Let me start off by saying that I have been guilty of the mistake(s) that I’m about to mention. That’s how I know that they are mistakes.
In fact, If the only thing this post accomplishes is preventing me from repeating these mistakes; it will be well worth it.
Let’s say that you are an actor, and your agent tells you that he needs a 30 second clip of you portraying a lawyer. If you’re like me,your brain says,”let’s do it right”.
You decide to audition for student films to get the footage... No! Write and shoot it yourself...No make a short film!... No! Produce a feature film! Go to Sundance! Win!
Here’s the thing. Even if all that happens , you’ve missed the point of the goal: to get your agent footage.
It’s very possible that this process will take three years, cost you thousands in credit card debt, you will get into no festivals, and your agent will hate the footage.
But even if you are successful it is definitely going to take longer than is ideal.
Am I saying not to produce your own work? Absolutely not. But everything must be done for the right reasons.
Pay a service to tape the footage for you. Get it to your agent. Done.
If you want to make something, make it; but not as a means to an end. Never do anything because “It will be good for your career”. Make art to make art. Do promo to promote. And don’t mix the two. It will fail at both.
And if you aren’t great at promo? Research and hire someone.Hire people for everything you need in your career that you aren’t an expert at or don’t have the time for.
You will have many steppingstones on your journey.Many small goals. If you are making a painting, just make the painting. If you are doing a play, just do the play. If you are promoting a project promote that project. People can tell when your work has ulterior motives.
Take everything step by step. And keep those steps honest.