Don't Quit Your Day Job: Creativity Is About Passion, Not Paychecks

from the doing-it-because-you-want-to,-not-because-you-have-to dept

There are many who argue, despite historical and ongoing evidence to the contrary, that creativity will die out if creators cannot be guaranteed some sort of livable wage. It's almost as if any creator who creates as a hobby or potential second job either a) is being shortchanged by disruption, piracy, etc., or b) shouldn't be taken seriously because they haven't abandoned their day job.

It's an odd assertion. Most groundbreaking creative efforts were conceived and carried out while the creators worked in a variety of other non-creative jobs. It was only after these breakthroughs that these artists went on to live solely on the earnings of their creative works. Somehow, we're now expected to believe that without piracy and other disruptions, creators would be making better, livable wages, possibly right out of the gate.

That whole thought process ignores the reality. Not having a paycheck tied to your creative endeavors means being able to fail more often and experiment more freely, without having to worry about hurting your current source of income. Case in point: three developers who solved a problem most companies didn't know they had, all without having to "give up the day job."
For the past two years, Brandon Medenwald, Justin Kalvoda, and Bill Burgess have held down full-time jobs while also launching their company, Simply Made Apps.

Their only product is an app called Simple In/Out, which solves a problem that drove Brandon crazy. He explains, “In my fulltime job as a web programmer, we had an old magnetic in/out board like they use in sales offices to keep track of who is in the office and who isn’t. Five or six years ago, they transitioned to a Web-based version.

“I was constantly frustrated with it, because some of the roughly 40 people in our firm wouldn’t use it. The board became extremely out of date. For years, I was joking that I could write a better piece of software in a weekend, but then over beers in a bar with two friends, it dawned on me we could solve this problem by using the GPS chips in cell phones.”
On it's face, it seems terribly simple: build something better. And yet, no one had really tackled it before. So they took a weekend off to knock out the framework early last year and since then have been refining it based on customer feedback.
For the first four months, the app was free. Last September, they introduced pricing that was based on the number of people being tracked on the company’s board. Prices start at $5 per month for 4 to 10 users, and gradually step up to $160 a month for 250 to 1,000 users.

Although the trio are far better programmers than they are marketers, today they have over 1,600 registered companies. More importantly, they have something they love so much that they occasionally use their vacations to devote extra time to their “nights and weekends” startup.

None of them hate their real jobs. None are eager to quit. They come across as smart, patient people who want to solve interesting problems that other companies aren’t solving.
Creativity very often springs from those tied to day jobs. These three don't sound even remotely "tied." It's not about sustaining yourself from a nights-and-weekend project. It's about being passionate about what you do with your nights and weekends. These days, anyone with a spark of creativity has hundreds of free-to-cheap tools at their disposal. The barriers to entry have been demolished, whether it's music, movies or software. It's not money that drives these creators: it's passion. And if you ignore that fact, and cling to past business models, you're going to find yourself trailing the pack very quickly.
“In a big corporation,” says Brandon, “I’d be fearful of the little people out there doing something that they are passionate about, because, passion trumps money.” He and his partners love what they do, and feel fortunate to be able to solve interesting problems.

Even though the company is turning a modest profit, he says, “Because we love what we do, we don’t have to be concerned about turning a profit, which means we are extremely dangerous people when it comes to our dedication to improving services
The three were able to get this off the ground using spare time and around $100 each, which covered "licenses, a Web domain, a 'doing business as' name, etc." From $300 and a few nights and weekends to 1,600 paid users, all without having to "quit the day job."

Those arguing that creativity is tied to a steady paycheck are relics looking back fondly at the days of gatekeeping, when competition was low because the barriers were too high. It has nothing to do with wanting future artists to be properly "protected" against disruption and everything to do with keeping more people out. That sounds more than a little like fear.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2012 @ 7:50pm

    "Those arguing that creativity is tied to a steady paycheck are relics looking back fondly at the days of gatekeeping,"

    I am sorry Tim, but this is a crock of shit. You are setting up a strawman and knocking it down, and trying to act like you are teaching us something new and exciting. Drop the old "on the internet" part, and this is old, old hat stuff.

    History is full of inventors that work in their garages on the weekends, at night, whatever, working on their dream idea. It's not new, it's not original. Heck, how do you think the original Apple computer came around?

    Nobody claims that a "paycheck job" is the only way to creativity. Where do you get that from, except perhaps something in the Techdirt koolaid, I guess.

    Again, I have to ask: Why do angry? Did you lose your job or something? Did you find out (based on another thread) that Mike doesn't pay anyone? ;)

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2012 @ 7:59pm

    Re:

    Are you... arguing against his point, or for his point...?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2012 @ 8:45pm

    Creativity will never die. However the quality of art and content will greatly diminish, if those efforts are not funded. It's not about a paycheck, it's the reality of production. Professionals require money, and I want to enjoy professionally produced content, and I'm happy to pay a few bucks to do so. Unfortunately there are so many cheap people like yourself that feel entitled to free content, that you think it's some sort of crime to have to pay a dime for anything.I'm surprised mikey didn't write this garbage.

     

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  4.  
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    Cypress Creations, Sep 14th, 2012 @ 8:55pm

    A 'haven't quit my day job' Independent Designer

    I can see the intended point here. I feel it every day I go to my day job, and then come home to work on my dreams/projects Designing. I feel it every time that I tell people that I am a Designer, and then my day job comes up in conversation.

    I try to be a responsible adult. I keep my day job because I need to keep a roof over my head & food on the table. I put my passions & creativity on-hold while I earn a steady income. Until I can breakthrough and become 'noticed', my creativity is stifled for 2/3 of every day.

    What I'd like to say in response to this article, is that maybe there is something not being noticed.... People with 'Creative Passions' have shifted focus away from allowing the passion to dictate their careers because our current times are not as forgiving/supportive as in the past. Many of us spend more time yearning to express our 'Creative Passions' than we can devote to actually doing it. The overall effect is depressing. One can question if this these observations help to explain why this shift in the historical pattern is permanent and/or destructive to future creativity.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2012 @ 8:55pm

    ppfff...They’re obviously losers who don’t know the value of money.

    /sarcasm

     

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  6.  
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    herodotus (profile), Sep 14th, 2012 @ 9:07pm

    This is all quite true.

    Schoenberg, Webern, Berg, Ives, Boulez, Bartok, Varese, Messiaen, Nancarrow, Babbitt, Perle, Barraque...in fact, a huge percentage of the 20th century's most brilliant musical minds would have starved without a day job.

    Schoenberg taught composition, Webern made arrangements for night club bands, Ives sold insurance, Boulez worked as a conductor and so on. Their jobs were often related to music, but if they had depended on sales of sheet music or royalties from record sales they would have starved. Some of them came close to doing so anyway.

