在最重要的是建立一個粉絲團,為了有粉絲團,你需要做表演,為了表演你需要錄制唱片跟粉絲分享或公開表演,為了表演,你需要演奏吉他或其他樂器。

我不是Marilyn Manson的擁蹙,但他的故事很有趣。他是個音樂評論家,想讓所有采訪的人都崇拜他。他不會任何樂器,但他知道他自己是誰。他不是很有魅力的男人,身材瘦長,不討人喜歡-所以他決定創造一個自己,並組了一個樂隊(後來他把樂隊的名字據為己有)。因為早已了解這個圈子-他知道如何運做,知道評論是怎麼產生的。在樂隊沒有任何演出之前他就寫了一篇關於自己的文章-甚至他們還沒有任何歌曲。但他了解他的聽眾-就是他自己。他追隨他自己,這個辦法奏效了,雖然沒有人給他權利這麼做。他花了錢嗎?這個無關金錢-只是遵循規則,著重在某些方面努力,而且成為領袖。他相信他想要的,自說自話,人們就跟著他了。

一個電影工作者在起步階段想要拍攝一部10億美元的電影,不按這個步驟走行嗎?不可能。 如果你面臨一個無法跨越的障礙,分成幾步做。

電影工作者怎麼做?首先,我們看看什麼是電影工作者?他是講故事的人。他能做的事情是什麼?當然是講故事咯。 所以,先開始寫東西。你手上要準備好一些劇本。如果你不會寫,最好去找些自己喜歡的故事或想辦法得到他們。可能是朋友寫的,你覺得不錯。用最好的方式來講述這個故事。沒有攝影機?用網絡攝像頭或手機攝像頭都行。如果這個故事很有趣很獨特-不管用什麼拍,人們都會感興趣。 

每次你遇到瓶頸,就想辦法解決它。其中一個辦法就是成為人們感興趣的東西,但要抓住機會,人們感興趣只是一時的。

 好的-既然這是我的Blog,我也得寫寫自己的經歷。只是想分享我的案例,並不是說我做什麼都對。激發我寫這個的動力是我曾經也走過彎路,真希望以前能做得更好。我能想到的最好的辦法就是分享我的經歷,讓別人比我做得更好,而那個人就是你。

但這還是基於我最早開始職業生涯時做對的幾件事情-你可能注意到我這套Blog三步曲有很多關於此的建議。

我大學畢業後第一個作品並不是電影,而是我自己寫的一個戲劇,我和9個很棒的人在洛杉磯的街頭演出。沒花一分錢,只是時間。那時我也只有時間。然而,那是我第一次上一本國家級的雜誌。為什麼?我選在一個大型藝術節時表演,雖然沒有被邀請-但是我知道媒體和雜誌會報道,因為我們的故事是每個人都喜歡的很反叛的東西-沒別的,只有激情。經過這次報道(包括一些本地的文章)人們對我很好奇,然後就有人關注我剛寫好的處女劇本,然後我就賣出了在業界的第一個作品。我是如何賣出第一個劇本的?為了寫我第一個劇本,在大學裏我花了6個月時間每天讀很多很多劇本。周末我選當時看來最好的劇本,去了解他們是怎麼寫的。如果沒花這些時間去寫,有人注意到我的劇本時我可什麼也說不出來。

這是最後一課。為未來多想。你可能要花些時間去敲你面前的那扇門,但一旦它打開-你必須做好準備迎接它。

那麼…試著成功吧!

你必须:-定位你的事业范围-有某些方面的才华并为充分拓展、利用它而努力。也许要找朋友帮忙、也许要拍电视、上网和发信息。-你很有成效地工作-不仅是努力。-你知道自己是谁。你信奉自己,知道自己的弱点,预计到可能的阻碍或需要克服的困难。你已经鼓起勇气面对他们。-你已经尽所有努力认识了在你发展领域里的必须认识的人。

上面没有一项需要花钱…所以,你是白手起家!最后一项可能有点滑头:-你做你想做的,而且让每个人都知道你在做什么,没有干别的。

电影圈流传着一句话:写作是发展事业的最佳办法。原因很简单,写东西比分发你一摞摞材料更便宜。你可以把电脑当作图书馆。只要你知道某人在用电脑,你就能发表你的剧本。这儿有免费教你写剧本的地方( www.celtx.com)。

但我得说-有时仅有写作也无法开始事业…而且可能你并不善于写作。我不可能在每个领域都成功-甚至在一个事业上也无法全部涵盖,我只是给你些想法如何去做。把你的梦想分成几个小目标。假如你是音乐家,你的成功目标是在麦迪逊音乐广场售票演出。显然,要完成这个梦想需要几个步骤-最主要的是-人们要买票。所以你现在最重要的是建立一个粉丝团,为了有粉丝团,你需要做表演,为了表演你需要录制唱片跟粉丝分享或公开表演,为了表演,你需要演奏吉他或其他乐器。[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]

[endif]我不是Marilyn Manson的拥蹙,但他的故事很有趣。他是个音乐评论家,想让所有采访的人都崇拜他。他不会任何乐器,但他知道他自己是谁。他不是很有魅力的男人,身材瘦长,不讨人喜欢-所以他决定创造一个自己,并组了一个乐队(后来他把乐队的名字据为己有)。因为早已了解这个圈子-他知道如何运做,知道评论是怎么产生的。在乐队没有任何演出之前他就写了一篇关于自己的文章-甚至他们还没有任何歌曲。但他了解他的听众-就是他自己。他追随他自己,这个办法奏效了,虽然没有人给他权利这么做。他花了钱吗?这个无关金钱-只是遵循规则,着重在某些方面努力,而且成为领袖。他相信他想要的,自说自话,人们就跟着他了。[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]

