For a long time now I have been wanting to be my own boss and work as a freelance independent producer.
Working at Spirafilm as the coop's Art Director for the past two years was a wonderful experience. I met a lot of amazing people, learned a lot and got to travel. I feel very blessed and know how lucky I am in this industry to have had a day job directly in link with my career aspirations. However I feel like it has run it's course. That's why after much consideration I decided to start producing my independent movie projects full time...
Did you hear that scream of joy all the way to your part of the world? I am WAY excited!
As a producer, I've had the most success so far when taking risks and being gutsy. That's why I decided it was time to take the same approach when it came to career decisions. However that doesn't mean that if you plan to become a freelance worker you shouldn't be organized or think ahead. I had been wanting to be a freelance producer for a solid year now and so I got prepared. These are the steps I took:
- I made a plan. I found movie projects I was passionate in 2010, knowing that movie making is a long process. It made for a busy busy year, but now I have a starting point. My projects for 2011: producing Ramiro's first feature film (a major major step in our careers), two short films and a series of videos. I think If you quit your job and have to start from scratch it could be a little scarier. I had also already mapped out my 2011 year project wise so that I would know that I have enough projects to be busy full time, know when money would start coming in and when I will have to start looking for new projects.
- I took a realistic approach to becoming a freelancer. I decided that following my heart and taking a risk ment making compromises, working long hours and making less money (in the beginning at least). You have to be realistic in a situation like this one, even when you are a dreamer like me. Otherwise you might set yourself up for disillusionment and come to doubt your decision.
- I saved some money and revisited the Bélanger household budget. I for one am more motivated by personal accomplishment and creative freedom than money. However here too you have to be realistic and let's face it our rent doesn't pay itself in cuddles. Putting financial pressure on a new business venture can be the best way to make it fail and to take all the fun out of it. So I planned accordingly, talked it over with my husband and cut some of my expenses for the time being. It will all be worth it for sure!
Although every situation is different and I am by no means freelancer guru, I did spend a lot of time thinking this over in the past year. I would say if you are thinking of working for yourself you have to be confident about your decision, be prepared, don't be impulsive and don't wait for the "perfect" moment (which, just like for having a baby, does not exist).
If you are thinking of quitting your job to work on a project or self owned business full time and are looking for inspiration, I recommend reading this post on Elsie Flannigan's blog, A Beautiful Mess, or Gussy's story over on her blog.
As for me: wish me luck! I have no doubt my adventures are about to get more exciting than ever and as creative as can be!
This is one step closer to accomplishing Ramiro and I's filmmaking dreams and a good decision in the Great Scheme of things. And hopefully one step closer to California... (to be continued!)