“Do What You Love And The Money Will Follow.” – Marsha Sinetar
After I talked about how filmmakers can raise money for their films last week, This week I felt it would be appropriate to talk about how documentary films make filmmakers money.
A panel at Sheffield Doc/Fest disused this issue.
The basic answerer is if there is money left over then you can get paid.
Basically how it works is that money used to fund the project is collected from donations grants and investors, once the investors make their money back then the filmmakers get whats left.
Julie Goldman a member of the Sheffield Doc/Fest panel gives a good example of this with her film “Buck.”
“Speaking of her big doc hit “Buck,” which recently aired on BBC’s Storyville as “Buck: the Real Life Horse Whisperer,” Goldman said that of the $4 million in US box office receipts, 65% went to the exhibitors and 25% went to the distributor. Even after the 200,000 DVDs they sold, according to Goldman, “we’re just starting now to get money in.”
It would appear that the sad truth is that there aren’t a lot of filmmakers that make a living off of documentaries. Many filmmakers make there money with side projects that involve their skill sets, such as wedding videos or teaching.
But its not so bad Doug Block is actually making a documentary using the footage he captured at weddings that should be coming out in 2014.
So despite what some might say I agree with Marsha Sinetar , although you may have to do a few side projects as well.