I’m a nobody filmmaker: I don’t have a recognizable name nor a
recognizable film. In essence, most of the world couldn’t care less
about me nor my movies. Notice I didn’t merely say I’m a nobody in
general. I do believe that I am just as important as anyone else in
the sphere of humanity, but I most certainly am a nobody in the world
of film. Nonetheless, rather than discourage and ruin, this awareness
has actually liberated me and has provided an invaluable perspective
on my work and career.
The internet, mass media, and proliferation of discussion panels and
seminars have made film industry experts readily available to
beginning filmmakers. Folks who once were virtually unreachable are
now a click away on their blog, Facebook or Twitter page. As a
result, beginning filmmakers can listen in on the conversation between
experts. Insider tips and wisdom regarding all areas of film are now
available, from casting celebrities to securing a VOD deal.
However, there is a buried assumption in all the talk amongst most
experts: that a filmmaker or their project has a certain level of
credibility, hype or leverage. Sure, sometimes the gurus discuss
general principles and concepts that apply to every level of
filmmaking, but more often than not, the discussion presumes a
relatively high level of stock in either the filmmaker or their film.
As a result, many of these conversations are irrelevant to nobody
filmmakers, like me, who have no reputable name nor a film with high
salability. Nonetheless, we continue to invest lots of time, energy
and money trying to learn from the experts. We eagerly read blogs and
attend seminars in search of the Golden Key, which will unlock the
door to success.
When I was learning to play golf as a teen, the overabundance of
lessons, tips, and tricks in magazines, books and videos quickly
overwhelmed me – and this was before the net! Then, and I don’t
remember where, I heard Arnold Palmer say that beginning golfers ought
to simply go out and try to hit the ball. Just make contact; that’s
it. Rather than spend countless hours working on details, angles,
etcetera, beginners ought to go out and swing away.
A beginning filmmaker can learn all about financing, film production,
marketing and distribution, but if they have little or nothing to back
it up with, what’s the point? I’ve met numerous filmmakers who think
they can raise thousands of dollars, even millions, with one script in
hand and a decent short film to their credit. Who do they think they
are? What other business or profession operates like that? None!
You want me to give you tens of thousands, even millions because you
wrote a script and made a snazzy little short film? Really?
Like every other profession in the world, filmmakers must earn their
right to ask for thousands of dollars. They need to earn their right
to mass market their film and seek distribution. They need to earn
their right for people to care about them and their film. It’s so
easy these days to send emails, tweets and posts about your project.
It’s so easy to create your own Fan page on Facebook and invite me to
join. It’s all easy. Incredibly easy.
But the hard part has not changed: the work, the labor, the blood, the
sweat, and the tears. The baker bakes. The contractor builds. And
the filmmaker must make films, continuously, ceaselessly, not just one
project, but numerous projects, dozens or more. What baker bakes one
loaf of bread and asks for thousands of dollars to open up a bakery.
What contractor builds one home and expects to have thousands of fans
on Facebook. None. It’s ludicrous. As a nobody filmmaker, I have
come to realize that I need to earn my right to people’s attention,
time and dollars. And the way I earn that right is by consistently
making films, plain-and-simple.
I’ve likened the current independent film world like a giant stadium
full of screaming people. It’s cacophonous and immensely
intimidating. Everyone is vying for attention, trying to make their
presence felt. The experts are on the field, at the center of
attention, while the rest of us scream our heads off. Some in the
stands get crafty and hold up signs. Some even wear costumes and
cover themselves in face paint. And every now and then, one or two
hop the wall and run across the field, ensuring a couple minutes of
I’m tired of yelling and screaming. And I’m tired of the noise. I’ve
tried and tried to get attention and it really doesn’t work. Everyone
else is yelling and the people on the field really don’t care. Even
if they did, it’s just too damn loud to notice me. So I’ve decided to
stop, take a breath, and start a conversation with those around me.
And if they don’t listen, I’ll simply head over to another section,
where I might find some like-minded folks willing to settle down and
carry on a meaningful conversation. It hasn’t been easy, since many
simply want to keep on yelling, but I’m happy to say it’s been going
well. I continue to meet a few people who don’t want to yell, but
want to connect, collaborate, and support.
As a result, my nobody-ness as a filmmaker is not entirely true. I’ve
come to realize that I am somebody to a few people. Although not
many, there are some folks who genuinely care about my films. They
watch my films, read my blog posts, and anticipate my future films.
Many are preexisting friends and family members and some are tried and
true fans of my work whom I have never met. To them, I am a somebody.
And to them I am eternally grateful.
So as a nobody filmmaker, I have turned to those who treat me like a
somebody. They may not be many in number, but the few that there are
have meant the world to me. They are my friends, family and
colleagues who genuinely care. And as I continue to make films and
develop my craft, I will share first and foremost with them. Rather
than create a Fan page, I will call them, email them and let them know
what I’m up to. And, hopefully, if my films are any good, they’ll
spread the word and, maybe, create a Fan page for me!
Christopher J. Boghosian lives in Los Angeles with his wife and is currently completing his first feature-length film, Girlfriend 19, which is showcased on his blog FollowMyFilm.com. His other interests include cooking and watching classic films at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, California.
Filmmaker Christopher J. Boghosian talks about running away from his creative side for a more secure life until he hit the fork in the road where he realized there would be no turning back.
Filmmaker Christopher J. Boghosian talks about delusion in the film business and what it means to ‘make it in the film business’ by continually creating.
Filmmaker Christopher J. Boghosian explains Resource-Based Filmmaking, why he is so passionate about it, and how thinking about filmmaking in relation to your resources enables you to make your films.
Filmmaker Christopher J. Boghosian explains his term "nobody filmmaker," why it so important for us to be honest with ourselves in regards to where we are on the "professional staircase," and allowing the work to carry us upwards.
Filmmaker Christopher J. Boghosian explains why Los Angeles can be a blessing as well as a curse when it comes to being an independent filmmaker as well as the false assumption that being in Los Angeles will make your career.
Filmmaker Christopher J. Boghosian shares his favorite definition of art and what he is desperately striving for as an artist.
More great video interviews on the Film Courage
Upon moving to Los Angeles, Matt makes a pact with himself: In seven years he’ll be a working actor. He makes a promise that if he isn’t working by then, he’ll pack up and return home. This story begins seven days shy of the seven year deadline… and he is just as anonymous as the day he started.
This is his goodbye story.
‘You Can’t Give Up The Things That Make Your Life Magical’ by Damien Echols & Lorri Davis of WEST OF MEMPHIS.
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Video portrait of filmmaker, artist, author and actor Aaron Caine on why he left Harrisburg, PA (via Tuscon, AZ) to travel in a VW bug to Los Angeles. Aaron talks about needing to ‘do what it is that you do’ in terms of creativity, even if you have to work a 9-5 job, handling criticism for not fitting in to the "cookie-cutter mold," turning 40 and need to be your own person.
Featuring Aaron Caine and his dog, Foxy.
Directed/Produced/Edited by Karen Worden
For more on Aaron Caine – please visit IMDB