It takes teamwork to accomplish something as large as a professionally produced film. So how do you jump into the process as a new filmmaker? We had a few questions for Lisa Belcher of Jump Rock Pictures about her experiences in the film industry.
WITH LISA BELCHER
Jump Rock Pictures, Austin
When you started did you think that you could do everything yourself?
As a new filmmaker, I needed to be open to collaboration for sure. I needed to find a crew and people with strengths in different areas of the film industry to support the film. I knew that I did not have expertise in every area.
Do you think it’s possible for you to succeed alone?
Absolutely not. Any success I’ve had is attributed to collaboration with not only the cast and crew, but businesses in the community. I could not have succeeded without them.
Does collaboration play a bigger role in art than other professions?
For film, 100% yes. So many aspects go into making a film: the set design, cinematography, camera, lighting, costumes. Filmmaking is so expensive. For independent filmmakers, funding everything is a major challenge so we need collaboration to make our art.
Do you think it’s important for companies to support local art?
Artists in all fields find it a challenge to monetize their art. It’s the nature of the artistic business. With support, more amazing art can be created!
How can they benefit?
More art out there and artists working benefits the community. For our own productions, we consider their business and what their challenges are. What do they do? How can we help?
For instance with HEYDAY, a new cold brew coffee in Austin, it was a win-win. They wanted to spread the word organically so we are helping with promotion while we film The Guest of Honor and A Chance of Snow. We put their logo and link on our website, took pictures on set with the product and gave them a shout out on the 101x radio show.
What was your end/main goal when you became a filmmaker?
When I first started, my goal was to be a filmmaker in Hollywood. It seemed the natural route to take.
Do you think Hollywood is still the dream for most people?
The good thing about Hollywood is that you get paid more and you have more avenues to get your art out there. However, independent filmmakers still make a living, and I love this gig. Right now I am living my dream. I’m going to enjoy the journey, who knows what the destination will be.
Does the reality of your life now match your expectations?
No, haha, I’m not in Hollywood. But I am pleasantly surprised how enjoyable the journey and process of independent filmmaking is. I have the freedom to make my own artistic choices. Hollywood seems more driven by money.
Is there a specific experience you had that changed your view or goals?
Directing my first short film, The Gift, in Hong Kong was an amazing experience.
I was shocked by the support and collaboration from the people offering their time and resources to make the film.