Go fund yourself (and bake cherry pie)

Finance

Bake & sell every slice of your creative pie

If you cringed at the thought of a money blog, read on. If you were tempted by the thought of cherry pie, read on.  Many creatives think money and art don’t go hand in hand but it doesn’t need to be that way. We aren’t driven to create for money but that doesn’t mean we don’t deserve to be paid for our creations! Stop waiting around for Hollywood to come knocking, get savvy and learn to go fund yourself...

Many creatives are struggling in these times which has inspired us at Collab HQ to offer practical and supportive tips to help monetise creative talent. You are talented and deserve to be rewarded. As your grandmother hopefully taught you, never put all your eggs in one basket. Rather than having another Netflix binge, grab a pen and paper and draw a circle. How many slices are there to your creative pie? In each section, label a creative talent you could earn from. We invite you to take one action every day for the next 21 days to monetise your creative talent pie.

1.Examine your thoughts & money habits

This is the hard bit. Examine your relationship with money. Do you see money as negative? Listen to your thoughts and conversations about money. If you are in debt and moan about never having enough, you’ll attract more of the same. For a bit of fun, why not try Rhonda Byrne’s the Secret and write yourself a cheque for your creative projects, put it up on your fridge and manifest!

2.Reframe your money relationship

If you tell yourself your life is abundant then you might just end up attracting more money. This isn’t pie in the sky, for more motivation on earning money whilst doing what you love, check out ‘The Money Tree’ by Chris Guillebeau. Keep a ledger of your incomings and outgoings for the next 21 days (including direct debits). If there are things you don’t want to spend money on that you don’t have to, don’t.

3.Pie chart your creative income sources

Back in school we drew pie charts. Think of your creative life as a warm juicy cherry pie. Decide whether you are going to cut your pie into halves, quarters, sixes or sevens. Label your creative talents into pie portions and write down a monthly figure that your time is worth. Stick your pie chart on your fridge, alongside your cheque from the universe.

4.Develop a portfolio of creative outlets to help fund your projects

Once you’ve cut your pie, let the cherries ooze out. One of our founder collaborators is fluent in a second language and in lockdown has been tutoring via Zoom. Another member has been mentoring and coaching actors, soundproofed a cupboard and recorded an audio book. These are just some of the countless ways to get creative in ways that’ll reap rewards. If you play an instrument, can that be a slice of pie – piano lessons via zoom? Can you write for a magazine? Baking a creative pie is building your brand and showing you aren’t a one trick pony.  Get creative and don’t be shy about hustling for work and flaunting your skills.

5.Patreon your projects – it’s as easy as…pie

My dad’s an artist, always has been, always will be. Self taught, no posh art school diploma, his art was a product of hard graft, passion and grit. He painted whenever he could and built up a collection he exhibited in local art galleries. This created a fan base and demand drove commissions. A local hotel loved his work so much they filled it with his local watercolour paintings that adorn the walls today. It was hard to get creative work out there in those days, there was no social media, it was word of mouth worthiness. Today, it’s a piece of pie, so there is no reason not to be earning from your work (if you want to). All you need to do is get it out there and remember, money is applause!

Do you want to get paid for the art you are creating? Do you want to build a fan base for your work? If so, PATREON is a no brainer contestant for a slice of your pie!

In a nutshell, it’s a virtual shop/online channel to you and your creative projects. Supporters pay per post or creation, or on a monthly basis. You decide the frequency of your creations, whatever suits you. The other cool thing is you get to engage directly with your supporters. Unlike Kickstarter or Indiegogo, there is no end date, Patreon support is ongoing.

6.Crowdsource

Many members developing projects are eager to crowdsource but having not done it before don’t know where to start. On top of Patreon, you could do a one-off campaign to fund a social/creative movement, book or movie. There are many options – first off, do your homework, plan your campaign, think up rewards, shoot a short video on your phone, tell people about your project through social media, market the project and you’re ready, steady, GO!

Indiegogo – the preferred site of filmmakers. Current creative projects include writing and publishing, TV and web series, music, photography, film, comics (the list is endless).

