Hustling (in a film way not a sex worker way)

I’m trying to figure out a way to survive as a full time artist, and ideally it would involve getting my own gigs and things to keep me afloat. But my rent is subsidized and it depends on my income and so I would have to go talk to the office about fluctuating income and what they suggest. Ahhhh sigh.

In actual fact I have at least TWO possible gigs this summer, one shoot and a possible short film commission. So that’s really good. But I’m not entirely sure of the monetary rewards for doing them. The shoot might be $400 and is just a day. But the short film, I’m not sure, plus I have to pay cast and equipment and crew. So obviously I need to find out more about all of this.

But really, I just want to live off of short term projects. People put a lot of stock into having a full time permanent position somewhere, but I think personally short term projects that pay fit in with my filmmaker lifestyle better. Like, I might go away this summer for a week for a work related thing. I can’t just do that with a full time forever job.

Of course now that I’ve written this somewhere in an easily searchable corner of the internet, probably some potential employer will google me and decide I’m too risky to hire because they think I just want to bugger off.

I have a lot of creative projects on the go, that I have to finish. For instance, I have to finish this script about addictions at Christmas by July 31st, because I need to do a final report so I can apply again in the fall for MORE MONEY! I have to get two shorts about 2 Spirit life done this summer so I can apply for more Toronto Art Council grants. I have to come up with a new project and write another grant for the Ontario Art Council this fall. I have to do my Mars webseries, which needs four actors and a green screen. I have to do so damned much! AND I also need to get serious about getting development money for my Evil Fire script (Cree name “Macîskotêw”) because it’s a good project and I think it would be awesome to make, AND it’s my first feature that actually has a chance of being produced. SO THERE!

I made a list of all these things I was gonna do this week, which is mostly getting my pitch ready for next week’s Female Eye Film Festival, and writing a paragraph proposal for the short film commission (which I did!), and writing 40 pages of script for the addictions film (I wrote ONE! ONE!) and making Huevos Rancheros. So I still have a lot to do. I haven’t actually pitched in a while, not since ImagineNATIVE way back, like 2 or 3 years ago. OH YIKES and I have a videogame to finish. 1/3 done! I was gonna make all these drawings of household objects, but now I am wondering if I should cheat and use pictures of household objects. Hmmmmmmm.

++++++++++++Much later++++++++++++++

Well, I still only wrote one page of script. I kind of had a hard time being motivated this week, although I DID do a lot of arts admin stuff. AND not only that, but I came up with two totally new ideas for future projects, so that is kind of fun! I just need to get all this shit done! It’s a bit overwhelming!

Next week I have a screening, a pitch rehearsal and TWO pitches to do for the same project, and a script reading. OH and I think I am doing some kind of Q&A too. In two weeks I’m gonna be in Vancouver for a Queer Arts Festival doing a panel. So it’s a busy month ahead! This next week ESPECIALLY!

Sometimes I don’t know what to do when I feel overwhelmed. I really need to get back to making lists and goals. Two of my pals are out of town the next few weeks, so that’s a bit of a drag but I am sure they are having fun.

It’s a good life though. Being creative and working on projects is really amazing. As is having them be appreciated when they are finished.

One thought on “Hustling (in a film way not a sex worker way)

  1. So, monetize your website… ghastly expression, but a search on the phrase brings lots of links. Google is best-known, much as I don’t trust Google’s power overall – see

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few years and I cringe now and then (far too much information sometimes), but you’re very, very literate, your optimism is admirable, your personal ethics are good. You’re a dreamer who wants to create and thrive without doing the hard yards of boring and definitely taxing full-time work but hey, you’ve achieved a lot already, and we need dreamers too. I’ve worked all my life and am enjoying the rewards, but I must say I did and do often wonder about the psychological cost of the grind. In your case, you’re probably better off doing only what you love, if you can fund it without constantly grubbing around for grants.

    Your reader map currently shows more than 1,000 hits in the past 30 days, when for the most part you weren’t even writing because of your grandfather’s health. That could draw a nice chunk of change if you selectively allowed a few ads on your blog, eh? I haven’t researched the field, but presumably you can pick and choose.

    It’s just a thought – one I’m surprised you haven’t had. Maybe you have, and rejected it, but it might help achieve your goal of self-funding. As a reader of your blog (I read only one other, and less often) I think I could handle “tasteful” ads for good causes or products or events.

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