One might assume the average person making films is making between $12,000-$14,000 per week or around $2.5 million per year. But this is not the case.
There are several aspects to making a documentary, and the more important one to consider is money. When you are working from home, making a documentary on a tight budget is no easy feat but it comes with immense satisfaction. However, it would be foolish not to keep in mind the cost of living. If you work full time on your job, as a director or editor, and live in your home, you could be making hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
This would be a far cry from the small, independent filmmaker that is not in the business for any money.
What types of jobs does your average filmmaker do?
One thing to remember, people are actually not as diverse as they might seem. Many people in the business are self-employed. For example, many journalists are self-employed. Others are freelancers and work for clients like advertising agencies.
While a lot of directors, editors, producers, directors and producers may have similar jobs, they are in very different industries, with very very different needs. They are required to work with different disciplines and have to learn about a variety of business topics.
For example, some filmmakers are film school graduates that have no experience making films because they have never met a camera in person or spent time working with actual real people. Others may be seasoned employees, who know how to negotiate budgets and the intricacies of a production but need more experience. Still others might be self-employed, whose business ventures have taken off while they were struggling with the industry.
Is your income a good representation of what you spend while making a film?
There is one crucial aspect of what people spend money on while making a film.
There are very few people who produce a film whose overall income reflects the total expenses, such as location fees, transportation, accommodations, food, etc. These are all expenses that everyone is forced to pay for. So how are you supposed to determine the cost of a film, when you do not know anything about the production?
There are many different expenses, and you should look to your financial records, and perhaps with a friend, to identify the exact amount you spend every month.
So, how much would you have spent in one month if you were self-employed?
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