    This is all quite true, but few here really seem to grasp the implications of it.

    While people around here glory in the fact that the web makes it so easy to Connect With Fans, they ignore the fact that the whole concept of 'fans' in relation to music and literature is a product of the music industry and mass market publishing.

    The really radical and transformative part about the web and free creative technology isn't that it allows artists to connect with fans. That's the old way of thinking. The radical part is that the web and free creative technology allow artists and thinkers of every sort to develop and distribute their ideas without having to pander to a commercially significant body of 'fans' at all.

    I mean it's great that people can now sell out on their own, without a record company executive making them do it, and can compete in the entertainment marketplace with Taylor Swift and Green Day and all...but it seems at least as important that now creative people no longer have to sell out at all, and that they can do their thing exactly as they see fit without having to pander or wear stupid costumes.

     

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    MaJoR Rush (profile), Sep 14th, 2012 @ 9:07pm

    As an indie video game developer working on getting my first game complete, I promise you, it's not about the money. I'm broke, I eat cereal pretty much morning noon and night, and I've spent hundreds of hours on my project improving both it and me, all without making a cent.

    And I wouldn't trade it for the world.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2012 @ 9:13pm

    Re:

    This article's focus is not about piracy, but of course you had to drag the topic in. The fact is that with things being easier for people to be artists of course it gets harder to compete in a market with more competitors.

    But since you brought up piracy - why is it that every "copyright holder" who comes here to complain finds it worth their time to call us pirates and freeloaders, when we have no idea who they are? After all, you copyright maximalists insist that all we ever download is the Top 20 stuff - why would we be allegedly downloading anything else, right? Why would Phil - friend of hurricane head who claims to have a recording studio - find coming here to rant a far better use of his time than, you know, using said recording studio? Care to answer that?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2012 @ 9:15pm

    Re:

    I'd give you an insightful vote if you'd have remembered that the site has literally never advocated what you describe.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2012 @ 9:29pm

    Re:

    I think you've missed the point a little. The radical part, technologically, about the web is that it all but eliminates the barriers to distribution; and the quality of personal computers and the production software on them has all but eliminated the barriers to creation. You've got that part.
    But to make money as an artist using the web, you've still got to do the same thing you always did, which is convince people to part with their money. The fact that the web and its distribution capabilities also makes it very easy to do that is a happy coincidence. To decry anyone who wants to make money as an artist as "selling out" and fans as "old-fashioned" is to insult them in the former case and to be naive in the latter.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2012 @ 9:47pm

    Tim, the typical low budget motion picture shoots 3-4 six day weeks, at least 12 hours per day. That's because all of the skilled people like actors and crew; equipment, locations, material, etc. don't necessarily work nights and weekends and generally are full time, dedicated and professional. This doesn't include the incredible about of time in development, pre-production and post-production. Then there's marketing and distribution. So while you will occasionally see an anomaly, the notion that a creator in the motion picture industry can be successful part time is laughable. A television series is even more labor intensive. High quality, professional motion picture and television production can't be done in your spare time if you also have to make a living doing something else. Professionals aren't going to hang around waiting until you get a day off to shoot a scene. The rental house isn't going to rent you a grip package for Sunday afternoon, then again for Tuesday morning a week from now. Leaves on trees change as does weather. Actors who appear in one scene may not be available when you need them next time two months later. The location you rented today may or may not be available next time you need it. Can you make a movie without using professionals? Sure. But given the investment of time and money you'd be better off spending that money on lottery tickets. Even well-capitalized films with name actors are a risk, particularly because they don't get a North American box office release. And I know the whole CwF=RtB mantra, but anything with any semblance of professional standards costs in the tens of thousands of dollars. And that is along with dedicating thousands of hours of time- not spare time, but large blocks of time over extended periods. That's not the sort of flexibility most people have in their jobs. So what you suggest may be somewhat true for software, books and perhaps music it doesn't really work for motion pictures and television.

     

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    Keroberos (profile), Sep 14th, 2012 @ 10:12pm

    Re:

    I couldn't care less about "professionally produced" content/ All I care about is quality content. Just because something is "professionally produced" doesn't make it somehow better. And one could argue that some of the amateur produced content is better than the "professionally produced" content. Also, your argument makes no sense, all "professional" content creators were at one point amateurs.

     

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    Milton Freewater, Sep 14th, 2012 @ 10:13pm

    Re:

    "Creativity will never die. However the quality of art and content will greatly diminish, if those efforts are not funded. It's not about a paycheck, it's the reality of production. Professionals require money"

    This is one of those beautiful troll posts that I'm already riling to take down with even before I realized there's the good old "cheap ... entitled to free" punching bag buried at the bottom. What a treat on a sleepy Friday night.

    You had me at "quality artists are professionals." Hahahahahahahahaha

    How can you know so little about art and culture?

    Artists are not professionals. That's like saying bacon comes from cows.

    Name one type of culture in the West for which more funding means more quality and creativity.

    hahahahahhahaha. Holy crap. Seriously, thank you. Nobody paid you to write this shit and yet it's the funniest I've read all week.

     

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    herodotus (profile), Sep 14th, 2012 @ 10:25pm

    Re: Re:

    "To decry anyone who wants to make money as an artist as "selling out"...is to insult them."

    Kinda, yeah. I don't think they are wrong to do so, but as a musician interested in music rather than an entertainer interested in entertainment, I generally find such art to be kind of boring.

    There are exceptions, of course...there always are, but what you aren't getting is that really radical art that expands its form and defines its future possibilities rarely has enough fans to make any serious money when it is made.

    I don't think that 'fans' are old fashioned. But thinking of all cultural activity as fan-dependent is very definitely a relic of the mass market industrial past.

    I'm not naive, I just have different priorities.

     

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    PCCare247 (profile), Sep 14th, 2012 @ 10:34pm

    Huge Paychecks encourage Creativity

    Creativity and huge paychecks go hand in hand. A Creative person ceases to be creative if he does not get paid well for long time.

     

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  16.  
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    chanciusmaximus, Sep 14th, 2012 @ 10:37pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Sep 14th, 2012 @ 9:47pm

    Anonymous Coward... Why do you even come to this site if all you ever do is rant on and on about how wrong Mike is? He's not changing, your not changing... Could you just stop wasting time and never come back here again? Thanks!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2012 @ 11:06pm

    Re: Re:

    Neither. I think his point is a massive attempt to build a strawman to knock down.

     

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    Cybersteel (profile), Sep 14th, 2012 @ 11:52pm

    Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Sep 14th, 2012 @ 9:47pm

    Anonymous Coward is the default setting. It could be anyone really who hasnt signed up on techdirt.

