Filmmaking / Directing : Why? by Kenneth M Sutton

Kenneth M Sutton


Hey everybody!

May I ask a question from you all?

How many of you support small businesses? do you go into their stores and help them out in shopping?

You feel good in doing so, don't you? I know I do.

Now to my question.

Why are you afraid to work with an Unknown? Is it because they're not proven? Is it because they have no track record in writing? And here's the big one. Is it because they have no money to get it started?

Well, do you remember when you were just starting out? I bet most of you had no money.

You just want to do a film right?

My point is. just because someone is just starting out, or has no money doesn't mean that you can't take a chance on them. I know it takes a lot of hard work. I'm a musician and I know more than anyone how hard it is to get my music in front of the right people. I get told no all of the time, and that's not a bad thing for me, the song might not be what they're looking for in that project. but it doesn't stop me at all.

But when you just won't take a chance on someone because it's from an unproven writer. that is just wrong. you miss out on so, so much.

The best things are from unknown writers, so why all the fear?

Take a chance, step out of the box. who knows, it might be the thing that makes you a great.

God Bless you all!


Claude Gagne

Writers are loners!

Dan MaxXx

Folks are not as talented as they think. For every one LeBron James, there are millions of lousy ball players who will never play pro. It’s okay to make films as a hobby. Nobody’s stopping you other than effort & Time

Lindbergh E Hollingsworth

Before I team up with anyone I want to know their background, experience , knowledge about what we’re about to do and if we click. Almost all unknowns (regardless of writing, editing, photography ...) clearly demonstrate they are not taking the initiative on their own to learn things which means I’ll have to carry the load, do the heavy lifting, and usually push, motivate them because they will not do it for themselves. So when someone is ready the break will come, the opportunity presents itself and others will say “Welcome!”

Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Kenneth M Sutton Well, Kenneth, I see your point and I work with a lot of "unknowns" - but the truth is, you are comparing apples to oranges when you compare supporting local business to filmmaking. In fact, it's not even that close, it's more like comparing apples to international diplomacy. There is no connection. It's not about a community effort or a group of pals trying to have fund together and support each other. Because "unknown" is actually an industry term which means they are not in the B or A list. C listers are known to the public but are "relatively unknown" in the industry. D listers as well, and may even be thought of as "unknown" - which refers to their box office or market draw. It's a loose measure of audience pull. So all indie filmmakers will work almost entirely with "unknowns" by budget definition. BUT if you are talking about someone with no experience and no proven skill set... that's another thing entirely. I ensure my cast and crew are experienced enough to get the job done and NOT cost my production extra money and time with inexperience. Because it's nice to talk about helping people out, but someone is funding the production and those people deserve to have it run as efficiently as possible. In reference to music specifically, it's very competitive and if the name of the musician is unimportant to the marketing, then it's way MORE competitive. It has nothing to do with your particular skill set - it has to do with the fact that there are 10 others right in front and behind you submitting on the same show. I literally get 2-4 submissions a week, every week, from composers and musicians, and I have never, ever put a call out for one. So I don't know what to tell you except to work on your profile and keep moving on... eventually you will get through that door.

H Bentabak

I work with unknown people also, but they differ from some of them, there are those who have a good background, known in the social environment even if they are stranger to me, when collecting information about them you will find what you need and then it will not be classified as unknown, and the second type is that you will not find anything about them besides being obscure that makes me avoid him.

Pidge Jobst

While I know the word "unproven" is being used here, it's really unproduced. Networks, studios, and distrubutors work with and for "working clients." They have little or no shortage of content coming through their doors via agents and managers, liaisons that act as additional insurance policies to prevent receiving similar material that they may be already developing in-house, and in which later you might raise a case against, all since they peeked and responded to your unsolicited material outside of an agent who has a pulse on the industry. More importantly, few take risks with Industry funds; they were hard to come by and investors are awaiting their ROI. Why take chances or unnecessary risks with unproduced juniors to the Industry, just to allow them an opportunity to prove themselves. Remember, an opportunity has presented itself to them also with sometimes much money on the line. They want to make best use of it and get it down the pike as far as they can. Hiring an unproduced party doesn't help the seller sleep at night, nor the buyer. There is little means in which the unproduced can prove they can put out a show on a weekly basis besides, or even close a deal for that matter... that sizzle reel may have taken them four years to produce. Again, there is no shortage of content...not really. Only newcomers see the deficit because they are unable to get their material read or realized. It's up to them to get properly positioned with a manager or agent...not expect the industry to give them a chance. More succinctly, perhaps, which name on a script or treatment would you rather read or pass on to your superiors in order to raise your stock within your company and assure a read and resulting offer -- Martin Scorsese or John Doe? Yes, it is true, "Content is King" for those already entered into and working within the Industry, Yet, for the unproduced, "Credit is King" and more aligning in terms of how and where one might spend their efforts in building.

