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Filmmaking and Girlfriends


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#1 Gino Terribilini

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 04:16 PM

I will be applying for film school soon, but I have a bit of a dilema. I have been with my girlfriend for close to 2 years and she is wanting to get married, but I feel far from ready. I am only 20 years old and from what filmmaking I have done, I know it is a very demanding art- just like women (in general).

What have been your experiences with your girlfriends, wives, boyfriends, etc. and filmmaking? Has it been a benefit or has it held you back?

Gino Terribilini
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 04:25 PM

I will be applying for film school soon, but I have a bit of a dilema. I have been with my girlfriend for close to 2 years and she is wanting to get married, but I feel far from ready. I am only 20 years old and from what filmmaking I have done, I know it is a very demanding art- just like women (in general).

What have been your experiences with your girlfriends, wives, boyfriends, etc. and filmmaking? Has it been a benefit or has it held you back?

Gino Terribilini


Hi,

If she is in a good job then she could be very helpful to have some money comming in!
I have been with my girlfriend for 6 years. She still does not understand why I work such long hours and have no idear when a shoot will finish!

Stephen
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#3 JonathanSheneman

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 04:28 PM

I will be applying for film school soon, but I have a bit of a dilema. I have been with my girlfriend for close to 2 years and she is wanting to get married, but I feel far from ready. I am only 20 years old and from what filmmaking I have done, I know it is a very demanding art- just like women (in general).

What have been your experiences with your girlfriends, wives, boyfriends, etc. and filmmaking? Has it been a benefit or has it held you back?

Gino Terribilini


Filmmakers aren't artists Gino, so don't tell her that.
The best way to keep your g/f happy is to listen to her REALLY LISTEN to her.
Also be 'prolific' in your "art", show your short films in around town and make sure she sees that you are "impressing" others with your commerical talent.
They sell out hella fast but be smart and don't trust everyone who tells you poop.

Good Night and Good Luck is going to win Best Pic for 2005. See it.
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#4 Dan Goulder

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 09:37 PM

Some women will take an interest and be supportive. Others may show no interest in anything you do that doesn't involve them personally. The most ideal situation is where you are focused and motivated enough in your work that you can function independently of the approval level of friends, spouses, and family. However, sometimes that's easier said than done. (Bottom line: If she insists you give up your "silly dream" and get a "real" job, you could end up hating both her and yourself.)
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#5 Marty Hamrick

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 09:44 PM

(Bottom line: If she insists you give up your "silly dream" and get a "real" job, you could end up hating both her and yourself.)


This is quite true.Been there,done that.Never again.Having said that I can also say how beneficial it is to have mate the DOES support what you do.In my case I ended up with one that has more business and financial brains that I do.My profits have increased more than 200% in the last two years.Oftentimes artists suck at business.I'll admit it.
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#6 Mitch Gross

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 09:45 PM

Try having a small child and another on the way.
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#7 Dan Goulder

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 09:54 PM

In my case I ended up with one that has more business and financial brains that I do.My profits have increased more than 200% in the last two years.

Would you mind if I borrow her for a couple of months? :D
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#8 dd3stp233

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 10:02 PM

If you really want to excell, you cannot have time for anyone not even yourself. The film will become more important then anything. - I would not recommend becoming like this but it is too late for some. Good luck.
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#9 Gordon Highland

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 10:08 PM

I have been with my girlfriend for close to 2 years and she is wanting to get married, but I feel far from ready.

Sounds like your profession may be irrelevant for the moment if that's how you feel. ;)

It also depends on what aspect of filmmaking you eventually work in. Some of it can actually be very steady work with normal hours, but feature work is not. If she's flexible [dirty joke removed], the long hours and weeks can be somewhat offset by longer periods of free time as well, whether that means doing projects around the house, being more dedicated to the kids, or getting away together as a couple. I'm one of those (lucky?) 8-5ers currently, but some of my close freelance buddies have had good luck with their relationships despite their schedules; of course, their wives are pretty adventurous. They travel much of the time, and the wives are occasionally able to come with. These guys also work more than average, but I think the feast-or-famine financial nature of the business often is the cause of a lot of the strain with spouses.
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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 10:23 PM

Hi,

In my experience, most women are interested in how big your wallet is, and how fast your car is.

Considering that filmmaking will not provide either, find someone understanding...