Kickstarteras it’s all or nothing, the fees are lower than Indiegogo but there is a risk that you might not hit your goal. Another reason your marketing and social media campaign is critical to its success.

The key difference between these two platforms is that Indiegogo has a ‘flexible funding’ method so you get whatever amount you’ve raised (even if you don’t meet your goal). Kickstarter, is a ‘fixed funding’ site so if you don’t hit your goal you walk away with nothing. Remember that supporters are buying into ‘you’ so make your campaign as genuine and real as possible and deliver on your promises.

From experience, add a year to your timeframe. Creative projects take longer than you imagine and there are unexpected events like this year that you can’t foresee. Two years on, we are still editing Consequences (the novel that was one of our crowdfunding rewards). We will get it out to our backers (hopefully this year) but it has been later than planned and we really appreciate the patience of our supporters.

7.Apply for film grants, enter contests and seek charitable funding to support your work

Whilst many organisations have cut funding for the arts, some remain and you’ve got to be in it to win it. So, use this ‘indoor time’ to throw your creative hat into the ring. The BFI Fund remains. If you’re a screenwriter, The ISA has multiple contests, including the Emerging Screenwriter contest for TV pilots or features (deadline June 30th 2020). If you are telling stories that matter that reflect the issues of our time, you may be in with a chance. And, let’s remember, Film Festivals that can showcase your work like the Raindance Film Festival, established by Founder Partner, Elliot Grove.

On the theme of stories that matter, have a think about charities that might be interested in the work you are creating. If your film promotes diversity or mental health support then contact charities and ask how you might work together. If your goals merge, they might give you a mountain to shout from. Many creatives don’t get paid because people who might support them don’t know they exist. You are ‘real’ influencers, you have something to say through your creations, so it’s time to get on social media and give future generations someone to follow who can teach them something that matters.

8.Walls are tumbling down – send your work to publishers /industry and enter writing competitions

Publishers who were once closed to unrepresented writers are opening their doors to unsolicited manuscripts. You don’t need an agent to get noticed these days. Take advantage, knock on those virtual doors and submit your work.

If you’ve got any slices of pie left (are you hungry yet? I am) please offer one slice to writing competitions. There are so many out there. It’s fun, good practice and if you’re lucky you might be long or short listed or better still, win! Here’s a list of this year’s top writing competitions. Don’t be put off if they don’t bite, accolades are just applause and like marmite you’ll never be everyone’s cup of tea. Your pie is delicious whether you got paid for all of it or offered up a slice or two for free. And none of those ‘I don’t have time’ excuses, how many Netflix series have you watched this year?? Some writing contests are 100 words for micro fiction, check out Retreat West.

Conscious that many of you are keen to learn from industry professionals about how to finance your writing and movie projects, one of our favourite Film Producers and Writers, Ali Mashayekhi has accepted our invitation to the next Collab Writers’ meet-up on July 2nd to share his top tips on crowdfunding and tricks of the trade.

Tune in to hear Ali’s top tips on Thursday 2 July at 7pm BST. Till then, I’m off to bake and eat that delicious cherry pie…and I hope you will too.

The 5 Secrets to Creative Productivity

Collab Writers is delighted to bring you a guest blog on the 5 secrets to creative productivity, by celebrated author and Collab Writers founder member, N J Simmonds.

The 5 Secrets to Creative Productivity

Creativity can’t be switched on or off, yet we all need to produce in order to create. So how can you ensure that where you put your creative energy yields results?

I have five points for you to consider…but first, a little about me and why I’m known for being so prolific.

NJ SimmondsMy name is Natali and I write all types of fantasy under various names. I’m a mum of two and although originally from London, I now live in The Netherlands (after seven years in Spain). As well being a mum in a foreign country with no family support, I also run my own brand consultancy business and I’m the author of fantasy books The Path Keeper, Son of Secrets, and Children of Shadows (signed to US publisher BHC Press as N J Simmonds), I’m a writer of Manga (for Big Bang! Manga magazine), one half of Paranormal Romance writing duo Caedis Knight (first series the Blood Web Chronicles launching this autumn), and I currently have a middle grade novel and a fantasy duology out with agents. Yup. That’s a lot of output.