Tasha Lewis

Kenneth M. Sutton, thank you for your honest and heartfelt note. You are right we all have to start from somewhere and should remain humble and open. I will answer this two ways to you and for everyone else. If this is you reaching out for help, contact me with your need. I have taught from 2 years old and up. Everyone has a gift/talent and deserves a chance.

Tasha Lewis

Pidge Jobst, Thank you for your honesty about the industry and "how it works."

Cannon Rosenau

Kenneth M Sutton Yes and no. My hubs runs a wedding business and the worst thing is filtering through the Indeed candidates when we're hiring a photographer because anyone with a camera thinks they're a professional photographer. Weddings are more than just snapping photos. Just like anyone with an idea thinks they're a scriptwriter.

I think it is nice for people to give newbies a chance for sure. The problem is they have to filter through a lot of (how should I say this nicely) crap/unpolished/dumpster fires/illiterates/wannabes and that must be totally grueling (much like filtering through the Indeed candidates) and maybe some gems get overlooked in the process..

However, don't be discouraged, peeps! The ones that don't fall into my niceties above will eventually be given a chance. And the ones that do fall into those categories will be ignored or told it's crap. However, with some thick skin, determination and education (I don't mean formal education necessarily) can improve and get there too.

Since this was a lot longer and less concise than usual...yes, everyone deserves a chance, but there is a responsibility for the "unknown" to put forth some effort!

God bless you too!

Kenneth M Sutton

Thank you all for your comments about this post. Fear is the thing that holds most of us back in our dreams. fear of rejection is the biggest one of them all. But, it can also drive you too. But if more would be opened to helping someone climb the ladder, we could all get to the top. Once again thank you for your comments, and God Bless!

Rosalind Winton

I'm a literary editor by trade with my own business, but in my other life I'm a lyricst. I have written and released two songs with my collaborators in the past few months and the marketing of the songs really is the most difficult thing. If you can't afford a marketing guru, it's really hard and we're doing our very best to keep plugging the songs, with the hope that people will share all the information. I've been writing for nearly 40 years and have had mostly 'no's as well when I've tried to get my foot in many doors. I also still do it, because it's a passion and I absolutely love it. One of the songs we have just produced was written for the times during the Covid crisis, it's an uplifting song of hope. We sent it everywhere we could possibly think of and hardly got any replies. So, in answer to your question Kenneth. Yes, I do support the local high street and also insigned artists, musicians and performers. I think it is extremely important.

Cannon Rosenau

Everytime I see the word "fear" all I can think of is the acronym. False Evidence Appearing Real.

Most of the time your fears don't come to fruition.

Kinney Scott

glad to meet u

Doug Nelson

Cannon, that's a good one. Generally I don't believe anything I hear and only about half of what I see. OK, so I'm a skeptic.

Claude Gagne

The fear of failure makes your dream impossible to achieve. Hahaha, Rosalind! Maybe, I should get another life too. LOL

CC Williams

You have a strong point there Kenneth, I agree!

Debbie Croysdale

@Cannon @Doug Yeah true, there is a saying "Nothing to fear except fear itself." @Kenneth You make a good point and I think also a lot of people confuse not having an internet profile with not being wise in ones profession. There are some students leaving university with more brain cells than some businesses with big websites, bold here say and false promises . There are also big guns in recruitment who go to graduation events, whether drama or science etc, to recruit fresh blood and keen minds in junior roles.

Kiril Maksimoski

Kenneth M Sutton Although I still consider myself a newbie, I check each and one of you on IMDB :)))) We all talk the talk, but business demands walking the walk if afraid. Just how it is.

Dan MaxXx

This filmmaker from Kansas City made a Fresh Prince of Bel Air trailer, didn’t give a fuck about rights. Now, he’s got Will Smith on board for the reboot. Morgan Cooper is that Hollywood unicorn; talent rises to the top.

Karen "Kay" Ross

I appreciate your sentiment, but the comparison is skewed. Spending $20 on a meal or even $50-100 on a service as a consumer at a small business is different than investing thousands/tens of thousands/hundreds of thousands/millions of dollars in a business venture (which is what every film is). If, however, you're arguing that if you can spend $15 on a movie ticket, then why not donate the same $15 for a kickstarter on an "unknown", then you have a fair comparison, and an easier time selling people.

Also, the film/television industry is the riskiest business there is because there is no way to tell what will be a commercial success (although television has learned to regulate its spending, and so it is less risky in that sense). So, if you want to appeal to those who would give you more than consumer business, then you have to do so much preparation that it makes that "yes" the easiest thing for them. And just as there is no telling there if a film will be a success with its audience, there is no way to tell if your "preparation" is going to be successful with an investor. All you can do is continue to build up your case to make them more confident in their potential ROI. My two cents, if it's worth that, is that you keep as many people near you who believe in you and your material as possible. They will keep you going until you get that "yes".

Keep at it, sir!

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