Phil
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#11 Dan Goulder

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 10:58 PM

In my experience, most women are interested in how big your wallet is, and how fast your car is.

Phil

Some can make your wallet go even faster than your car.
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#12 22west

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 11:37 PM

Hi,

In my experience, most women are interested in how big your wallet is, and how fast your car is.

Considering that filmmaking will not provide either, find someone understanding...

Phil


I hear ya - its not very often that a gal asks "What kind of camera do you use?"
Of course - I wouldn't have much luck responding with "a K3".

:P
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#13 Tomas Koolhaas

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 11:58 PM

I will be applying for film school soon, but I have a bit of a dilema. I have been with my girlfriend for close to 2 years and she is wanting to get married, but I feel far from ready. I am only 20 years old and from what filmmaking I have done, I know it is a very demanding art- just like women (in general).

What have been your experiences with your girlfriends, wives, boyfriends, etc. and filmmaking? Has it been a benefit or has it held you back?

Gino Terribilini

Hi,
I know were you are coming from, trust me. I was in a 3 year relationship when I went to film school, to make matters more interesting we both moved to Los Angeles together when I went to school, so we didn't know anyone but each other at first. I won't lie to you it was hard! and if I am really honest with myself there were many oportunities I missed during film school that I would have capitalised on had I not had girlfriend (mostly social events that had potential for networking) who I rushed home to see every night. Having said that I am still very happy with how my time at film school turned out and it served me well. Also my girlfriend got into film herself when she moved here (Art Direction) so she could understand why I never knew when the shoot would be over or why I had to stay in the desert overnight rather than drive all the way home at night etc..etc...
It all depends on your relationship, trust is a big factor, if you have trust issues she may think you are not really shooting all night but up to no-good with another lady instead. The biggest thing is understanding and compromise, if she understands that you are going to film school to fullfill a dream and is willing to spend a few lonely nights without you when you're on a nightshoot, or accept that you cant have your cell phone switched on because you dont want to mess the sound Dept. up, then you should be OK, but you should know that you undoubtedly will at some point compromise the interest of your schooling in favour of your relationship (either in large or small ways) just because that's how relationships work, but whether this will ruin your relationship or your schooling is dependent on how well your GF can adapt and compromise to this new situation. By the way, My relaltionship survived film school (6 years now) and I have got more work than most of the single people in my class since graduating- it can be done.
Good Luck.
Cheers.

Edited by Tomas Haas, 03 January 2006 - 12:00 AM.

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#14 Richard Boddington

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 12:25 AM

Well I'm married, have a two year old boy, and another coming on April 15th. Plus a mortgage.

As you can see from my other post I just got back from a two week shoot in Antarctica, and I'll be gone again soon. But when I'm not gone I'm home 24/7, so that more than makes up for a few weeks of the year when I am not home. My biggest problem is explaining to my wife that going on safari in Botswana is "work." :)

Other posters have suggested that an understanding wife is key, and I would second that. Although I get paid 52 weeks a year via my residual income from shooting. If we lived hand to mouth relying on 4 weeks of work there and five weeks of here, I think it would be a different story. That would be tough on any family. I know that the parents of women who are thinking of marrying a filmmaker often have serious reservations. "How will you support a family without steady income?" They'll ask.

Another poster suggested that your wife/girlfriend can work, while you try and establish your career. This can also be very handy if you live in the USA and she has health insurance via her job.

R,
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#15 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 12:31 AM

I had been with my girlfriend for four years by the time I started film school, and after seven years, we got married, and now we've been together for over twenty years total.

I wouldn't be here today if not for her support -- not just emotional support, but the fact that she had a full-time job with a health plan freed me up to work freelance and take a lot of poorly-paid jobs. She's also extremely good at personal finances and taught me a lot about paying off my credit cards, saving up for things, etc. Plus she had no problem with living frugally; if anything, even when we do have some money, it's a little hard to get her to spend it (except on trips -- she loves to travel.)

We still only have one car, a 93' Toyota Tercel that she bought and paid for, but I seem to drive mostly (she has always ridden a bike to work whenever possible -- hates cars.)

She's been all-around the perfect partner for someone like me, going into this business. Plus she's a trained reference librarian with a second Masters in film history & archiving, so I can turn to her for any difficult fact-finding...

Your girlfriend wanting to get married is not necessarily going to be a career impediment one way or another, assuming you want to get married too, although it seems like you're rushing (you're talking to someone who dated his girlfriend for seven years before popping the question...)

