I recently met with a writer/director whom I hadn't seen in over ten years. The decade was hard for him and he had worked only on other people's projects -- and not projects that he respected. He had written scripts and they were good, but they were not going anywhere. He was frustrated with the business. He wanted a magic cure, but I did not have it. I was already trying to do too much to try to help him at this time. His situation was like that of many filmmakers I encounter. In addition to the advice I put forth on this blog, I recommended this:
Do not give up the fight. Prep even more for the battles. The film biz is neither smoke or white lies. Regardless of budget, film is an expensive labor-intensive time-suck. It requires so much from so many for so long. Everyone who collaborates on a project has little to gain in comparison with the director. The question is always how to gain others' trust, commitment, loyalty. Demonstrating your investment and leadership is how it all begins. There is nothing better to do than to be generative and create work on a regular basis -- any kind of work. Help people find and discover you.
I hope it helps somewhat. I know it's only words. And I had too much on my plate to offer anything more that that. I hope they keep on pushing through. And that you do too. It will be worth it, if only to show the rest of us that we should've when we could've. But even if that never happens, I still believe that good work is worth it regardless.
Yes, I am trying to remind myself of all of this as I write. Don't give up the fight!