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Columns / The Classical Dilemma

by Jaap Mees

In film-making, and not only there, you have the classical dilemma between art and money. Both are mutually dependent on each other. It's a strange contrast because film needs money to be made and distributed and money without ideas and creativity is rather pointless.

When you make a film, the last thing you want to think about is money, because genuine films deal with emotions, thoughts, ideas, desires, dark and light dreams, and essentially it is something spiritual, so completely opposite to anything material.

But when the film has had it's final cut you need to find an audience for it, so you have to promote it. Probably the best thing to do is to concentrate on getting the maximum out of the script, the actors and the crew during the shoot and worry about the distribution afterwards. When you do it the other way round, in finding out what the public wants (marketing) and then pleasing them, in other words when you work from outside in, opposed to working from inside out, the chances are very big that your film will lose it's heart and authenticity and eventually loses it's flavour.

Jaap Mees' column appears monthly in the New Producer, the magazine of the New Producerers Alliance.