I get asked this question a lot: "What is the hardest thing about being an indie film producer today?" It is worth doing a much longer post on, listing all of the problems we all face. But as I said, I get asked this a lot, and I don't think they are looking for 75 or more answers (I have those up here and here). Usually folks are looking for the short answer. This is that answer, or rather at least, how I answered it today. The pay has dropped significantly while the job description has increased ten fold, and the demand for both services and advice have increased even more. We producers are expected to (and must) source and develop new material, package it with talent, put together a production plan, and then find a way to finance it. Of course we have to execute those plans at the highest level possible, all the while dealing with the unique personalities that flock to indie film production, but we are also expected to then put together a marketing plan, distribution strategy, social media outreach organization, and festival plan – and probably raise the funds for all of that (or figure out how to do it without funding). We need our own community built from the start and we have to provide them with meaningful contact, satisfying information and content, and the opportunity to collaborate together. On top of all of that, most of this is not a science and the workable business model for indie film in this day and age has not yet evolved and certainly has not been shared. To just discover the tools for this requires more hours than there are in a day. Oh yeah, and we don’t get paid for any of these endeavors until the full film is financed – and then we are asked to reduce our fees regularly. The only way to survive is too work on some many projects simultaneously, you are unable to give each project the attention you want. And I did mention that most of the folks that you collaborate with along the way adopt an approach that they must be your top priority at all times?
Not that I am complaining. It is a good life (just not a good job). I am not building widgets (well, okay I am building widgets to help, but I am not JUST building widgets).
That's the short answer. For today. And check out the replies to this question on my Twitter feed & FaceBook page(s). A lot of good conversation out there. We can build it better together.