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Does this piss anyone else off?


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Some House of Cards crew, and star Robin Wright, made a six minute short film, set in one location, shot in two days. I guess the crew volunteered their time and resources. And they still ended up crowdfunding $50,000 to make it happen. So just a bunch of millionaires not willing to put a cent of their own into a film they call a "passion project". From the stills I've seen, I have no idea where $50,000 would have gone. And it sounded like they got accepted to CANNES before they were even finished. For Wright's directorial debut. Just because it looked pretty and had a big name. (My source was an interview on Colbert, if you want to look it up, sorry for not posting it here)

How is that okay? And how far back in time to you have to go to see Sundance and Cannes as the home of brilliant films that don't fit Hollywood's bill? (Sundance appeared to be a mess this year too. Apparently Nick Offerman and Kristen Stewart are the great talents of our generation)

Let me know if I'm just being a dick, but wow

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There's capital and then there's cultural capital. People will leverage their names to get cheap labor. It might not be right, but it's their right to do so. I also strongly doubt everyone worked free. No one is being forced to donate or forced to work. It's all voluntary, even if it's frustrating. 

I hear you, though. I have worked on high profile festival projects for cheap mostly because I wanted the credit, thinking I could exchange cultural capital for actual money down the line. We'll see how it works out. It definitely really sucks but I only have myself to blame if it doesn't.

If anything, it should inspire you. If you can get better results for free than the House of Cards crew can get with $50k and tons of favors, you'll be doing so well soon enough that you needn't be jealous of them. Let it inspire you! Whenever you see something made by high end pros and think "I can do better," the only injustice is that you're not giving yourself the chance to prove you can. It's not like anyone involved in this had upsetting you in mind, they don't know who any of us are and don't care. So maybe it's not that their work is sub-par for the money, maybe it's that your work is better than you realize and you already have the skill to be in that upper echelon.

If you do, then you owe it to yourself to prove it. Or admit to yourself it's not your priority. If you have the talent and want to do something with it but don't, that's the only injustice, you being unfair to you.

(The Cannes shorts program isn't very competitive, either, but yes, nepotism plays a major major factor in the festival scene. Think of it like a social club trying to maintain an image and a guest list, with the films as the entertainment for the club. The social and branding components are more important than the quality of the content. But it makes sense, each festival represents a brand, and a brand is cultural capital.)

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28 minutes ago, HockeyFan12 said:

There's capital and then there's cultural capital. People will leverage their names to get cheap labor. It might not be right, but it's their right to do so. I also strongly doubt everyone worked free. No one is being forced to donate or forced to work. It's all voluntary, even if it's frustrating. 

I hear you, though. I have worked on high profile festival projects for cheap mostly because I wanted the credit. It definitely really sucks but I only have myself to blame.

If anything, it should inspire you. If you can get better results for free than the House of Cards crew can get with $50k and tons of favors, you'll be doing so well soon enough that you needn't be jealous of them. Let it inspire you! Whenever you see something made by high end pros and think "I can do better," the only injustice is that you're not giving yourself the chance to prove you can. It's not like anyone involved in this had upsetting you in mind, they don't know who any of us are and don't care. So maybe it's not that their work is sub-par for the money, maybe it's that your work is better than you realize and you already have the skill to be in that upper echelon.

If you do, then you owe it to yourself to prove it. Or admit to yourself it's not your priority. If you have the talent and want to do something with it but don't, that's the only injustice, you being unfair to you.

(The Cannes shorts program isn't very competitive, either, but yes, nepotism plays a major major factor in the festival scene. Think of it like a social club trying to maintain an image and a guest list, with the films as the entertainment for the club. The social and branding components are more important than the quality of the content. But it makes sense, each festival represents a brand.)

Yeah, definitely implied the crew worked for free, but maybe she exaggerated

(Near the end of the clip)

Working like crazy on my own stuff right now! Definitely wouldn't want this to make someone give up. I'm just having a moment :grimace:

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2 hours ago, Liam said:

And they still ended up crowdfunding $50,000 to make it happen

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Does this piss anyone else off?

lmao hell yes it does.

jeff koons wouldnt infuriate me if he wasnt worth so much MONEY. theres a huge imbalance. its disproportionate

that should piss you off – how they have so much and you have so little. thats a component of what fuels your fighting spirit ?

