Formerly: DIY Filmmaker Sujewa Blog - Werewolf Ninja Philosopher and other 2018 movies! DIY = Do-It-Yourself. DIY film = low budget indie films made and distributed by the filmmaker. This is a blog by filmmaker Sujewa Ekanayake. 2018 films - Werewolf Ninja Philosopher, Breakthrough Weekend, Brooklyn Fantastic, Agnes the Alien. Blog active since 2006. Since 4/28/18 blog is called NEW ART FILM (since 2018), see post below for more re: the new direction.
Some indie filmmakers that I've heard from through the magic of electronic mail are disappointed that their DIY films have not yet made them rich and or famous by Hollywood standards. What I have to say to that is if you want to get rich & famous by Hollywood standards, then you should try to make a Hollywood movie & get it distributed widely - & get tons of tickets & DVDs sold & get tons of cable & foreign licensing & then make sure you get paid properly for your work. DIY film, as I & many others understand it, is generally not a smaller version of Hollywood nor is it a quick stepping stone to Hollywood. DIY film (as I & some others practice it) is about making interesting films through means available to you at the moment, and also distributing those films through means available. On a grand scale there is a relationship between DIY film production & distribution & Hollywood stuff - but there is no guaranteed link between the two areas of art/entertainment making activities. A Hollywood movie is like a gigantic stadium show - you know, like a concert by U2 or some other epic band - takes a lot of money & people to produce & brings in a lot of money. A DIY film typically is like a young singer/songwriter performing for 50 people at a small venue - creative, interesting, can be done without losing money, may even be profitable eventually, but, as far as $s - it is like a small business as opposed to Wal Mart or some gigantic retailer. The same goes for being accepted into name festivals & having a big budget or stars or any other signifier of Hollywood or Indiewood level success. If those are the things you dream about, you should totally go after those. But, making features on digital video with unknown actors & showing those films, selling those DVDs most likely will not get you the level of fame & wealth that comes to some people in Hollywood. DIY film (as I see it) is a space for artists, entertainers, & entrepreneurs who like to make low budget film works & distribute them. DIY film is not really just another name for indiewood: indiewood was a smaller version of Hollywood, and that thing is dying at the moment (maybe it'll come back to life in a few years, who knows). There is the rare chance that one or more of your DIY projects will make a lot of money or become known US or world wide - but you should not be too disappointed when that does not happen or audiences respond negatively to your film (that actually happens to Hollywood movies too). Anyway, if you are a fan of interesting movies & do not care about stars & budgets - as far as the kind of movies that you watch, then ultra low budget filmmaking & self distribution - DIY as I know it - is a path to making & sharing/selling similar works of your own with others. DIY is however not a replacement for Hollywood. DIY film is its own unique thing - with valuable aspects all its own - unrelated to what's good about Hollywood or the benefits that a filmmaker can get from a successful Hollywood movie. Being able to make movies, show them at festivals or at your own screenings, sell DVDs is awesome - even without having famous actors or millions of dollars involved in the projects. And when you make some money from your projects you can try to save it up - maybe it'll add up to a lot eventually. But if you are unhappy with not having Hollywood level success - then stop making DIY films & try to make a Hollywood movie. Hollywood is one thing, DIY is completely another thing, and the two are not similar or closely related when it comes to budgets & ability to provide fame. Obsession with big budgets, getting into name festivals, having stars in your movies, getting a positive review from a certain critic or site are indiewood things - related to Hollywood & are ways of aspiring to be close to Hollywood. Nothing wrong with having those ambitions - but know that DIY is not really about that stuff, it is about the joy of being able to make interesting movies, show & sell those movies to people, run a small business - at least that's how I see DIY film - it is an empowering & wonderful thing (at least can be in its finest moments) but is not Hollywood. If you don't like having or needing a day job from time to time or permanently, and if you are not very excited about having to develop multiple streams of revenue for yourself (other than $s from your filmmaking activities) or if you are mostly just interested in film as a quick path for fame & wealth, then you should totally look into making it big in Hollywood. On the other hand, if you can't imagine living (or living well, happy) without being able to make movies, then the DIY route/approach will make it possible for you to make movies NOW (now being like a few months to a year :) - it will allow you to do something very interesting & rewarding (in some cases, for some) with your time & life. That's how I see it.