We had some MA students and their lecturer come in to talk to us about PR. Public Relations. How you and your company relate to the public, network, give a good image. Etc., etc.,
They mentioned the BP oil disaster and the PR work done to cope with that. A lot of money spent on an apology. In my naivety, I honestly thought the guy in the apology video looked sincere. Apparently it was all planned down to the sound effects. So maybe he wasn't really sorry. Mind you, people these days don't think sorry is enough anyway. They would rather you burn for your mistakes.
Anyway, they were very convincing about how important PR is to us filmmakers. Despite their enthusiasm I couldn't help thinking, if you are a filmmaker and you're good, you should be bubbly and friendly enough to be your own PR. If you hire someone else, it's not you. It's not real and it's not honest. It also distances you from everyone else. I never want to be that person. The one who when you ask for advice they say "Of course I'd love to help. Speak to my agent."
I was glad to hear on the One Show tonight this Scottish businessman talking about his own business in connection with paying apprenticeship and how important he thinks that is, informing the interviewer that he has never paid a penny on PR in all his however many years of business. Then he added that he didn't care what anyone thinks about that.
The more I see of it, the more I am becoming disillusioned with this cold, unfeeling industry.
definition of 'industry': commercial production and sale of goods
I don't want my productions to be a commercial product. I'm not baking bread. Or fixing a car. Or building a house. I'm telling a story. Fiction. I'm making up something in my head.
There is a part of me that is beginning to question whether the old fashioned view of the arts didn't have some truth to it. I did a short acting course a while ago in London and our teacher was from Yorkshire. He told us how his father and brother still make fun of his career choice. "That in't real work is that," they would tell him when he came home for holidays. I could see that those comments still hurt him, yet I wonder if there is something in them.
I don't mean all actors, filmmakers and dancers need to stop what they're doing and get a real job. But something is deeply wrong with the way it works these days.
Entertainment and the Arts have been placed on far too high a pedestal. They are valued at far more than they are worth.
www.audionetwork.com is a really nice music production website for TV, Film and Corporate Video
For a student production you can pay as little as £1 for one track. Once you tick the little "TV and Film Production" box it shoots up to £150 per track.
I compose tracks now and again. Songs and instrumental pieces. I don't put my instrumental pieces out there often they are just something I do to relax. They are for my own enjoyment. Sometimes they take me months to complete, other are written and recorded in a day.
My effort and inspiration is not worth £150. It took me a couple of hours of relaxation to create. Of course you might say, "You're not a professional and no one would actually buy your tracks, that's why you're not worth it." It still didn't cost me £150 to write that piece of music. It didn't cost the contributors on audio network that much either.
If you are a prolific composer, the music grows like tomatoes. You are looking for somewhere to put the excess. It just pours out of you.
You might argue that they are charging for the use of equipment. Oh please! If you have the equipment to record you have it. Why are you charging for it? It's already in your possession.
I rate good entertainment (music, films, literature) very highly. Despite my constant ranting about how I believe films and music should be be shared around and copied, I am actually the first to give a lot of my time and money to someone I think is a talented artist.
But I still think the guy who fixes our car back in Turkey, charges hardly anything compared to Western rates and who works tirelessly day and night is worth far more in work value than Steven Spielberg.