     

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  19.  
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    Beech, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 1:19am

    Re: Huge Paychecks encourage Creativity

    I would argue that creative people who get paid too much for too long cease being creative. Look at all the old 80s rock bands that still tour and havent wrote a new song in decades.

     

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    Beech, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 1:21am

    Sounds great, but...

    Sounds like an innovative little app made by some dedicated people who love working on it.

    How long til it's patent trolled out of existence? :(

     

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  21.  
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    Aaeru, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 2:58am

    I want to add one more point

    I'll just quote Cory Doctorow:

    “What should other artists do? Well, I’m not really bothered. The sad truth is that almost every artist who tries to earn money will fail. This has nothing to do with the internet, of course. Consider the remarkable statement from Alanis Morissette’s attorney at the Future of Music Conference: 97% of the artists signed to a major label before Napster earned $600 or less a year from it. And these were the lucky lotto winners, the tiny fraction of 1% who made it to a record deal. Almost every artist who sets out to earn a living from art won’t get there (for me, it took 19 years before I could afford to quit my day job), whether or not they give away their work, sign to a label, or stick it through every letterbox in Zone 1.”

    - Cory Doctorow


    http://sharingisliberty.wordpress.com/tag/cory-doctorow/


    Also consider,
    Jim C Hines’s 2010 survey of novelists: "The average time an author spent writing BEFORE a sale is 11 years!"
    http://sharingisliberty.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/the-average-time-an-author-spent-writing-b efore-a-sale-is-11-years/

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 4:11am

    there is a new age upon us. selling music or concerts or tshirts are all old news. creatives, with dedication, become the shamen of this digital age. the ones who are the "neo's" of this Matrix. they "get it" THAT is what matters. if you can display your particualr way of "lawnmowerman-ning up", ie, using and manipulating all of the tools at your disposal to express something that is special in this time and place and not just slotted into an existing "creatives" construct, you will be a god.

    money is completely irrelevant because people will realize that their money allows them to experience your greatness. money is nothing but stored time (either yours or someone elses). although people want to spend their money, they make judgement calls on how much of it they want to spend which may not be the same as the sticker price.

    but when you can connect the new digital dots, sticker scrutiny becomes less of an issue. and the point is that connecting those dots takes time and dedication so the more time you spend working on it, the more fully realized it becomes. you may eat top ramen and cereal for years but when you have the thing or the idea, i believe that the understanding of this space that comes with it will create intimate knowledge of a new frontier which you can use to create more and more digitally native ideas, keeping you waaay ahead of the idea of pirating.

    this new world is so much more surreal and vast than anything you can imagine while having to hold down a job.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 4:16am

    Re: Re:

    Also, your argument makes no sense, all "professional" content creators were at one point amateurs.

    Yes, but the first-time director is always supported by an experienced producer, directorial team, cinematographer, production designer, editor, mixer, actors, etc. You will simply never get a viable feature film out of a group of 100% amateurs.

     

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    silverscarcat (profile), Sep 15th, 2012 @ 4:56am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "You will simply never get a viable feature film out of a group of 100% amateurs."

    How about Clerks?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 5:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, lightening strikes. But in 1993 Smith spent 27,000 of his own money to produce this. That's about $45,000 in today's dollars. Also look at the credits. The principles never made subsequent films in this manner. Why? They actually had experience creating while "not quitting their day jobs". Their ability to earn a living from their creations has spawned scores of additional creations that they participated in. Also you overlook the fact that Miramax put serious money into fixing it in post production. Don't think for a minute that Smith delivered the negative that was shown in theaters. Professionals were required to get it to the level where it needed to be to shown in theaters.

    "Paranormal Activities" was also largely an amateur production. But the studio acquiring it spent many hundred thousands of dollars fixing it in post- money that far exceeded the shooting budget. Same with "Blair Witch".

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    *Sorry, I dropped the thought explaining that the financial barriers to entry the motion picture/television production market are higher than many other artistic endeavors and either beyond the means or are an unacceptably high risk to most would-be amateur creators. And investors need a level of comfort that only industry professionals, name actors or high collateral will bring.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 6:06am

    Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Sep 14th, 2012 @ 9:47pm

    Anonymous Coward... Why do you even come to this site if all you ever do is rant on and on about how wrong Mike is?

    "Tim, the typical low budget motion picture..."

    Did you miss the "Tim" part?

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 6:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    SIlver, go to imdb.com and look at the subsequent credits for Kevin Smith. He has worked with experienced industry pros on every film since "Clerks". Why do you think that is? And while you're there, go look at the subsequent credits for the creators behind "Blair Witch" and "Paranormal Activities".

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 6:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    the real strawman is the "copyright creates" current brainwash

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 6:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    the real strawman is the "copyright creates" current brainwash

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 6:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    the real strawman is the "copyright creates" current brainwash

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 6:32am

    Re: Re: Re:

    unintended multi-post...

     

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  33.  
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    abc gum, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re:

    Looks as though he is arguing with himself

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Miramax. Experience? Maybe. Professional? Doubtful. Good? Laughable.

     

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    herodotus (profile), Sep 15th, 2012 @ 7:52am

    Re:

    "this new world is so much more surreal and vast than anything you can imagine while having to hold down a job."

    Some of the greatest works of the twentieth century were written by people who held down day jobs. And some of the most wretched and formulaic dreck was written by professionals.

    Charles Ives single-handedly anticipated most of the revolutionary compositional devices of twentieth century music. He did this years before better-known Europeans 'invented' these techniques, all while selling insurance for a living.

    One of the standard works of European history: Pirenne's History of Europe, was written while he was a prisoner of war, without access to more than a handful of books.

    Primo Levi, who was not only a great writer but a first class chemist, wrote his early works while working in a paint factory, after nearly dying in Auschwitz.

    Franz Kafka wrote his greatest works while working as an insurance agent in war-torn Europe.

    The world, to any truly creative mind, is 'much more surreal and vast than anything you can imagine'....period. If you really can't conceive how these minds can create without earning a paycheck doing so, that is a failure of your imagination.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 8:11am

    Re:

    "Nobody claims that a "paycheck job" is the only way to creativity."

    This is demonstrably false. Many regular dissenters here have made precisely that claim.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 8:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    M-M-M-M-M-MONSTER POST Post post

     

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  38.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 15th, 2012 @ 8:13am

    Re:

    Having been in a two-week intensive shoot for a low-budget film, this is actually pretty accurate. We lost almost a full day due to the whims of local weather. It wasn't easy, but it was definitely worth the effort and pain that ensued.

    You do have a valid point underneath the wall of text.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Who's keeping those barriers to entry high by killing off inexpensive production and distribution tools I wonder...

