I dream for a living.
       - Steven Spielberg

Hollywood vs. the World

 

 

Expensive wines, caviar, Lamborghinis, spas, a beach house in Malibu, country club membership… Who wouldn’t love the sheer delight of a Hollywood life? All the glamour, the fame, the wealth, the celebrities, the sweet smell of success stinking up the streets… Seriously.hollywood sign

For most contenders, Hollywood is the absolutely final destination. Actors, musicians, models, dancers all seem to set goals that end here in Tinseltown. The only other real competition would be Las Vegas. But for filmmakers and actors, Hollywood is the place to be.

The problem is: what you read in the trades is not the rule; it’s the exceptional exception. Behind the success of the minority, there were hundreds of thousands that failed. They had everything on their side: talent, looks, perseverance, and a good agent. But that wasn’t enough.

The formula for success is yet to be written. What determines failure and prosperity in Hollywood is different than any other place in the planet. Filmmakers and actors are right to come to Hollywood if they dream to work in the mecca of cinema, involved in commercial productions that are produced here and nowhere else. However, they should know upfront: sacrifice is necessary. If you’re having too much fun, then you’re not gonna make it. You must work hard. If you already do it, then work harder.

Improve yourself. Watch movies. Meet people. Read! Examine the possibilities and evaluate the circumstances. You should know better than anyone else if you got what it takes. Remember Socrates: know thyself. To save time and protect your sanity, before doing something drastic like moving in for good, you have to ask yourself: do I really want Hollywood?

Don’t you know there is a world out there beyond Hollywood? The world is far more forgiving, and the alternatives are plentiful. You could shoot weddings elsewhere and make more money than a camera operator in Hollywood. You could be a videographer for National Geographic and visit more countries than a pilot. You could be an editor for your local network and collect more knowledge than a librarian.

The problem is choice. If you choose Hollywood, dreaming to be part of that select echelon of filmmakers, actors, craftsmen, and musicians that have Oscar-adorned mantels and that travel once a year to Cannes, then you must be aware that your goal requires full-time commitment. The likelihood of success depends on the amount of time invested. Choose well.

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