Creative Economist

I finally gave in...

You see, here's the thing.

Growing up, I was fascinated with movie special effects and seeing how filmmakers made monsters come to life on screen and how actors smashed through windows and fell off buildings.

I would tune in to Behind the Scenes specials on TV every chance I got. In particular, a show called "Movie Magic" on the Discovery Channel really got me excited about venturing into the entertainment industry.

When I set off to LA to become a filmmaker, there was one thing I knew for sure. I was going to make movies.

Unlike some other people in my classes, I wasn't interested at all in making music videos, commercials, or these weird things called YouTube videos that were just coming out.

So yeah, I focused on making movies. And I did manage to produce a few indies.

But the reality is unless you want to really dive into the ecosystem of the industry, working on the outskirts trying to make indie films is less than ideal when it comes to earning a living.

Often times you have to do it as a side hustle to a normal job. I was lucky enough to have my "normal job" be a steady DP gig on a TV show with Larry King. But even while working there, meeting hundreds, if not thousands of celebrities and working with a legend in broadcasting I was still trying to get movies made.

When Larry's show ended, and he passed away (RIP Larry), I knew I wanted to pivot.

So I pivoted into something I never thought I'd do -- commercials.


There's one thing I knew for certain. I wanted to work for myself and have my own business that could be profitable and allow me the opportunity to continue working toward my ultimate goal of making movies.

There are a few truisms when it comes to working with brands.

  • Brands NEED commercials and video content to sell their products
  • Brands have an annual budget to spend on commercials and video content
  • The bigger the brands, the bigger the budgets
  • The projects happen on a condensed timeline

With all of these things in mind, I knew I wanted to make commercials and branded content for large brands. So that's what I did!

Since making that shift, I've managed to land clients including Walmart, LEGO, Hilton, Marriott, Adidas, and more.

And because the budgets are bigger and the timelines are smaller, I'm able to work on outside projects while growing my business.

Would you be interested in learning how to take your own company in that direction?

Hit reply and let me know. I'm gearing up for more content on Filmmaking Central and I'd love to hear your interest in something that would teach you how to start, grow, and scale a video business.

In the meantime, I've just dropped a completely free course on Filmmaking Central for all of us movie buffs.

Led by filmmaking powerhouses such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, The Coen Brothers, Quentin Tarantino, Spike Lee, Sydney Pollack, Sam Raimi, Brian DePalma, and more, this course delves into the evolution of American cinema, from its early beginnings to the present day.

And yes, it's completely free! Learn more about it by clicking here.

Until next time.

Alex Darke