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re:

    No, I don't see anyone making any claim that it is the EXCLUSIVE domain of paycheck people.

    Please, [ citation needed ]

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: Huge Paychecks encourage Creativity

    You'd be arguing with a spammer trying to sell you PC service.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Lights, techno-cranes, dollies, generators, trailers, honey wagons, trucks, lumber, paint, tools etc. all cost money to rent. By and large, the studios do not own and control these. Nor do the studios control locations (which often have to be rented) and very few of the sound stages. Film stock costs a fortune though the new generation of digital cameras has opened up new possibilities. The internet has provided new avenues for distribution but the inputs that go into making the motion picture are cost prohibitive for most amateurs to undertake a feature length motion picture. And for these amateurs, the investment picture is even worse. While you may not wish to admit it, many indy features can't get financing due to piracy. An indy feature generally doesn't get a North American box office release so it has to recoup 100% of its investment from DVD sales, sale to cable, network tv, PPV, foreign, etc. Knowing that there's about a 100% chance that a film will be pirated and distributed online for free, it means those markets are not as lucrative and investors are pulling back accordingly.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 8:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's what happens when you install a browser on a machine gun

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 8:50am

    Re: Re:

    Just out curiosity, what was the budget. Was the crew paid or volunteers? Did the film get distributed or make any money? What was the final cost and was the creative force able to work another job while doing this part time?

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 9:23am

    Re:

    Yeah, I don't get this article either. You don't need a steady paycheck to be a creator as long as you have a steady paycheck from something else? That sounds a bit tautological. You need to make money to pay your expenses. Yes, some people make money in ways not tied to their passion: they may have a "day job", be supported by their spouse or family, or be independently wealthy. The existence of these people does not mean that no creators should be paid for the works they create (and the three people mentioned in this article do, in fact, make money off their creations).

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 9:39am

    Re:

    Are you going to complete your project and then put it in the public domain or otherwise give it away for free?

     

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  47.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 15th, 2012 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re:

    The article is in response to the commenters who poo-poo any success story that doesn't involve the creator making a living solely from the art. For example the guy saying above that he doesn't want any content that isn't professionally produced. Which kind of makes me wonder if he understood the article.

     

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  48.  
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    MrWilson, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I know you don't want to do the legwork to prove your own denial wrong despite the fact that it's damn easy to google it and you probably wouldn't post it here if you did find out you were wrong, so I'll provide you with just the first result from a fast google search to get your research on this supposed strawman going:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120730/19171919887/did-you-know-that-professional-writi ng-is-dying-only-taxing-public-to-pay-writers-can-save-it.shtml

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re:

    T.S. Eliot worked at Lloyds Bank in London. During that same period he wrote http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Waste_Land

    It has been called "one of the most important poems of the 20th century."

    That's pretty impressive while working at a bank during the day.

     

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  50.  
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    MrWilson, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re:

    Hey, Battlefield Earth and Waterworld clearly prove that more money means more quality...er, never mind.

     

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  51.  
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    MrWilson, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re:

    I release all my works for free under Creative Commons licenses and I keep and enjoy my day job. It's not about the money. I love being creative. I also love having control of my work and not having to feel like I have to pander to a greater audience in hopes of getting a big payout. I get paid in my day job to be creative also, so that's a bonus.

    Maybe one day I'll self publish in a format that I can sell infinitely reproducible goods with little to no overhead so it's pure profit, and the money would be nice even though I'm not near starving and doing well in my day job. If I do publish and sell my work, it'll be more for the accomplishment and the experience than the money.

    I have a college friend who is a writer within a particular sub-genre who has gotten her first work published and has a second one coming. She loves the experience and makes enough to keep writing, but she mostly relies on her husband's income and her side gigs as a speaker.

    All the creative people I know are not in it for the money and most of them do give away a substantial amount of their work for free because obscurity is worse than piracy for an artist. If nobody wants to pirate your work because they've never heard of you, they're also not going to buy your work because they've never heard of it. They also all have day jobs that are often related to their artistic passions (like video production while their art is making movies, speaking while their art is writing, programming while their art is game programming), but they don't make their living directly from their art.

     

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  52.  
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    MrWilson, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you listen to the commentary on the Fight Club DVD, Chuck Palahniuk mentions that much of the inspiration for the story came from when he was working an office job and got into a fight over the weekend and everyone at work asked him about it.

    And how many books and movies have we seen about artists and writers who are just starving artists struggling with their creativity and then they suddenly get inspiration from places they hadn't thought to look, like the jobs they have to take to survive.

    George Orwell's Keep the Aspidistra Flying addresses the artist and the day job dilemma (also the movie they made from it called A Merry War).

    Charles Bukowski's Post Office was about his experience in the crappy job of being a substitute mail carrier.

    Hemingway wouldn't have had his experiences in the Spanish Civil War that inspired his novels if he hadn't been there as a journalist.

     

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  53.  
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    MrWilson, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Or to put it another way: Good stories require conflict and dilemmas; it's usually easiest to write about what you know, such as your own experiences; and day jobs that pay the bills are often a giant grab-bag of dilemmas and conflict.

     

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  54.  
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    JMT (profile), Sep 15th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

    Re:

    "Unfortunately there are so many cheap people like yourself that feel entitled to free content, that you think it's some sort of crime to have to pay a dime for anything."

    Wow, two completely fabricated claims with absolutely zero evidence to back them up. You work for the MPAA?

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Thanks for the bio, but I was actually asking Major Rush. He says he's broke, living hand-to-mouth and has spent hundreds of hours on it without making a cent. Sounds like he's in a different boat- that's why I asked him, instead of you.

     

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  56.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Sep 15th, 2012 @ 3:31pm

    I always tell people in creative fields they won't make any money at it

    I intentionally warn anyone in music, the arts, writing, etc. there is no money in it.

    I do this because
    (1) For most people this will be true.
    (2) To get into creative fields as a way to make money is the wrong reason to do it (there are easier ways to make money).
    (3) If people feel they MUST do something creative, whether or not they make any money at it, that is a sign they are probably making the right decision for themselves. Let me paint a picture of all the sacrifices you will have to make to live the life of a full-time creative, and if you still want to do it, then I will help you develop business plans.

    I've been a critical of all the conferences, consultants, etc. encouraging hopeful creatives to believe the Internet has bought forth a new opportunity for creatives to make money.

    No, what it has done is allowed that many more people to share their creativity. But in the process. more people are competing for a fairly fixed pot of consumer dollars (if anything, disposable income has gone down as with the recession).

    Creativity will always be with us. People will create. But making money at it doesn't necessarily follow. Sure, a few people will do so. But they won't necessarily be the most creative. They will simply be those who have best figured out to work the system to collect money from people or companies.