‘let us understand how you do it,’ I was asked before writing this blog. ‘Tell them how you manage to juggle so much and still create!’

So here are five points to consider.

1) Don’t Assume Creativity is a Level Playing Field

Before I start raving about how we all have twenty-four hours in the day and if Beyonce can do it, why can’t you? I’d like to talk about privilege. No matter what level you are at in your craft, the space and time to be creatively productive is a luxury. It’s important we all recognise that.

I have achieved a lot in my life because I’m organised, motivated, positive and brimming with ideas etc etc…yes, that’s all great and I’ll come to these points later…but I’m also in a position of privilege. I tell you this because I don’t want you reading my tips and feeling like you’re not trying hard enough.

Firstly, I have space in my life to create at the speed that I do. I run my own company, but I also have a partner with a good job so I’m under no pressure to single-handedly provide. If I were a single mother with three demanding young kids and a full-time job that rendered me exhausted by 6pm, do you still think I’d be able to do what I do? No. I couldn’t. And on top of that many people have physical and mental health reasons why constant productivity is impossible. I have the luxury to manage my own working hours and to take creative risks with projects that sometimes pay…and sometimes don’t. I also have kids who, at aged 9 and 11, leave me alone a lot. Plus I’m healthy with an abundance of energy (I can get by on 5 or 6 hours of sleep a night). Those perks aren’t available to everyone…no matter how much they push for it.

Another factor to consider that some of you may have noticed during this current pandemic, is that creativity can’t be forced, and external pressures can really stifle the imagination. When we are all struggling at the bottom rung of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and living in survival mode, coming up with cool plot ideas or feeling in the mood to paint for five hours isn’t going to happen.

Yet there are plenty of people who do have the space and time to create, some even more so than me, but they still go all day with nothing to show for their time. So let’s look at how they can increase their productivity.

NJ Simmonds Fantasy Author

2) Something Has To Give

What’s currently stopping you from getting stuff done? Do you feel like you don’t have enough time? Resources? Money? Energy? Head space? Ideas? Whatever it is, the one problem most people share is time.

The ‘everyone has 24 hours in the day’ fallacy is nonsense. Yes, we all have the same amount of hours to play with, but some of us have no choice but to use those hours doing things we don’t want to – even outside of working hours. Cooking, grocery shopping, childcare, life admin…you name it, some days we wonder what the hell we’ve been wasting our time on.

I have news for you. Something has to give.

That doesn’t mean you stop feeding yourself or leave your children on a street corner – it means prioritising, discipline and exercising boundaries. Why boundaries? Because if you are serious about your art then those around you need to understand it too.

I’ve never calculated how many hours it has taken me to write my books, but I started plotting my debut The Path Keeper in 2012 and it went on sale in 2017. That’s a lot of hours of work. And from 2016 until 2020 I have written (or still in the process of writing) a further ten books plus a 12-part Manga cartoon. As I said, that’s a lot of hours of not doing other things.

So what had to give? I watch less TV than before, I go out less, I sleep less, and I don’t spend hours working out or making myself pretty. I also run a very tight household where my kids are expected to chip in, and they know that when I’m working they have to respect that.

Ask anyone who writes more than one book a year how much they go out or lie in and they will laugh. Because you can’t have it all. And if you want to create a lot, then you have to choose art first.

3) Colour in the Blank Spaces

Saying that though, you can also be creative WHILE doing mundane stuff. When I wrote my debut novel my children were only one and three years old and they cried all night. I didn’t get more than 90 mins consecutive sleep and it was killing me – which is why I started to make up my story in my head at 2am, 4am, 6am.

And I still create characters and plots during the blank spaces of my day. While in the shower, driving, hanging out the washing you can still be coming up with ideas. You may also have to do two things at once – ring your mum while walking around the supermarket, watch your TV show while cooking, read your book while having lunch – whatever it takes to buy back some time to create.

