Art v. Commerce
I’ve been making videos for a while and ever since I first made any money from it, in my head I still always wanted to tell stories more than anything. But it felt good making some money from videos even if it wasn’t narrative. So the debate was always – “Art or Commerce?” Should I take another step in the direction of making art, something I love? or should I invest time into more commercial projects?
From what I have experienced, I still have not made a solid decision. I’ve definitely invested into equipment that will help me with client work, but in the back of my head I never let myself spend too much because that is simply not my ultimate goal. Whenever I buy something, I always rationalize, “yeah it will help me with client’s but will it help me with my filmmaking?”. Of course gear isn’t everything, but that’s a thought for another day.
I once had a client ask me “What is it you want?”. Something I think many people in video work are asked, and I told the guy I want to make movies, I want to make something beautiful, and with merit. He seemed to love my answer, telling me I was the first “video guy” to have such high aspirations, which made him sure I was the guy he wanted to work with.
There was a time when I realized I was doing a lot of work for other people, perhaps too much. At the time if seemed like I had no time for art. I had unfinished scripts, incomplete ideas, and dozens of half written notes on my phone. It’s not a good feeling to think you don’t have the time to work on the things that were your driving force for so long. Since then, it’s been a little better but I’ve also met so many new people that would like to work and balancing the time do it all has been a mess. Luckily I’ve been blessed with more creative jobs, so now when I talk to clients I tell them I’m a filmmaker first, and a videographer second.
(Two stills of videos I filmed. Left was for someone else, right was for myself.)