    I think it is more honest to encourage everyone to be creative, whether or not they produce great art. It is the process itself that is rewarding. Play music with friends. Paint your own pictures to hang on the walls. Take videos and upload them. They don't have to be masterpieces. You don't have to make money. But your life will probably be better for it.

    And keep your day job that pays the bills unless you can figure out how not to have any bills.

     

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  57.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Sep 15th, 2012 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "He has worked with experienced industry pros on every film since "Clerks"."

    Yes, but he still produced Clerks without having major support, and it was pretty damn good too.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 5:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not really a good example, he quantifies is as "professional" writing, which may be true. If there is no money in writing, then it will become a hobby, a pass time. It won't be done professionally, as it will no longer be a profession.

    Try again!

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 5:39pm

    We're the sultans, yeah we're the sultans of SHWING!

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Right, as I said lightning struck. But you didn't see him do it again. Why do you think that is? If his success wasn't an anomaly why didn't he repeat what he did with "Clerks" on "Mall Rats" the following year?

     

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  61.  
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    herodotus (profile), Sep 15th, 2012 @ 6:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Note how the pessimists never respond to these points.

    The histories of twentieth century music and literature are filled with people who made great art while not earning a living at it, because they chose to break new ground instead of pandering to people's desire to consume cultural comfort food.

    And pessimists ignore this because all they really want to do is serve cultural comfort food and become wealthy while doing so.

    But of course, admitting this rather ugly fact would be a blow to their egos, so they pretend they don't see these things.

    Kind of sad really.

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 7:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Note how the pessimists never respond to these points."

    We respond to these points every time with the very simple note:

    It's not any different today on the internet than it was 30 years ago with a vanity press, or 50 years ago with pulp fiction magazines, or any other methodology.

    Adding "on the internet" doesn't make it magical or new.

    "And pessimists ignore this because all they really want to do is serve cultural comfort food and become wealthy while doing so."

    No, the realists want to be able to obtain both the comfort food and the cutting edge new artist stuff as well. We don't see that we need to trade one for the other. We don't buy into the bullshit that suggests you have to systematically kill big content so that small content can flourish. It's been there all along.

    If you truly have a better system, a better way, a better business model, or (even) better content then away you go. You should be ruling the world soon.

    "admitting this rather ugly fact would be a blow to their egos"

    The only ego I see here is yours.

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 7:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Clearly there are successful tinkerers, part timers and innovators that have made great contributions without dedicated to it 24/7/365. But it is hard to deny that the ability to earn a living while innovating, pushing the envelope of creativity and innovation will probably result in greater progress. Can anyone argue that the great creators/innovators who didn't earn a living at their craft would likely have reached even greater heights if they'd not had to deal with the more mundane necessity of earning a living? And I don't think that more time to dedicate toward one's passion means that one would necessarily sell out to produce "cultural comfort food". If you were making a living as a bartender and writing on the side, don't you think you'd be tempted to write "cultural comfort food" in an effort to break out of bartending as a vocation into a career as a writer by writing for the safer mass market? It seems that the real innovation would come from creators who are earning a living in their craft and have the time, financial security and higher degree of expertise (derived from their higher level of practice of the craft) than a guy who has to work a second job to support his passion.

     

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  64.  
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    ld, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 7:40pm

    Re:

    Except that in virtually every case that comes up, it's not the creator's efforts that are getting funded, they're getting a pittance while a bunch of stockholders and CEO's are raking it in. I for one generally choose to fund self-producing artists with my money, since my money goes to them, the ones who create and produce, and not to those who produce nothing except a financial drain on society.
    Whether it is music, painting, or whatever else, technology has advanced to the point that an artist no longer needs a rich patron or a large corporation with a bunch of money backing it in order to produce quality work. that's why those who've exploited artists in the past for cash are scrambling around pushing for more and more laws. It's not to protect the artist from the pirates, it's to keep the pirates from being able to purchase, at a reasonable cost, directly from the artist and thereby eliminate the leaches in the middle the pirates are trying to avoid.

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 8:07pm

    Re: Re:

    A couple of questions:

    1. Why don't you simply consume the entertainment you enjoy the most? Why limit yourself? Aren't you rewarding something less than excellence?

    2. How would you propose to fund a feature length motion picture without resources beyond the means of most would-be filmmakers? Assume that it should compete (artistically) with other motion pictures that are well regarded by critics and fans.

     

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  66.  
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    herodotus (profile), Sep 15th, 2012 @ 8:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "We respond to these points every time with the very simple note:

    It's not any different today on the internet than it was 30 years ago with a vanity press, or 50 years ago with pulp fiction magazines, or any other methodology."


    Actually it is quite different. No vanity press can compare with the instant, worldwide, free distribution of the internet. And pulp magazines were just a different form of mass market commercial publishing.

    "Adding "on the internet" doesn't make it magical or new. "

    See above concerning instant worldwide free distribution.

    "No, the realists want to be able to obtain both the comfort food and the cutting edge new artist stuff as well."

    Oh bullshit. 'Cutting edge new artist stuff' as you call it existed long before mass market publishing and will continue to exist long after mass market publishing has become a historical footnote. Comfort food is what makes money and you know full well that money is all you care about.

    "We don't see that we need to trade one for the other."

    Well, the one can survive and flourish quite well on the internet, while the other is having trouble. It seems that the trade has already been made without your consent.

    "We don't buy into the bullshit that suggests you have to systematically kill big content so that small content can flourish. It's been there all along."

    Here I agree with you. You don't have to kill 'big content', and I don't advocate killing it. I simply don't care if it dies.

    Don't mistake my indifference for malice.

    "If you truly have a better system, a better way, a better business model, or (even) better content then away you go. You should be ruling the world soon."

    I don't have a better business model. I don't give a shit about business models. That is Mr. Masnick's province. I care about culture, and the parts of it that I know well are quite definitely doing better now than they were before the internet came along.

    "The only ego I see here is yours."

    That doesn't surprise me at all.

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 11:38pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "T.S. Eliot worked at Lloyds Bank in London. During that same period he wrote http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Waste_Land

    It has been called "one of the most important poems of the 20th century."

    That's pretty impressive while working at a bank during the day."

    yes, and once that talent was spotted, he was able to spend the rest of his life as an artist, without the concerns of the day to day. He didn't have to work a day job to be creative.

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2012 @ 11:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Actually it is quite different. No vanity press can compare with the instant, worldwide, free distribution of the internet. And pulp magazines were just a different form of mass market commercial publishing."

    The point isn't "how much", it's that things are really the same. The technology is different, whatever... but there is always been a infrastructure for indie writers, from pulp fiction to vanity presses and so on. What's the big deal?