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3 hours ago, Liam said:

Some House of Cards crew, and star Robin Wright, made a six minute short film, set in one location, shot in two days. I guess the crew volunteered their time and resources. And they still ended up crowdfunding $50,000 to make it happen. So just a bunch of millionaires not willing to put a cent of their own into a film they call a "passion project". From the stills I've seen, I have no idea where $50,000 would have gone. And it sounded like they got accepted to CANNES before they were even finished. For Wright's directorial debut. Just because it looked pretty and had a big name. (My source was an interview on Colbert, if you want to look it up, sorry for not posting it here)

How is that okay? And how far back in time to you have to go to see Sundance and Cannes as the home of brilliant films that don't fit Hollywood's bill? (Sundance appeared to be a mess this year too. Apparently Nick Offerman and Kristen Stewart are the great talents of our generation)

Let me know if I'm just being a dick, but wow

Even free is not free. There are still costs, just because you don't see them does not mean they are not there.

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7 minutes ago, tugela said:

Even free is not free. There are still costs, just because you don't see them does not mean they are not there.

That's true. You'd be shocked how often top of the line post houses, like the very top of the line, work either for free or way below cost in order to secure more work on lucrative contracts from the same clients. And if you're making $400k/year as a DP, a few days unpaid to help with job security is more than worth it.

The unpaid PAs surely see it as a networking opportunity (and it can be one, I've seen people go from PA to a producer on a TV series or tentpole in a few years). But that's where things do get a bit dubious... money is money. Cultural capital and networking are what you make of them only... so it's an easy way to abuse newcomers and a real problem in the industry.

You can reassure yourself that talent still matters and you neither have to work for free nor hire people to work for free to succeed. But there's nothing wrong with free labor if you make the agreement in good faith and don't use anyone or let yourself get used. In many ways, free labor is less abusive than low pay labor, because the understanding is still one of respect where the expectation is you'll get something else in return. Low pay jobs are always what end up worst for me.

But I hear you.

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3 hours ago, Liam said:

Some House of Cards crew, and star Robin Wright, made a six minute short film, set in one location, shot in two days. I guess the crew volunteered their time and resources. And they still ended up crowdfunding $50,000 to make it happen. So just a bunch of millionaires not willing to put a cent of their own into a film they call a "passion project". From the stills I've seen, I have no idea where $50,000 would have gone. And it sounded like they got accepted to CANNES before they were even finished. For Wright's directorial debut. Just because it looked pretty and had a big name. (My source was an interview on Colbert, if you want to look it up, sorry for not posting it here)

How is that okay? And how far back in time to you have to go to see Sundance and Cannes as the home of brilliant films that don't fit Hollywood's bill? (Sundance appeared to be a mess this year too. Apparently Nick Offerman and Kristen Stewart are the great talents of our generation)

Let me know if I'm just being a dick, but wow

Not her debut...she's directed episodes of House of Cards too...and with Fincher as an executive producer she definately gets good advice...the reality though is, she has a lot of time on set...and that experience goes way beyond filmschool...it's easy enough to dismiss them as rich, but at this level you need talent...Netflix doesnt just "give" you an episode or two to direct...having said that, the last season bored me, but no mistake, this woman is talented.

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9 minutes ago, Fritz Pierre said:

Not her debut...she's directed episodes of House of Cards too...and with Fincher as an executive producer she definately gets good advice...the reality though is, she has a lot of time on set...and that experience goes way beyond filmschool...it's easy enough to dismiss them as rich, but at this level you need talent...Netflix doesnt just "give" you an episode or two to direct...having said that, the last season bored me, but no mistake, this woman is talented.

Fincher doesn't come to set anymore. From what I heard, literally Spacey didn't want to direct, and she said "hey, I'll do it" *cough, two paychecks*. They said sure, because there are so many people it can't really go wrong.

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21 minutes ago, Liam said:

Fincher doesn't come to set anymore. From what I heard, literally Spacey didn't want to direct, and she said "hey, I'll do it" *cough, two paychecks*. They said sure, because there are so many people it can't really go wrong.

