It’s a big number and it means a lot of things. When I was growing up a million dollars seemed like a lot of money (it still very much is). A million people at an event seemed unbelievable. I heard a lot about very wealthy people that sold a million of this or a million of that, artists included. A million is significant.
Many musicians know that if a million people heard their song on the radio or bought their record then they would be receiving something in the form of compensation. A royalty cheque would arrive in the mail. That was not long ago but it seems that was a different world. Today, one million is much different.
So why am I on about ne number One Million. Well, sometime soon, I will be able to declare that one million people have watched on of my films. If you are not one of those people then you can add yourself to the list just by clicking here:
Life is not glamorous for a filmmaker who is not a household name. It’s tough. It’s a daily grind but I do this because I truly love what I do and frankly, I have too many years invested in myself and this craft to ever walk away from it. I once heard Francis Copola answer this question, “Did you ever consider quitting?”,
In the following way,
“How am I going to quit? To myself? Say Francis, I quit. I was financing the movie, how could I quit?”
His answer burns in my brain.
So if anyone ever wonders why I keep making films, well, see the above quote from one of my silent mentors, Mr. Coppola.
Back to the thought of what the world of technology is right now and what that means for creative. I want to be clear, I am not complaining and I love the fact that technology has allowed me the kind of reach where one million people around the world would have the chance to see one of my films. I love that the world is wired the way it is.
But, any rational person needs to look at all sides of the equation. These changes help us reason and makes me wonder what has changed. Is it just accessibility? Is it the internet? Is it a generation of people who believe that “free”; be it software, movies, songs, pictures, is now a simple human right. Is everyone a creator? Does it matter or is it even worthwhile calling oneself a professional? Is it just flat out wrong for an artist to earn a living?
These questions come up at this time because One Million views has equaled zero dollars and zero cents.
I should also be clear about another thing. Vimeo has a service called tip jar, where people can tip your video. It’s a nifty idea so people can actually give you money instead of a “like” or a thumbs up. I do not have tip jar enabled for this video because I am using a Beastie Boys song and I feel it would be wrong for me to generate earnings on their work. I think the song adds a lot to to feel, style and tone of the video and I think it’s right to show this as an example of my work (not the proudest example) but not try to profit from it.
The tip jar is turned on for other videos. Like for this one of the trailer of the George Tatge film. https://vimeo.com/52810195 but only 532 people have have watched that trailer.
But I keep coming back to the number One Million. Sure, I’ve done the math. If each person gave ten cents, it would be $100,000 if one in ten gave a dollar, it would be the same. If everyone gave a dollar! Heck, I really just worry about making great films (which is all I do anyway). So when I really think about it One Million is really no big deal.
It’s a big number. To put it in perspective. The largest cinema in Florence, the Odeon CineHall, holds about 450 people. My film would have to have about 2,222 consecutive sold out screenings so that I could reach that many people. That means that if the film started running in the cinema today and it ran one time per day, then in just over six years One Million people would have seen it. Let’s say that those screenings were not free, that admission to the cinema was set at 50cents per ticket (granted it’s only a four minute film) then over six years it could generate about a half a million dollars.
Which beg the questions, do people pay for their seat in the cinema? Or do they pay to see a film?
It’s not something I worry too much about, or hang my hat on, it’s just nice to know that One Million people out there have seen my work. Maybe that is all an artist can really ask for these days. I actually would not ask for anything more because;
the rest I guess, is up to me, the artist.