This probably explains why I sleep so little, my mind has been trained to not stop, but it also means you never spend a day staring at a blank page because the idea has already been formed during your empty times.

4) Plan/ And Stick To It

But let’s not forget the most obvious of tips. Plan. You have to be organised to run so many projects at once and keep churning creative work out.

I’m very strict about how I plan my day. I check social media and emails from 6am-7am, get the kids to school and do housework 7am-9am, then I work (dealing with my creative projects or clients, with my phone on plane mode and no social media open on my laptop so I don’t peak). But I will gove myself a treat every 45 mins of chatting on Twitter or watching Netflix over lunch. When the kids get home I keep working while also looking after their needs, cook dinner, then have quality time with my family. By 8pm I stop because…

5) Treat Yourself As You Would Treat Others

…you have to be kind to yourself.

Productivity is more about the quantity of art you create it’s not about the quality. And if you don’t put effort and love into your family, relationship, friendships and yourself you will crumble. So also try and switch off sometimes.

You’d think that would be hard to do when you’re doing so much in the day – but actually, the sense of satisfaction you get from achieving what you set out to do will give you a sense of accomplishment so large you’ll be totally fine about stopping and treating yourself to a movie, a bath or a cocktail with friends.

Know your limits. Some people need to work on one thing at a time and that’s great, break down what you need to do and give yourself enough time to work through the list with buffers for when life gets in the way. And others like me, who are restless and impatient and obsessive, need to constantly have twenty balls up in the air for the high, for the variety, and for that giddy sense of momentum.

But remember – no artist hits the jackpot on their first time, so for any level of success you have to keep creating. Don’t be scared to try new things and branch out. After all, Picasso created 50,000 pieces of art, from sculptures and ceramics to sketches and oils, and I bet you can’t name thirty of them! Keep making, keep producing, and one day one of those things you create will make you.

By N J Simmonds for Collab Writers

Ask a question about Collab Writers Networking Meetups

Let go, journal & help ease dis-ease

 

Charlottes Heart

Isolation is testing many of us. It may be bringing up some of the old self-doubts and criticisms or others’ issues that they project onto you.

If you let it, it can make you uncomfortable. Taken to the extreme and buried it can cause dis-ease that affects you mentally, physically or both.

The time has come to let it out – let go and transmute the negative by telling positive stories of easing dis-ease to help future generations.

Artwork by Charlotte, my angel of a neighbour who has brought me food and looked after me in isolation. I will be eternally grateful!

Easing Dis-ease project

In November 2019, Collab Writers launched a call for interest in the ‘Easing Dis-ease’ project inviting stories of the dis-ease of life (of body, mind, love, work and other peoples’ stuff) and the ways we have found to reframe and transmute dis-ease. The project will be in print and audio and a portion of profits will go to charities that ease dis-ease.

Now is the time to join Collab Writers in writing about dis-ease and using positivity and creativity to reframe it. If you are reading and thinking, ‘I’m not sick, this isn’t for me’, dis-ease goes beyond the physical, it’s any pain or suffering, mental or physical about any aspect of the life you are living, in any which way.

Dis-ease is the body or mind telling you something, somewhere in your life is out of balance.

Many believe that ‘journaling’ is one way of ‘letting go’ of negative thoughts, feelings or beliefs; memories that are trapped in your mind or body and no longer serve you. I for one, use writing and creativity to reframe in an effort to turn pain and suffering into something positive.

Chicken soup for The Soul

Like everything in life, cathartic story telling is not new. We read Fairy Tales as children and if you are old enough, you will remember the much loved self-help series of books, Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield. This was a collection of stories and tales bringing wit, wisdom, hope and empowerment to see you through life’s darker moments.

Be of service to future generations – share your reframes

Many believe that a ceremony of burning the pages you’ve written releases the story you’ve been telling yourself and let’s it go. This is a wonderful ceremony to release negative beliefs and thought patterns but given many of us are isolating in apartments, I’m not advising this!

