First impressions and good networking are the key to getting some exposure to film work. If you’d really like to get noticed and/or paid for your work please find out and ask. It’s important to find out as much about a director’s experience for themselves as possible; how long they’ve worked on movies they are qualified to direct, the process and tools of that production etc. If you’ve looked at film on the net and found you’re not quite right for this part of filmmaking, it’s always worth talking to a few contacts who are. And keep in mind, you need to find an assistant who can do something for you. It may well pay to audition in order to discover potential co-workers you may know of.
How do I get paid?
You might think that by looking for someone you can hire for your film. However, this doesn’t happen that frequently, so it’s not worth trying this strategy out. Instead, it’s worth looking into film job listings in various outlets, but most will be in the UK, USA and Canada. If you’re based elsewhere, you may have no idea where to look.
In terms of how the money is shared, your agent can be responsible for all the details of the payment arrangement. Typically, you’re paid 20% of the total budget you’ve raised. The other 30% is split between the client and your agent. In the example of a short film, that might mean you’ve put somewhere between 35% to 50% of the budget towards casting, lighting and post-production.
How can I get paid?
The only people who really have the authority to grant or deny employment to anyone for a fee and salary include the film company and/or the film’s distributor. A director, or their agent, may be responsible, but you’re still working within a contract – and if the client decides to cancel, then the agency can take you off their books. Even if the film is paid by the distributor, the distributor has to agree to pay the entire production budget (excluding casting and marketing).
How did I go wrong?
You’ve probably thought that this is a very common scenario but actually it’s quite rare. In the interest of transparency I won’t give out any names or contact details, except to tell you that I have had clients send me resumes for film and TV work that they weren’t satisfied with, and the only reason they didn’t go to someone like me, it’s because