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The Director’s Chair Issue #152 – April 8, 2014 (7 Tips to Make a Living Filmmaking)

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April 8, 2014                Scene 15 – Take 4

Published once a month.

Publisher: Peter D. Marshall
Email: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com
Website: http://actioncutprint.com
Blog: http://filmdirectingtips.com


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Ezine Contents

1. Introduction
2. Bonuses for Subscribing to The Director’s Chair
3. FEATURE ARTICLE: 7 Tips to Make a Living Filmmaking
4. Film Directing Coach Services
5. Subscriber Shameless Self-Promotion
6. Filmmaking Links of Interest
7. Product Promotion and Film Workshops
8. Subscribe and Unsubscribe Information
9. Copyright Information

1. Introduction

Welcome to Issue #152 of The Director’s Chair, April 8, 2014

1. The Feature Article this month is called: 7 Tips to Make a
Living Filmmaking by Brian Barnes. “I always say that the best
way to make a living as a filmmaker is to work in corporate video
production. I’m based in London, UK and my experience is in the
European market, but the principles for a great video business
that I have discovered are universal and will work in any market.
I thought it would be helpful to share my 7 top tips for how to
build and run your corporate video business.” (Read full article

2. Please send any comments, suggestions, questions or advice to:

2. Two Bonuses For Subscribing To The Director’s Chair

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3. Feature Article: 7 Tips to Make a Living Filmmaking

“7 Tips to Make a Living Filmmaking” by Brian Barnes.

I always say that the best way to make a living as a filmmaker is
to work in corporate video production.

I’m based in London, UK and my experience is in the European
market, but the principles for a great video business that I have
discovered are universal and will work in any market.  I thought
it would be helpful to share my 7 top tips for how to build and
run your corporate video business.

1. Know and use the asset equation – Every successful
entrepreneur knows and uses the asset equation.  I1 => A => I2 –
Income stream 1 leads to Asset, which leads to Income stream 2.
Any income you have right now should be ploughed into buying or
developing an asset.  You can then use that asset to create a
second income stream. Ex: use your office job to finance the
buying of a camera and then use that camera to make wedding
videos, which pay you a second income.

2. Own kit – Leading straight off the back of the previous point,
owning your own filmmaking kit is a must these days.  If you have
to hire in kit every time you’re shooting, you’re going to lose
valuable time, effort and, most importantly, profit margin on
each and every job, so you won’t be competitive and fast enough
to grab the opportunities you find.

3. Know your market – I mentioned opportunities in the previous
point, and knowing your market is the best way to find and
develop the opportunities to make films for money.  You need to
know what’s being made, for whom it is being made and how you can
fit into that system.

4. Always say “Yes” – The single best piece of advice I was ever
given when I was a young filmmaker was to find a way to say “yes”
to every offer you ever get.  You never know where it will take
you.  Certainly, you’ll feel out of your depth on many occasions
and you’ll inevitably make mistakes, but it will help you to grow
and develop as both a filmmaker and business person.

5. Be a lifelong learner – Never, ever believe that you have
learned everything there is to know.  There will always be a new
way of doing things that you need to learn.  Orson Welles said
that everything that you need to know about filmmaking can be
learned in a day or two.  Robert Rodriguez changed that to 10
minutes.  They’re right in some respects, but they’re both
talking about the nuts and bolts of “making a film”.

Filmmaking isn’t just about how to write a script, or how to talk
to actors or where to put a camera – that’s about 10 percent of
it – the vast majority of filmmaking is about how to set up a
viable business model, how to find clients, how to make deals,
how to handle your client relationships – stuff that takes a
lifetime to learn.

6. Network effectively – The best way to network is to have a
specific and measurable objective from your networking encounter.
Many people seem to have aimless chats with other people they
meet at networking events and just move round the room trying to
speak to as many people as possible.

Wrong.  You should have a specific plan of action – identify the
person or persons you want to speak to and ask yourself how YOU
can help THEM – NOT how THEY can help YOU.  This will make your
encounter much more fruitful and increase the chances of them
keeping in touch with you, which could lead to work later on.

