Paying Creators -

Paying Creators

A month ago, I got an email from a filmmaker, Kenneth Wajda.

He had seen my film “In That Moment” when our films screened together at the deadCenter Film Festival in 2011.

I am in the small town of Lyons Colorado, (20 min north of Boulder) which
got destroyed by flood waters last September. I am working to open a
screening room to show indie films in town, called the Lyons Cinema and
Photography Art Center. Just opening a new business has been a source of
inspiration for this town. Would it be possible to screen your film for our
audience? And/or other films of yours? I want to create a program that shows
quality films worth talking about, and yours certainly is.

I may be able to offer some pay. I am a believer that filmmakers should be
paid for screenings, so I will try to make some payment to you for your
work, depending on our turnout. (We only seat 30 or so, so it can’t be a
lot, but it may pay for a beer or two, anyway.)

As a filmmaker, I want my movies seen, so I sent Kenneth a vimeo link and got on with my life.

Two weeks later, I was surprised to receive a PayPal payment of $10 from Kenneth. Now, as he had said originally, $10 is not a lot of money, it may pay for a couple of beers or coffees. But here’s a filmmaker who’s starting a business in a town that’s been recently devastated, who is trying to spread the love of movies, and who is paying filmmakers to screen short films.

In a world where content is consumed for free, where creators have to give stuff away for years before getting paid, this was a very refreshing change.  The symbolism, and the intent behind it, matters. In fact, it is so unusual that it has forced me to write a rare post.

Good luck, Keith, in your efforts to bring short film to Lyons, Colorado.