    "Oh bullshit. 'Cutting edge new artist stuff' as you call it existed long before mass market publishing and will continue to exist long after mass market publishing has become a historical footnote. Comfort food is what makes money and you know full well that money is all you care about. "

    What the fuck? I don't care about money, where do you get that? I care about artist being able to be artists, that's all. The point (that you clearly missed) is that cutting edge new art stuff is always been around, and unlike what the original post tries to push, it's not sometihng new because of the internet. Are you confused? One minute you are saying the internet is all that, and then the next you are saying the new artist stuff has always been around. Which one would you like to go with?

    "Don't mistake my indifference for malice."

    no, your indifference is arrogance. That's different.

    "I don't have a better business model. I don't give a shit about business models. That is Mr. Masnick's province. I care about culture, and the parts of it that I know well are quite definitely doing better now than they were before the internet came along. "

    First of all, Mr Masnick doesn't post here. Mike does. His father does. He's only Mr Masnick to you if you are a child.

    Second, if you care about culture, you in the end will also care about business models, because business models are what make much of the content you get possible at all. You cannot extract one from the other. The ability to turn a hit into a way to pay the artist, so they can keep being an artist is really key to getting the most culture possible.

    Cause and effect... study it.

    "That doesn't surprise me at all."

    I doubt anything does. It's a sign of being ignorant.

     

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  69.  
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    herodotus (profile), Sep 16th, 2012 @ 3:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "The point isn't "how much", it's that things are really the same. The technology is different, whatever... but there is always been a infrastructure for indie writers, from pulp fiction to vanity presses and so on. What's the big deal? "

    The infrastructure is fundamentally different. That's the big deal. If you don't see why it's a big deal I doubt that I can explain it to you, but the main difference is that writers don't need a mass market audience to publish. You obviously seem to think that mass market publishing is the entire universe.

    "What the fuck? I don't care about money, where do you get that? I care about artist being able to be artists, that's all. The point (that you clearly missed) is that cutting edge new art stuff is always been around, and unlike what the original post tries to push, it's not sometihng new because of the internet. Are you confused? One minute you are saying the internet is all that, and then the next you are saying the new artist stuff has always been around. Which one would you like to go with?"

    The existence of the art isn't new. The being able to distribute it part is new. No, I am not confused.

    "First of all, Mr Masnick doesn't post here. Mike does. His father does. He's only Mr Masnick to you if you are a child."

    Where do you get this shit? 'Mike' isn't my friend and we aren't on a first name basis. The fact that everyone else here calls him that doesn't oblige me to do so. Why you should confuse basic politeness with...whatever you have it confused it with is beyond me. But if you want me to call you 'Mr' to balance it out I can.

    "Second, if you care about culture, you in the end will also care about business models, because business models are what make much of the content you get possible at all. You cannot extract one from the other. The ability to turn a hit into a way to pay the artist, so they can keep being an artist is really key to getting the most culture possible.

    Cause and effect... study it."


    Cheeky! But again, you are confusing 'mass market culture' with 'culture'.

    All kinds of books and music have been written for very little if any money. A lot of the music has actually lost money in performance. I gave 10 to 12 names upthread, but really, the whole history of 20th century avant-garde music is one long refutation of what you just said. If you don't believe me and are looking for an introductory text, Paul Griffith's 'Modern Music' is a good one.

    "I doubt anything does."

    Actually, lots of things surprise me. The world is filled with wonders. You just aren't one of them.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2012 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "The article is to knock over the strawman of commenters who poo-poo any success story that doesn't involve the creator making a living solely from the art."

    FTFY.

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2012 @ 9:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "The infrastructure is fundamentally different. That's the big deal. If you don't see why it's a big deal I doubt that I can explain it to you, but the main difference is that writers don't need a mass market audience to publish. You obviously seem to think that mass market publishing is the entire universe. "

    You are still off missing the point: All through our history, there have been people working "inside" the system, and those working outside of it. The line is blurred. The actual ability to publish doesn't have any connection to the quality of the work.

    " Why you should confuse basic politeness with...whatever you have it confused it with is beyond me."

    Pointless formality, a sign of arrogance and high mindedness. Are you better than the rest of us, or do you just think you are?

    "Cheeky! But again, you are confusing 'mass market culture' with 'culture'."

    No, actually you appear to be putting a snobbish spin on culture, assuming what you like is good and what the masses like is crap. All culture is culture. You are daft to consider otherwise. More snobbish, "better than you" thinking.

    "All kinds of books and music have been written for very little if any money."

    Nobody has said they weren't. That's the strawman, and the entire point. It's a bullshit way to try to talk down to people who oppose the destruction of culture in the name of culture.

    " The world is filled with wonders. You just aren't one of them."

    ... and the final slam, the pissing down from on high. You really are full of yourself, aren't you? What's it like to be a superior being?

     

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  72.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 16th, 2012 @ 9:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If you were making a living as a bartender and writing on the side, don't you think you'd be tempted to write "cultural comfort food" in an effort to break out of bartending as a vocation into a career as a writer by writing for the safer mass market?

    If someone (whether amateur or pro) is creating something because of a calculation of how to craft it to make the most money, it probably won't be very good.

    It seems that the real innovation would come from creators who are earning a living in their craft and have the time, financial security and higher degree of expertise (derived from their higher level of practice of the craft) than a guy who has to work a second job to support his passion.

    In technical fields maybe so. In art, it will come from people creative enough to innovate. You can't stop those people from creating, you can only help them find an audience, or not.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2012 @ 9:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "It seems that the real innovation would come from creators who are earning a living in their craft and have the time, financial security and higher degree of expertise (derived from their higher level of practice of the craft) than a guy who has to work a second job to support his passion."

    In technical fields maybe so. In art, it will come from people creative enough to innovate. You can't stop those people from creating, you can only help them find an audience, or not.

    I don't think that's right. If you are making a living as a writer, you will have more opportunity and be able to gain more depth of experience actually writing than if you are tending bar 40-50 hours per week. I'd argue the same is true for a musician, filmmaker or studio artist. The more time one is able to dedicate, the greater the opportunity for innovation. It seems idiotic to deny that innovation does not increase and benefit by a greater investment of time and increased experience. Most innovation is not a thunderbolt from above, it comes from hard work and dedication.

     

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  74.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2012 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wait? Are you saying that culture is being destroyed? How the . . . what?

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2012 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    He liked working at the bank. He was publishing poetry before working at the bank.

    Artists can do that, you know.

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2012 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    We should totally have an art tax, then artists could be given a livable wage and work on their art all the time.

    That shouldn't be too hard to set up, in America, right? Their pro-tax, right?

    Problem solved. Socialism all the way.

     

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  77.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 16th, 2012 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Budget was under £25k, and it was more a labour of love than anything else. IT made a small amount of money and was essentially Kickstarted (as in, crowdfunded) before filming took place.