7. Know and use the Funnelling Effect – Essentially this
principle is about using your network both above and below you to
increase your opportunities for income.  So, above you, you would
have relationships with agencies and production companies, who
have relationships above them with many more clients than you
could ever reach on your own.

Fundamentally, this increases the pipeline of work opportunities
coming back down to you. Similarly, below you, you have
relationships with camera teams, editors, make-up artists, etc.
and you can put work their way, while taking a commission from
the jobs.  So, you’re earning both directly and indirectly.

8. Underpromise, but overdeliver – Which is what I’ve done here.
I promised you 7 tips and I’ve given you 8.  Also known as “going
the extra mile” or “adding value”, etc.  Tell a client it will
take a week to write the script – and then deliver it the next
day.  Always impresses them and makes them think they’re working
with a miracle worker!

These ideas will help you keep your business healthy.  You can
find many more tips on my website at


I’m Brian Barnes and I have been making corporate videos since
1987.  I’ve made videos for 3 of the world’s top 5 brands –
Apple, Google and Microsoft – and I won the Snippies award for my
video for Intel. In late 2013, I made a comedy commercial for car
finance company Carloan4U, which more than doubled their web
traffic when it went live.

I’m currently in post-production on my first solo feature film,
The Redeeming, and I’ve co-directed 2 previous feature films.
I’ve directed over 500 hours of TV and made 23 short films,
including the multiple award-winning psychological horror The

Brian Barnes


4. Film Directing Coach – Peter D. Marshall

Actors, Singers and Athletes Have Private Coaches. So Why Not
Film and TV Directors? http://actioncutprint.com/filmdirectingcoach/

Hilary Swank used an acting coach to prepare for her role in Boys
Don’t Cry. She won her first Academy Award.

Singer Renee Fleming has always used a vocal coach. She has won
several Grammy Awards.

Rafael Nadal’s coach urged him on from the sidelines during his
Wimbledon tennis tournament win in 2010.

Arnold Palmer improved his game with the help of a coach. Even
Tiger Woods has had several coaches.

As a matter of fact, winners in nearly every profession
(athletes, actors, singers, business executives) know that
without the right coach, they won’t perform at their peak.

They know that without the support of an experienced and
qualified coach, they would constantly struggle to achieve

So if these top professionals in their respective fields use
coaches, why not film directors?

So why hire me as your film directing coach?

Along with my international teaching experiences and my 39 years
of professional filmmaking experience (as a TV Director and
Feature 1st AD), I feel I have the necessary qualifications to
help you achieve your dreams of being a creative and successful
independent film director.

With that in mind, I would like to introduce you to my Film
Directing Coaching services via Skype:

5. Subscriber Shameless Self-Promotion (Free Advertising)

The Director’s Chair gives you an incredible opportunity to get
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6. Filmmaking Links of Interest

1. How Feature Filmmaking Without A Crew Is Possible

2. 6 Filmmaking Tips from Lars von Trier

3. Wes Anderson Filmmaking 101: Learn the Subtle Ways the
Director Pulls You into His Films http://bit.ly/1gFDYx7

4. How to pitch your script: 10 tips from Marten Rabarts

5. Independent Filmmaking – More of what not to do!

6. The Next Great Filmmakers Are Everywhere, If You Know Where To
Look http://bit.ly/1gOYeIE

7. Director McG Shares 6 Golden Rules of Filmmaking

8. 6 Filmmaking Tips from Federico Fellini

9. Why Are There So Few Women Behind the Camera?

10. Very independent filmmaking – what not to do!

7. Product Promotion And Film Workshops

From time to time, I will contact you to inform you of film
workshops, filmmaking products or Online courses that I feel are
beneficial to filmmakers like yourself. Of course, you are under
no obligation to purchase anything – I only offer this
information as a service to subscribers of this free ezine.

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9. Copyright Information

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