Burning pages or scrunching them up and throwing them in the recycling bin, also feels a little indulgent when others might benefit from your learnings and reframes. It’s not to say you need to share all of the gory detail of your suffering in your story but you can keep the pages as a record, and transmute it into a reframe to help future generations.

Whilst each of our lives is unique and individual, dis-ease is something we all experience in some measure and we know from the current chaos that future generations will not be immune to it. This is your opportunity to serve those future generations to help them to transmute and transform feelings and thoughts to help reframe the dis-ease of life.

Journaling /Cathartic writing

How? Well, it’s pretty easy. Just write. If dictation is your thing, dictate and get your software to put the words on a page for you.

I first heard about journaling from Julia Cameron’s ‘Morning Pages’ featured in The Artists’s Way in my dad’s library when I was a teenager. Julia recommended three pages of writing first thing in the morning about absolutely anything.

Allowing subconscious streams of consciousness to flow out of the shadows of your psyche is both therapeutic and revealing. It gives you insight into parts of you that you might have buried, that when fully awake you might not want to step into.

I share Julia’s view that as tempting as it is to do everything online, we discover a special connection to ourselves when we write long hand, paper or pen on the page. Subconscious streams of writing is also a great way to release the negative. In a strange way, writing it down, allows you to be a silent observer, acting like your own counsellor.

Journaling can help you be your silent observer 

Journaling may give you a different perspective on life. Remember not to beat yourself up about thinking life’s events over. When you are an empath and tuned into your emotions you invest emotionally in life, people and situations. Many people in this world lack empathy and compassion and behave without a care for others’ thoughts and feelings. Beware of these people, the stories they tell you may be their own stories and fears projected onto you. Embrace your inner empath. Be proud of you compassionate, creative, emotional self and tell stories to help others channel their energy for the greater good.

And, if I may finish with one tip, don’t be afraid of what comes up when you journal. Getting it out is the first step in addressing the dis-ease of life. Look for the reframe, the hopeful and positive opposite and channel your thoughts into stories – get creative!

If you would like to get involved in Collab Writers or contribute to the Easing Dis-ease project drop us a line on info@collabwriters.com  

 

 

Passion Projects – the Creative New World

Make art that mattersMy last blog sung the praises of collaboration at a time when we most need to come together and feel a sense of community. It encouraged you to leave paper trails of collaboration to help navigate your collective creative journeys together. It’s important not to focus too much on do’s and don’ts and to allow deep passion and inspiration to fuel the subject matter of both your own, and collaborative creations.

Art is the mirror of the soul…of your soul and mine….of our gaze.”

Malena Rodriguez La Rosa

The same can be said for all creativity – paintings, song, writing and movies. In a time where we move from the Old World Order to a Brave New World, we each have the opportunity to create to offer hope to current and future generations. Looking to the past, we can learn what audiences might want at a time like this. It’s no surprise that pandemic, disaster themed stories are set to become mainstream. There’s nothing to stop you jumping on that bandwagon. You can dare to be different by making yours with a twist. Read on for ideas

Passion projects

We all have a passion for something in life. Each and every one of us enjoys doing, or dreaming of doing something. Us creatives have passion projects…ideas that come to us. And, if we don’t bring those ideas to life, they keep nagging, like an in-built alarm that keeps going off if you haven’t paid your inspiration enough attention.

Passion projects are often the stories whose flame burns deep inside. It’s a fire that has to be lit and burn bright. Many of you will be working on passion projects that began in the Old World. They could be light or dark. In a time where it feels like there is a dark blanket covering the planet, light the flame of inspiration wherever you can. If your passion is grizzly crime or horror, how about weaving in some kind of inspirational, meaningful, or humorous message that’ll leave something to be of help to future generations in times of darkness. Let the light get in somewhere and somehow.

Remember that in the Old World there weren’t that many ‘bad’ experiences that touched the population as a collective. Suffering was more limited, now it is widespread.

