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How often do you work on creating a Movie, Musical, Play or Tv Show? Late Nights, Early Mornings? How much money does it take and how much do you make based off of when people see the movies?

I'm looking for answers for a Career Project. Any and all answers are great. Thanks so much!

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Gregory’s Answer

In addition to the valuable resources that Michelle recommended, I highly suggest you explore https://theasc.com/. This esteemed organization caters to professionals in the vibrant world of cinematography, and it could potentially offer a wealth of information beneficial for your project.

As a seasoned freelance cinematographer who has now retired, I can vouch for the fact that the journey is indeed demanding. You might find yourself working on holidays, braving all sorts of weather conditions, and experiencing long days. However, if you're seeking "adventure", it's an incredibly rewarding path.

My career primarily revolved around documentaries and TV news magazines, a journey that took me across all 50 US states and approximately 80 countries. It was an exhilarating experience, doing something I was passionate about. So, dive in, embrace the challenges, and enjoy the ride!

Gregory recommends the following next steps:

https://theasc.com/
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Nnegest’s Answer

I basically work 18 hours a day. That's because it is not a "job" where you work for someone else and clock in and clock out after a certain amount of hours. Working creators are always working. I am always working because I am always in some phase of development, working on multiple projects at once .

The phases of a project in my industry are: Pre-production, Production, Post-production and Promotion/Marketing. It's literally FULL TIME work and you have to love working that much for not much money if you want to get into this industry.

It takes a LOT of money or "investment" money because you never know if you are going to get a return on it. It's based on passion and faith unless you already have a distribution deal set up. If you are an indie artist / producer, it's tough raising money and it's tough to get your money back. I mean it's high risk high reward like gambling in Vegas :-) You pray to hit big and hope you don't lose all your money trying to hit the jackpot.

If you have a job in the industry, the money is good and constant because someone hired you like they do in traditional jobs. And that pay varies by your experience and union affiliations. But if you are an indie creator, you can make from -0 to millions.

Most indie filmmakers and content producers (not referring to Youtube or social media producers which have it's own income model), barely make enough to pay their bills but they keep going hoping to hit it big one day on some amazing project or theirs.

The money filmmakers make off of their movies depends on if a streamer like Hulu or Netflix, etc., or major studio buys it or licenses it from them. Then you get a set amount. If no streamer or studio buys it, they often don't make any money, and in fact they lose money. The only way to make money is through licensing, selling or direct purchase / rental by consumer, such as is done on platforms like Vimeo where a filmmaker can rent their movie for a set rental price. But unless the movie goes viral, they barely make any money.

Hope that gives some perspective.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the advice. Georgia
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Cam’s Answer

I create full animated shorts from story board to finished product in a month most commonly, depending on the length. On average, I can animate around 2-3 minutes in a month’s time, but have been capable of doing more in less time. What I like about doing animation is how inexpensive it is, for me it’s totally free since I already have animation software installed on my computer. I make them very often, starting a new project as soon as my previous one is finished, working on them whenever I have the free time. As an indie animator who uploads my creations to youtube, I don’t really see any profits from them.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! I'll definitely have to find your animations :) Georgia
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Georgia !

What an exciting project that you are working on and I would like to give you some advice to help you along with having some of this very specific and varying answers to your questions. You will receive different answers from different film, theatre and television professionals with a few similarities.

The best way to target people who can answer your questions would be to contact your local SAG-AFTRA office (Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Radio and Television Artists) and ask to speak with an administrator who may have time to answer your questions. Sometimes, some of the people who work in the offices are former hands on professionals and have had some experience with what you are asking. You would get a West Coast perspective and if you venture further, you can call the New York City Office to compare and contrast the trends on both coasts.

You can also ask people on Filmmakers Forum on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/forumforfilmmakers/
Also look at the Film Life Style website at which you can find a fairly generous list of filmmaker forums. I have left the URL for it below. Also research The Directors Guild of America at the link I've left below and hopefully that will be of some help.

I would also suggest that, for your project, you start out by researching the topics to have a basic overview of the subjects. Then you can seek out professionals to interview. As for the theatre segment of your project, I would also suggest visiting your local community theatres and inquire about interviewing those stage professionals.

Keep in mind that professionals in media are always quite busy so you will have to be persistent. The good news is that I have seen many professionals here at Career Village that would surely be a big help with details.

Before you start out, research pre and post production and obtain an understanding of what that is in regards to your first question. You will find that people set various schedules for working in films and television as well as theater. As for how much money the people make, that will vary, too. They would have to tell you the Project that they worked on and how much that one made. The next project would be different.

My advice is to find as many resources as you can, do some research before hand so you will understand the answers to these questions and contact various professionals. I believe that you will have a really outstanding project and will learn a great deal by working on it.

Best wishes to you !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

SAG-AFTRA MID ATLANTIC LOCAL https://www.sagaftra.org/WMA
FILM LIFESTYLE FILMMAKER FORUMS https://filmlifestyle.com/filmmaker-forums/
THE DIRECTORS GUILD OF AMERICA https://www.dga.org/
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Basil’s Answer

Hi! So I work for a YouTube production that has around 200k and it's a lot of all around work. There's late night work, there's both on-site work to do and work behind the scenes and before filming like costume production and set design/green screening equipment rentals, and there's a lot of contract work! Depending on where you go, these can be contract priced for the work you do in the back or you can work hourly on set and doing production work! It's a very interesting varied job, producing these sorts of things, and I wish you luck in all your endeavors!
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Steward "Tony"’s Answer

Ah! The question of the day! Any position in production, directing and producing is a labor of love. With time, your experience will always be challenged, your time will be overtaxed, and your compensation by the hour will never be enough, but you will love every minute in its hectic embrace. I have been in front and back of camera, technically as well as talent.
It is an experience you will never forget and will miss when you follow other paths the industry will lead you to.
Thank you comment icon Thanks, Mr. Pacheco! Georgia
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