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in Filmmaking
on Jan 1, 2009

It seems whenever the economy is down you’ll hear some rose-colored-glasses wearing producer saying, “Great, now that stocks and real estates are no longer offering investors a return, they’ll turn to film!”

Well, for those of you waiting to see how the economic collapse will affect independent filmmakers, Hannah Seligson in The New York Times offers one possibility: there may soon be more of us.

From the piece:

With Wall Street hemorrhaging jobs, bonuses disappearing and the financial sector going through a seismic shift, some bankers and lawyers are switching lanes to more creative career paths. They are putting down their Wall Street Journals and picking up Variety as they try their hands at comedy, filmmaking and writing.

Harry B. Weiner, a partner at On-Ramps, a recruiting and consulting firm that works with financial professionals, says the economic downturn is creating a new psychology of career transition.

“People feel there’s nothing to lose in terms of taking a risk and pursuing a new direction, especially when you have a résumé that says ‘banking’ and no banks are hiring,” Mr. Weiner said.

That was certainly the calculus for Benjamin Cox, 33. After leaving his job as a vice president at Goldman Sachs in August, he immediately began incubating his plans to work on his screenplay — he calls it a cross between Swingers and Annie Hall — and start a production company.

Mr. Cox said that with the upheaval on Wall Street, he feels relieved to have a backup plan. “I’m seeing a lot of people who never thought of an alternative to banking.”

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