[endif]一个电影工作者在起步阶段想要拍摄一部10亿美元的电影,不按这个步骤走行吗?不可能。如果你面临一个无法跨越的障碍,分成几步做。

电影工作者怎么做?首先,我们看看什么是电影工作者?他是讲故事的人。他能做的事情是什么?当然是讲故事咯。所以,先开始写东西。你手上要准备好一些剧本。如果你不会写,最好去找些自己喜欢的故事或想办法得到他们。可能是朋友写的,你觉得不错。用最好的方式来讲述这个故事。没有摄影机?用网络摄像头或手机摄像头都行。如果这个故事很有趣很独特-不管用什么拍,人们都会感兴趣。每次你遇到瓶颈,就想办法解决它。其中一个办法就是成为人们感兴趣的东西,但要抓住机会,人们感兴趣只是一时的。

好的-既然这是我的Blog,我也得写写自己的经历。只是想分享我的案例,并不是说我做什么都对。激发我写这个的动力是我曾经也走过弯路,真希望以前能做得更好。我能想到的最好的办法就是分享我的经历,让别人比我做得更好,而那个人就是你。 但这还是基于我最早开始职业生涯时做对的几件事情-你可能注意到我这套Blog三步曲有很多关于此的建议。我大学毕业后第一个作品并不是电影,而是我自己写的一个戏剧,我和9个很棒的人在洛杉矶的街头演出。没花一分钱,只是时间。那时我也只有时间。然而,那是我第一次上一本国家级的杂志。为什么?我选在一个大型艺术节时表演,虽然没有被邀请-但是我知道媒体和杂志会报道,因为我们的故事是每个人都喜欢的很反叛的东西-没别的,只有激情。经过这次报道(包括一些本地的文章)人们对我很好奇,然后就有人关注我刚写好的处女剧本,然后我就卖出了在业界的第一个作品。我是如何卖出第一个剧本的?为了写我第一个剧本,在大学里我花了6个月时间每天读很多很多剧本。周末我选当时看来最好的剧本,去了解他们是怎么写的。如果没花这些时间去写,有人注意到我的剧本时我可什么也说不出来。

这是最后一课。为未来多想。你可能要花些时间去敲你面前的那扇门,但一旦它打开-你必须做好准备迎接它。

那么…试着成功吧!

over 14 years ago 0 likes  26 comments  0 shares
Terence
I really enjoyed your blog series here. I agree that with passion and focus, you can achieve just about anything. There are moments when it is hard to remember these things so your words are very very inspiring. Thanks!
over 14 years ago
Photo 22991
You are so cool....i felt that you were like addressing my concerns...Nil Sine Labore i guess...heh
over 14 years ago
Photo 23398
Wow, gracias for all that info. You sound like a teacher as well as an artist. I've done script coverage too. So I totally agree, knowledge is not a bad thing if you know how to filter it. You're more interesting to read then Donald Trump's seminars! Thx for sharing. I forgot to ck but is your videos avail on this site? I think u have a site . . . . . .
over 14 years ago
Photo 22998
Wow, this blog was mandarinized! woodsorrel - a book! This is being brought up a few times. Perhaps if a publisher was interested, I would do this. In actuality, for many years I have been keeping notes for a book - but it has never been a priority. The subject was about all aspects of entertainment. RenRen - I actually spoke at my own high school graduation, does that count? In actuality - I spoke and I also played piano for 2 of the other acts and at the end of the graduation I think most of our class was thinking "Who was that guy?" Because I spent so much time just working on my own stuff and behind the scenes that I didn't actually know a lot of people. elavndrc - Well, if someone in Southern California wants me to speak for their University graduation... just let me know. :) Shirley_aya - your welcome. terence - Yes, I think it goes back to the unofficial first blog in this thread - the Dreams Can Be Burdens because once you decide to have a dream, there really is no option for not pursuing it. rottendoubt - Patrick - still waiting for your blog on how to enjoy the road while you travel! :) JRS - thanks. Jezs - I hope so. I think the realist in me required me to write the dreams can be burdens article before allowing me to write this one. AsianChick100 - I'm glad! Thinking is good! It burns calories and improves intelligence :) zarbiey - hmmmm... I hope in a good way. Let me know if you take any actions. Charlene - even as a producer you really need to understand story. Read "Story" by Robert McKee as a starting place if you haven't already. Someday I will maybe blog a bunch of recommended reading. kurston - Je ne parle pas le français très bien, mais j'espère que ce blog a eu quelques positif affectent. Sommertime - Wow... I'm honored to be more interesting than Donald Trump! Yes, I have a site - you can see the movies here: www.markallen.net/movies.html Script covering is a fantastic job for all writers. I can't stress that enough. bobbyty - Thank you - yes, share it if it is helpful. Lilu - I began early on as a pianist. I studied theater in college, but I don't think I became a good actor until after college. The opera was about a temporary word processor whose life began to fall apart - but refused to admit that anything was wrong. I played the role of a guy who was hawking a belief system and had all the answers. It was called LAND OF OPPORTUNITY.
over 14 years ago
Photo 23398
Do u live here in LA too? because u mentioned that I'm a angelinos. . . . .Yea, joking about Trump, never been to his seminars but watched Apprentice once & that was boring. Just being a smart ass. =p ck out your stuff l8r
over 14 years ago
Photo 22998
Where you live I think the marketing aspect is even stronger than in the West. The industry might be a little more closed. However, that's the glory of the internet. There really are no bounds to where you can find your audience.
almost 14 years ago

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Languages Spoken
english
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Los Angeles, United States
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Member Since
April 13, 2007