    It was historically relevant to me, so I took part. The actors basically got a credit, and that's it.

     

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  78.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2012 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    He liked working at the bank. He was publishing poetry before working at the bank.

    Artists can do that, you know.


    Go make a feature length film while working full time at the bank and let us know how that works out for you.

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2012 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Maybe just try protecting artists creative output from being stolen and monetized by others instead.

     

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  80.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2012 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You spelled copyright infringement wrong.

     

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  81.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2012 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Okay. First you want me to get a job working at a bank. Then you want me to make a feature length film in my spare time. Maybe I'll make a movie about working at a bank?

    Or better yet, I'll make a movie about banks in other movies! How many movies take place in banks? This sounds kind of fun.

    It'll be a collage of bank movies.

    Great idea man!

     

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  82.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 16th, 2012 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Lights, techno-cranes, dollies, generators, trailers, honey wagons, trucks, lumber, paint, tools etc. all cost money to rent. By and large, the studios do not own and control these. Nor do the studios control locations (which often have to be rented) and very few of the sound stages. Film stock costs a fortune though the new generation of digital cameras has opened up new possibilities. The internet has provided new avenues for distribution but the inputs that go into making the motion picture are cost prohibitive for most amateurs to undertake a feature length motion picture.

    Ed Burns, successful Hollywood filmmaker made his last film... for $9,000.

    The idea that films have to cost so much is clearly erroneous. As is the idea that you can't make back your investment. Once again, thanks to the TECH industry (the one you wish to bury), we get amazing new ways of MAKING video content for less and for monetizing it.

    Just because you live in a world of buggy whips, don't blame us for telling you that cars are available.

     

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  83.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 16th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But it is hard to deny that the ability to earn a living while innovating, pushing the envelope of creativity and innovation will probably result in greater progress.

    No it's very easy here is Richard Feynmann:

    When I was at Princeton in the 1940s I could see what happened to those great minds at the Institute for Advanced Study, who had been specially selected for their tremendous brains and were now given this opportunity to sit in this lovely house by the woods there, with no classes to teach, with no obligations whatsoever. These poor bastards could now sit and think clearly all by themselves, OK? So they don't get any ideas for a while: They have every opportunity to do something, and they are not getting any ideas. I believe that in a situation like this a kind of guilt or depression worms inside of you, and you begin to worry about not getting any ideas. And nothing happens. Still no ideas come.


    from "The dignified Professor"

     

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  84.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 16th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The more time one is able to dedicate, the greater the opportunity for innovation. It seems idiotic to deny that innovation does not increase and benefit by a greater investment of time and increased experience. Most innovation is not a thunderbolt from above, it comes from hard work and dedication.

    Real innovation comes from new insights - you only get those by doing things other than simply sitting down and trying to write/compose/ whatever.

    The track record of those who have (by whatever means) been freed from the need to work at some kind of day job is actually appallingly bad - see my quote from Feynmann below.

     

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  85.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 16th, 2012 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Even if you're right, how much talent and creativity a person has is far more important than how much time he has.

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2012 @ 4:34pm

    anyone trying to hard wire creativity to compensation has never been to the playa - where staggering creativity is on display, not just free of charge, but provided at great cost to the artists

    think different. radically different. )*(

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Sep 16th, 2012 @ 6:30pm

    Trace Cyrus/Ashland High gives current album away free!

    Ashland High (Trace Cyrus' current musical project) is letting people download the album "Geronimo" for free! To get it, visit http://www.AshlandHigh.com

    I met Trace back in 2009 after a Metro Station concert. Cool dude!

     

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  88.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2012 @ 7:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Not to start a shitfight but...

    ...Prometheus...wow...how many local public assistance programs would that disappointment have funded?

    /sad panda opinion

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2012 @ 1:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Once again, thanks to the TECH industry (the one you wish to bury), we get amazing new ways of MAKING video content for less and for monetizing it."

    Oh god, there you go again, ignoring the "why and how" and just pointing at the end result.

    You realize of course that most of the technology used today to make low budget films was pioneered and paid for by incredibly expensive movies? From Industrial Light and Magic to the crew that did Avatar, new and expensive technology has been used to make amazing movies, and over time has trickled down to the masses.

    The point is that you forget that without the mega movies to fund and pay for these technology advances, your $9000 movie wouldn't happen - and that's everything down to NLE and high quality, lower cost cameras as well.

    "Just because you live in a world of buggy whips, don't blame us for telling you that cars are available."

    As soon as you say "buggy whip" it's like a code word for "I am full of shit", because it's the same old tired line you always drag out. As long as you keep forgetting who paid for your technology, you can ignore the effects of killing off big money movies.

    Ignorance is bliss, and in this regard, you are truly a happy man.

     

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  90.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2012 @ 4:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I didn't suggest that creators become more innovative by sitting in "a lovely house in the woods" waiting for inspiration to strike. I said that dedicating the additional time to creative endeavors instead of tending bar or (in the case of Eliot) changing money at a bank would lead to greater innovation.

     

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  91.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2012 @ 5:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    As I have said, lightning strikes. Yes, you can make a walkie/talkie contemporary motion picture on the cheap. But the depth and breadth of creative output is vastly constrained by money. Far more than most other creative endeavors. It would be like having a painter only be able to paint using certain colors. Or a writer not being able to use a few thousand different words in the English language. Or a musician only able to use 2-3 instruments. The creative universe of a filmmaker is a far more expensive place than almost any other artist. And I'd argue that Burns experience as a successful Hollywood filmmaker made it easier for him to make a $9000 feature film than an amateur. Take a minute to look at your personal list of your top ten favorite films of all times. Tell me which ones could have been made for $9000 or at a price within the financial grasp of an ordinary creator.

    How about: Vertigo, Breathless, Citizen Kane, The Godfather I & II, Apocalypse Now, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Mulholland Drive, The Searchers, Breathless or Singing In The Rain. Those films are widely regarded as some of the greatest ever made. Which one of those could have been made for $9000?

     

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  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2012 @ 5:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    'The point is that you forget that without the mega movies to fund and pay for these technology advances, your $9000 movie wouldn't happen - and that's everything down to NLE and high quality, lower cost cameras as well.'

    Sorry are you trying to say the film industry are the only people that use lighting, sound, cameras, etc? Fail.

    Anyway the technology you speak of is not made specifically for the Movie industry. Most of the core tech actually comes from Universities and is taken and productionised by large tech companies. The movie studios are only an end user.

     

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  93.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2012 @ 5:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    All of them could have been.

    You just have to work harder and to a budget which hollywood don't seem to be able to do.

