Ben Craig, a Scottish director who made his short film MODERN TIMES for a budget of tea and sandwiches, has been taking some heat on his Vimeo page for the definition of “no budget” given the very nice Sony EX3 he shot it on and the studio space he used for a flick that’s now gathering some major buzz from Hollywood agents and execs1.

The truth is that Craig shot the entire film using equipment and a studio borrowed from a photographer when it was free at the weekends. He then set about doing all the visual effects himself, learning the software as he went.

The bitterness of the commenters is hard to fathom2. If we as filmmakers want to make the projects we’re passionate about, we need first to focus on building a contacts book of creative collaborators – a network of mutually beneficial relationships.

By asking first “What can I do for them,” before “What can they do for me,” we can not only start relationships on a positive footing, but also potentially open doors to exciting opportunities that will never come the way of those filmmakers who spend their time bemoaning the fact that they don’t have the resources that people like Ben Craig or Gareth Edwards3 had.

Sometimes selflessness and generosity is the best way of being selfish and getting what you want. I guess that’s what they call Karma.

Some other posts you might like:

  1. as per yesterday’s Hollywood Reporter blog piece here []
  2. although sadly all too common []
  3. the director of the similarly home-made (effects-wise) MONSTERS []