I guess that's how Mel Gibson got best director for Braveheart lol...anyway...I get the frustration though!

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Shocker, I know. I just find there to be some tacit misogyny here and disrespect to actors, too.

About ten years ago, I had a long talk with one of the directors of Mad Men. Back when he was working as a DP on the Sopranos and I think directing some episodes, too, I'm not sure. One of the lead actors on the show directed an episode and it was the first thing directed. And this guy was DPing it and was pretty frustrated at first that the actor/director didn't know much about blocking or lens choice and left a lot of those choices up to the DP. But later, he realized that the actor was getting incredible performances out of everyone, and ended up contributing a lot to the episode, just in a different way from someone with another background. 

I don't know if Robin Wright knows her stuff technically, but I won't assume she doesn't. And if she doesn't, I wouldn't assume she's a bad director for that reason alone. Being on set is the best form of film school. There are plenty of great actors turned directors.

Anyhow that's just my opinion. 

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Worked for a german short film one day, directed by the then-unexperienced daughter of a famous TV producer. A friend of mine was the production designer/set dresser/prop maker (the first being her profession), and I helped her. Everbody got paid after profits, which means nobody. Regular medium sized crew, credits ran long, including a long list of sponsors (???). The regular TV cameraman had a RED, he also worked three 12-14 hour days without payment. Well-known TV and stage actors (in part "borrowed" from the father's TV shows). Everything looked promising, but at the premiere (free buffet with champagne for the crew) I found the result rather mediocre. Couldn't tell a moral from this.

My friend also worked for Cronenbergs A Dangerous Method, and out of curiosity I volunteered to help demount the studio sets. I liked this film very much, but the actual sets were really amazing, I expected the visuals to turn out much more spectacular than they eventually were. To be more precise, I expected a much higher production value. Again, I don't know what to think of that. Both experiences were inspiring.

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Yes, but if people are stupid enough to donate their money to rich people then that's their problem - they're idiots, but its their money. What also annoys me is when a film crowd sources & instead of saying they'll get a return on their investment, they get offered free tickets to the premiere or a walk on part - that's worse.

However, the real thing that gets my goat is when you hear all these stars saying that there aren't enough female directors. Yes it is true for film & it is a problem, but the solution isn't to give money to movie stars who haven't spent years learning their craft (no, acting in a film is not the same thing) & the end result is an average film - just compare the films of Andrea Arnold, Lynne Ramsey or Kelly Reichardt to say Angelina Jolie or Elizabeth banks. I know which ones i'll be watching!

Now the flip side, is that there are a lot of female directors working in TV dramas (not shit ones, but really good shows), so why don't they get a chance at films? The most recent example is Reed Morano, who directed the first few episodes of The Handmaid's Tale & consequently set the visual & narrative tone for the whole series - it's well worth a watch.

But, you just got to suck it up & realise that this industry isn't about what's fair....it's about who you know & how much money can be made.

 

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6 minutes ago, Bioskop.Inc said:

Yes, but if people are stupid enough to donate their money to rich people then that's their problem - they're idiots, but its their money. What also annoys me is when a film crowd sources & instead of saying they'll get a return on their investment, they get offered free tickets to the premiere or a walk on part - that's worse.

However, the real thing that gets my goat is when you hear all these stars saying that there aren't enough female directors. Yes it is true for film & it is a problem, but the solution isn't to give money to movie stars who haven't spent years learning their craft (no, acting in a film is not the same thing) & the end result is an average film - just compare the films of Andrea Arnold, Lynne Ramsey or Kelly Reichardt to say Angelina Jolie or Elizabeth banks. I know which ones i'll be watching!

Now the flip side, is that there are a lot of female directors working in TV dramas (not shit ones, but really good shows), so why don't they get a chance at films? The most recent example is Reed Morano, who directed the first few episodes of The Handmaid's Tale & consequently set the visual & narrative tone for the whole series - it's well worth a watch.

But, you just got to suck it up & realise that this industry isn't about what's fair....it's about who you know & how much money can be made.

 

 

Exellent points made!

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