     

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  94.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 17th, 2012 @ 5:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    People give you examples of good cheap movies to prove that good movies don't have to be expensive, and your response is to point out good movies that are expensive. You're trying to argue that because those movies were expensive, that they had to be expensive. It's nonsense.

     

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  95.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2012 @ 6:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'd like to add to the list of good movies made on the cheap, of course this is purely my opinion that they are good, but Cube and Primer are two that come quickly to mind.

     

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  96.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2012 @ 6:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    People give you examples of good cheap movies to prove that good movies don't have to be expensive, and your response is to point out good movies that are expensive. You're trying to argue that because those movies were expensive, that they had to be expensive. It's nonsense.

    That's really not my point. The films I cited are widely acclaimed as being the best in the genre. None of those could have been made by the artists interpreting his vision for $9000. I don't know of any films made on a shoestring that are considered to be of the same creative significance as the ones I mentioned. The creative inputs to a motion picture are far different and more costly than the tubes of paint and canvas used by a painter, the computer and word processing software used by the writer or the instruments and recording device used by the musician. $9000 would be an enormous sum for any one of the universe of those kinds of artists, and would likely allow them to fully realize any creative vision they might have. But that same $9000 would be incredibly limiting for the universe of filmmakers trying to realize their creative vision.

     

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  97.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2012 @ 6:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    All of them could have been.

    You just have to work harder and to a budget which hollywood don't seem to be able to do.


    You obviously know nothing about the motion picture industry. Please explain how "working harder" overcomes a lack of money to purchase or rent or hire the necessary creative inputs.

     

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  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2012 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Cube was $365,000. Not a ton of money but still beyond the means of most mere mortals. Primer was $7000 and was released in 2004. It doesn't look like that filmmaker has done anything since but imdb lists him having something in pre-production. Though lots of films in pre-production never get beyond that stage.

     

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  99.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 17th, 2012 @ 9:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If all you're saying is that it's harder to make high quality movies without a lot of money than it is high quality music or visual art, I agree. But citing Hollywood productions is not a good way to get that argument across, because the studios have little to no interest in controlling costs. And dismissing any counterexamples as "lightning strikes" makes it look like you're arguing to a foregone conclusion, and will not entertain any other viewpoints.

     

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  100.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2012 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's kind of where I am. That the availability of capital is a much greater constraint on filmmakers actualizing their creative vision than creators in other endeavors. The "lightning strikes" observation also implicates the commercial success of films. Lightning seems to strike more often when a filmmaker has greater resources. And if you look at the top 100 films that are the most critically acclaimed, I doubt you'll see any $9000 films among them because (imho) financial constraints are extremely limiting to a film's potential greatness and cultural significance. That said, I realize that new technology has made a $9000 feature length film possible but I am dubious as to whether any such film will make "the list".

     

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  101.  
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    Ophelia Millais (profile), Sep 17th, 2012 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You seem to think you've served up some kind of rebuttal, here. Yet no one is arguing that certain types of creative acts don't require resources beyond what even a day job can provide. Instead, the argument is about whether commercial art must be commercially self-sustaining, and to what degree, by what means. To what, exactly, are artists and those who enable, exploit, or otherwise depend on them entitled? To what extent must consumers be required to subsidize the production of (for example) films with massive budgets, or music and home video formats and delivery methods fraught with unnecessary encumbrances?

    Every time there's skepticism about your entitlement to be paid, in perpetuity, any ransom you demand for every steaming pile you crap out, or skepticism about the ever-greater legal protections you want for your industries, you trot out the moral hyperbole. Well, it's b.s., and we're calling you out on it. As consumers, and as pragmatic artists, we are unmoved by your Chicken Little routine; we will continue to loudly bristle at legislation, litigation, and campaigns which tell us that art will die, artists will starve, unemployment will rise, and economies will crumble if we don't cough up enough cash for the eighth Police Academy movie* every time it rapes our eyeballs.

    * oh yes, it's coming

     

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  102.  
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    Ophelia Millais (profile), Sep 17th, 2012 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    People who can sing or play an instrument are a dime a dozen. There are gobs of competent session musicians, orchestras, career artists who have thousands of hours, many years of experience under their belts. They are well-paid working musicians with technical skill who can play as well as any big-name performer. They make a living from their art, yet they remain in obscurity. Why is that? By your logic, they should be awash in creativity, churning out the greatest works our culture has ever produced.

     

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  103.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Sep 17th, 2012 @ 9:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, I agree. I doubt many would want to fight you on that.

    Prometheus was one giant ball of loose ends and illogical, unlikely premises.

    By the way, I'm commissioning an interstellar trip that will cost you over two years of your life in stasis, but I don't want to tell you more than that. Yes or no, do you want the job? Don't worry, you'll find all about it once you get there and it'll be too late to back out of my batshit crazy expedition.

     

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  104.  
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    Cory of PC (profile), Sep 18th, 2012 @ 5:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, how about working with people over a distance for an example? Let's say that you want to have a large group of people for a movie and you are on a strict budget. You need to accommodate for not only plane/trains/bus tickets and gas money to transport everyone around, but some kind of housing for the people working on the movie and a food budget to keep everyone full. Not to mention that you have people coming from different countries to help with this, and you have to work within a certain time frame so you can get everyone back on the plane and have them fly back home.

    So if the budget is for getting everyone to work on the movie and getting them a place to stay and something to eat and drink, and then somehow they make a good-quality movie, then it is possible.

     

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  105.  
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    MaJoR Rush (profile), Sep 20th, 2012 @ 4:40pm

    Re: Re:

    Are you going to complete your project and then put it in the public domain or otherwise give it away for free?


    No, but I'm not going to chase after pirates either, and I'm certainly not going to charge $60 for the thing. We're still discussing monetization, but whatever it is going to be, it will respect that the market today isn't the one of a decade ago.

    Developers can get paid without being draconian morons. Indie developers can't ignore reality like big publishers try to.

     

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  106.  
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    Corrie, Feb 26th, 2013 @ 9:17am

    I get it.

    I completely understand. A lot of the earlier comments are just looking for holes in your post. I actually get it! There's a whole book on this: Quitter by Jon Acuff. I recommend it to anybody SERIOUS about closing the gap between their day job and their dream job.

     

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  107.  
    identicon
    Angry Bird, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 12:39pm

    At least you don't have morons telling you to get proper job or that starving artist rant. This forced to make a lot a decisions which I regret to this day. I should of chosen a degree in Fine Arts not this Interactive Media. When I was doing my GCSE I didn't choose to do Art to get this ranting bastard off my back due the pressures of Teachers I end up doing Art and got an A. Creativity can be real struggle living under the roof of same moron who basically compares to others. If I don't get to create I'm going to kill myself because life is not worth living any more no matter how many tips or advice I read.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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