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Expert Advice: Nicholas De Wolff, Part 2

Part 2 of Nicholas De Wolff’s responses to my Expert Advice survey.

TG: What advice would you offer to someone just starting out in the business?

Nicholas De Wolff:

Five to eight years ago, I and many others would likely have a surfeit of conventional words of wisdom, pointing emerging producers down relatively conventional routes to possible success, with the warning that nothing was ever guaranteed. Today, however, all bets are off. I have seen sure things fail inexplicably, and quixotic ventures gain traction, against all odds. I’ve seen crap fly and gold burn. There are truly no guarantees today, but there is a wide swath of opportunity. The typical development/production/distribution channels are no longer pipelines, but rather open freeways, with myriad on and off ramps, as well as parallel side roads. More than ever, the independent producer has the opportunity to drive quality content into the market. My advice would be simple enough: never stop learning, never stop experimenting, be ever humble, and success will find you. There is too much going on these days for someone who stays actively involved, with an open mind to the technological and creative pathways opening up, not to benefit. Witness one of the fastest growing Film Festivals in the country, the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (www.nffty.org), which is dedicated to filmmakers 22 years old and younger. The sheer number of films submitted last year was astonishing, and the quality of films screened mind-blowing. This year the festival is under so much pressure to expand that they are adding an international category, and only a week after the call for entries went out, the festival is on track to triple submissions… from kids as young as 9 years old! These are not home videos, mind you, but polished accomplishments with compelling storylines and superior production values.

Next: Nicholas De Wolff, Part 3…

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