Monday, 1 May 2006

Art vs. Cash

Working my way up in the world of film production, I continously face this one dilemma. On one hand, I want to do as much fiction work as I can. But a lot of the cinematography jobs I can get on fiction films are either not paid very well or not paid at all. Don't get me wrong, they are challenging and interesting jobs. But if the film is low budget, salary is the first place the producer will make sacrifices.

On the other hand is commercial work. It is well paid, and there is plenty of it. But it is not as fun, nor as challenging as working with fiction. The past year, I have been working full time as a commercial filmproducer in Tromsø, and though money has not been a problem, I haven't had any time for other projects. And to be honest, it really gets to me.

Commercial projects have tight deadlines, and high demands for efficiency. No matter how hard I try to prioritize, I always end up too tired to do anything else. Especially in Tromsø where the industry is still very small, and a lot of the time I have to both produce and be creative at the same time. It's like my brains are plugged into a creative vacuum cleaner 24/7. So my time off work is spent relaxing with my girlfriend. (Which is of course very nice, but it doesn't help getting things done). I think it is safe to say I am at a low point right now, and I need some changes.

Therefore I have decided to quit. My boss will recieve my letter of resignation tomorrow - by summer I will be a free man. The plan right now is to spend a few months doing projects of my own, before I either help establish a new film production company in Tromsø, or I move to Oslo to work as a freelancer.

I will still have to do commercial films for a living, but hopefully I will be able to constrain it to certain areas of time, and then be able to spend some actual time on my own projects. There are some promising short film productions coming up, and I'll be aiming at landing at least one of them for myself.

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