Here’s the most recent US data.
What the average filmmaker does:
1) Takes a vacation. This is a necessary event, but only a part of this. To get work experience, you need a project, which you need to be working on.
Once a year (and this is for the vast majority of filmmakers I speak to) you also need to take three to four months off from work. It’s a long time on wheels, but it has it’s charms!
This is the most common reason filmmakers return to work after a long hiatus. The average film maker takes a 30-day break from the business. To save space, you can put that time in. If you don’t think you can afford it, just leave some sort of notice on your employment status. Also, be clear how you’ll make money on the break. If you’re on a budget, use the money to pay the rent, food, and any other living expenses that you might have.
2) A “sabbatical” (or something close to it). For those under 35, a sabbatical is a period you take off for. The idea is simple: Take a year off from the business. The more experienced you are, the more days you have to take off. Your average sabbatical is 10 to 12 days. Your employer is always happy with this, because your employer will know the project is taking longer than anticipated to complete. It gives you more flexibility to plan and the opportunity to set up on days where you can work, and not worry about your employer’s expectations. If it works well there for you, it doesn’t really matter if you are working on something you started before you took a sabbatical or one that was already completed.
You really don’t want to spend your sabbatical away from the business, though…
3) Other, less common reasons for sabbaticals in the industry. Often, your business partner asks you to go away. If you’re not sure if this is the right thing to do; ask them what it would mean for you, and make sure you have a clear plan for the return to work. This one you should take time to decide on, since it’s a bit of an emotional decision.
4) Taking an extended sabbatical for personal reasons. This is a common situation in the industry, but it’s just not done as often. Take about 10 days off, take