As you consider and craft your passion projects, dig deep, examine them closely and ask yourself if this is what you really want to make, or is it a construct of yourself that you used to wear well in the Old World? What we create as a creative community at this time will influence future audiences so create with passion and care for the greater good. This single line from the great Sufi poet, Rumi rings true:

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you”

RUMI

In the New World, where we live with the stuck record of pandemic on every radio and TV station, audiences might not want to feel more anxious reading or watching movies. Consider whether you can give your audience some inspiration and some humour…

Laughter is the best medicine

Let’s look to an inspirational world leader. If you have ever watched the Dalai Lama, you’ll notice he often uses humour in his interviews and story telling.

“I have been confronted with many difficulties throughout the course of my life…But I laugh often, and my laughter is contagious. When people ask me how I find the strength to laugh now, I reply that I am a professional laugher.”

The Dalai Lama

In my humble opinion, laughter has helped me immensely. In times of severe pain when painkillers don’t work, I try to practice laughter (to the extent that I am able) and I am blessed to have friends who make me laugh in times of stress. You know who you are! Watching or listening to something humorous helps too.

The benefits of LAUGHTER on the body are widespread, not only is it a great holistic body and mind work out, it also, (apparently):

  • increases serotonin and endorphins
  • replenishes the lungs, relaxes muscles and eases tension in the body
  • reduces stress hormones in the body
  • protects the heart & increases immune system functioning.

It’s fair to say that laughter is critical for our health and sanity in all times, and especially during these times of great uncertainty. So, if comedy is your thing, now’s the time for you to make future generations laugh. And, if grizzly floats your boat, chuck in a handful of humour, it takes the edge off the gore.

Film studies: Crime Noir emerged from the atrocities and darkness of WWII

In a previous blog, I put Shakespeare on a pedestal showcasing what he created during isolation from the Bubonic Plague. Well, why not ,we’ve gotta aim high Collabers!

Looking back to films that emerged from the Second World War, it is no coincidence that the crime noir movement which has influenced so much of what we enjoy today, emerged during wartime. Was the timing of the movement a coincidence? Or, did people make movies that mirrored the horror and darkness they were experiencing and tempered that with humour as a means of hope. Blackout

Sheri Chinen Biesen in her fascinating work ‘Blackout‘ describes how Film Noir drew on societal anxieties as Americans faced fear, loss and shortages.

If you glance back through history, you will see what audiences wanted at particular times.

Why not spend some time looking backwards to learn and forwards for inspiration. Be still and gaze into your crystal ball to see what audiences of the future might want to watch.

Make movies that matter & write words that resonate

In writing stories of the future we have the opportunity to shape the New World Creative Order. It is within your gift to feel inspired, get passionate and create projects to influence and change the hearts and minds of future generations. I will leave you to ponder your passion project through the wise lens of the great leader, The Dalai Lama:

“Be ready to change your goals, but never change your values”

– The Dalai Lama

Collaboration Paper Trails

Colalborate

Two of Collab Writers’ taglines are the all important ‘collaborate’ and ‘create.’ They are the foundation of who we are as a community. Like a house or community needs strong foundations, once we ‘connect’ Collab Writers need strong, dependable, trustworthy relationships. Please don’t be put off by the hand touching above, at least one person is wearing a glove. Hopefully one day soon we can all hold hands again without gloves or hand sanitiser!

Look to your homes for an example 

To bring the importance of paper trails home, can you imagine buying a house without hiring a solicitor/conveyancer? NO! The same goes for when you rent a property, you get a draft lease of what the tenant can and cannot do in the property. If anyone has rented from a friend without writing down the do’s and don’t; whilst it might be rosy to begin with, cracks can show later on down the line when each friend recalls a different conversation. Some of you may have been there!

Collaboration is golden

Collaboration can produce writing and creation beyond your wildest dreams, ideas that wouldn’t have happened if it was just you. We are moving into a world where working together is going to be vital for the future of the Planet and our Society. Gone is the individualistic hedonism of our Old World order, the ‘I have more than you’,’ I am better than you’ ego dominated approach to life. Collaboration has a firm place at the table of the future and we need to take care to build strong foundations, both as a community and individually to work together as best we can.