The real issue is how flexible you can be in terms of work and living with an uneven financial situation. If she's got some idea of "settling down" with a house and kids, you're in trouble... because any big financial burdens and high overhead can make it hard to deal with the type of work that you will get as a beginner. But if she's committed to supporting your interests, living within both your and her means, then she can be a tremendous help, smoothing out the gaps in employment, providing emotional stability -- and it's often cheaper to live as couple than to live alone.

I had a friend in film school who was married, wife had a career, but she basically gave him three years, more or less, after graduation to have his film career going full-bore, after which she wanted to have children, buy a house, with him working full-time. So after three years, having not "made it" in Hollywood, he basically gave up and went to work at an office. And many other friends also quit over the years, basically because they decided to have kids and suddenly making enough money for a family became the top priority.

On the other hand, I do know a number of industry people with families, so it IS possible. It just becomes more of a challenge, that's all. But certainly none of this is possible without a wife who is a true partner in crime.

Edited by David Mullen, 03 January 2006 - 12:36 AM.

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#16 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 12:49 AM

I have stayed mysteriously single since I started getting really hardcore about AC work. At first I attributed it to the fact that maybe some guys are intimidated by girls with tool belts. Then I think on a more subconscious level, this has been a deliberate decision and not just weird timing or anything like that. In short, being "unattached" and thus being able to commit fully to my career goals, has caused me to rethink what I look for in other people. How much will they be able to relate to me if they don't love what they do or if they don't work as hard as I do? Any guy I end up with for any amount of time, should be into what he does as much as I am into what I do. Then I think we would have common ground.

If people in your life can't or won't understand that yes, you are "always" on set, and yes, this IS the most important thing to you, and yes, crew call IS at 6 am...you have to ask yourself if they are worth playing a large role in your life or not. I've lost out on a few friends because they neither care about nor understand what I do and why it matters to me so much, but hey, I'm the one striving for success and they are the ones condemning me for things I love doing. Their loss, not mine.

I guess what I"m trying to say here is that you should always be willing to hear the other person's side in situations like this, but you should also follow your dreams and recognize when the people in your life become a hindrance to those dreams. That sounds ridiculous and cliche but I really can't explain it any better because I just got off set and I'm so cold that I can't feel my toes. (You know I love it...!)
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#17 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 01:02 AM

It's a bit of a tightrope act because while your partner MUST understand the hours you have to put in when shooting, it's your responsibility to make a good faith effort not to take your partner's patience for granted, and to make an effort when possible to consider their schedule, etc. During prep on a feature, I always tell my wife when I might be home, or if I might be late, etc. and try and keep her informed of my schedule. During the shoot, she knows that when we wrap is completely out of my hands so she has no expectations on that account.

But I make it a point of not assuming anything, or taking her for granted. I try and be considerate, and thankful, all the time. And I try and make sure that I take some time off between big jobs to spend as much time wih her as possible. It's not exactly an effort -- I WANT to spend more time with her!

One aspect though of our relationship is that she hates being a fifth wheel, or "the wife" whose name no one can remember, at an industry event, having to make small talk to strangers, so she rarely goes out to those things, or to wrap parties, etc.

And there are movies that I see that she won't, and she goes and sees movies that I don't see. We share a lot of similar interests in movies, especially classics, but she isn't too fond of mainstream Hollywood films anymore (although she saw "40 Year Old Virgin" and I missed it...) I go see all the blockbuster stuff like "King Kong" without her.

Edited by David Mullen, 03 January 2006 - 01:03 AM.

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#18 Mitch Gross

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 01:36 PM

I think David has made some of the most intelligent observations here, as usual. I will make two additional comments based on what I just read in this thread:

1 - Many of ya'all have a lot of growing up to do, especially to certain attitudes about relationships and women in general.

2 - With comment #1 in mind, I will say that I find a woman wearing a toolbelt quite sexy.
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#19 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 02:01 PM

Any relationship needs constant work and attention, but if you pick the right partner, it's not UNPLEASANT work and attention...

Yes, I agree with Mitch on #2 there.

Edited by David Mullen, 03 January 2006 - 02:02 PM.

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#20 Daniel J. Ashley-Smith

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 02:25 PM

I personally think it's a good thing to have time apart. Otherwise you end up getting sick of each other and start arguing and try to kill each other e.t.c.
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