A game of ‘Consequences’ Collab Writers’ style was good practice

At our monthly meet-ups (at The Library and The Arboretum) over the last year, many of you played the game of ‘Consequences’ in pairs, threes or more to practice the art of collaborative story writing on stories that we started for you to finish. The stories can be seen on our website. This was to encourage a playground for collaboration of ideas and to build relationships of trust with one another, potentially for future collaborations.

One of our missions at Collab Writers is to build a community of like-minded individuals, pulling in the same direction to collaborate and create.

Paper trails / email chains

We all know the importance of paper trails, even in the creative realm. If there is no paper trail, or ‘electronic trail’ of what, who, how much etc there can be problems later on down the line. At April’s Collab Writer online meet-up via ZOOM, we were reminded of the importance of ‘paper trails’ by media and entertainment lawyer, Tony Morris.

A couple of  founder members shared lessons learned of collaborations where they hadn’t created paper trails and to no surprise, confusion.com prevailed on who owned what and ideas were snatched. In one circumstance, there was a walking away. The collaboration mood music was clear:

When you collaborate with others, WRITE DOWN who’s doing what and how you are splitting creative ownership, etc. A written agreement is music to any lawyer’s ear, especially if you end up seeking legal advice for a dispute further down the line.

In this vein, Tony mentioned a helpful Court of Appeal case, Kogan v Martin [2019] EWCA Civ 1645 concerning joint authorship of copyright works. In his judgment, Lord Justice Floyd reviewed the existing legal authorities and provided helpful guidance on the law of joint authorship, summarising the position in 11 key requirements. If you have a geekish interest in this or just want some tips, have a read.

So, what can you do to try to encourage positive collaborations?

You can never predict what might happen in a collaboration and that’s half the fun, so you can’t predict whether a dispute will arise, in the same way that you can’t predict how long we might be isolating for in 2020! However, failing to prepare in any collaboration is preparing to fail. It’s really that easy. The advice is WRITE THINGS DOWN…..and send emails to one another confirming what you have agreed.

The proof is in the pudding, Blue Peter style

Like the old Blue Peter saying ‘ here is something I made earlier’ it is so much easier to explain your side of the story  when you have something to rely upon. A back and forth with your collaborators clearly setting out who is doing what and how you will attribute any collaborative effort, will be a life saver for both your wallet and your creative collaboration. “He said,” “she said,” “I said” is messy and it’s your word against theirs which isn’t much really. Make everyone’s life easier by agreeing upfront IN WRITING. 

Eager to learn practical tips from a leading media & entertainment lawyer?

If you want to know more about some of the do’s and don’ts, Tony Morris is running online sessions on this topic and a number of other important topics:

🎬 Rights in a film – who owns what?
– Monday 13th April at 7pm UK time
🎬 Collaboration arrangements for indie filmmakers
– Thursday 16th April 2020 at 7pm UK time
🎬 In front of the camera – what needs sorting?
– Monday 20th April 2020 at 7pm UK time
🎬 Writers’ agreements
Thursday 23rd April 2020 at 7pm UK time
🎬 Using music in film
Monday 27th April 2020 at 7pm UK time

Lectures will be held on Zoom and cost £8 each, or £35 for all 5. These classes are managed by Raindance.

And to make our lives easier, Tony has already written key advice down in his book, The Filmmakers’ Legal Guide. The Kindle version is available on Amazon.

Details of the second edition are on Facebook where some FAQs are answered and there are some short videos featuring those who have used the book in the course of their productions.

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail

Ok, ok, I like to prepare for things. I blame my introverted nature and background as a lawyer. Whatevs, it has served me well, so to cut through the chaff here, when you collaborate with others set out in writing a clear understanding of:

1.Who owns what in your creative collaboration

“I’ve created it (I have creative ownership) and you’ve collaborated on X,Y, Z.”

2.Who is doing what

3.Who controls what.

All of this is to help ease your creative collaboration journey.  Collaboration can make your creative ideas much richer, just play nicely and fairly. Happy Collab’ing Collabers!