Any advice for balancing hired projects with personal projects?

Richard Gravett | FILMSelf Shooting Director
  • Film Director
  • Camera Operator
  • Film Editor


  • Thanks so much @david ian bickley and @Sebastian Koseda for your excellent wisdom. Enormously helpful! What you're saying Sebastian is particularly what I'm battling with. That's a relief to hear.
  • I try to only concentrate on personal (non money making) projects when I have made enough money to be able to do so, I think its to do with letting your subconcious do its thing, when you have money worries your front brain is working so hard its not letting your back brain do its thing.
  • do them both at the same time — switching helps to maintain focus (for me anyway — mind you often realise that I've been cooking up a cool track for hours when I only had half an hour of video export / rendering to fill!)

  • @Stephan Knight & @Hugh Waldren - Thank you so much for taking the time to share your wisdom with me. Extremely helpful!
  • I always just treat my personal projects like they're also hired ones. Setting out mini-goals and tasks to keep them moving along.
    I find that i have to commit to them properly otherwise i tend to procrastonate. This then leads to not getting the real value out of them or forgetting the real reason why i am even doing them.

    It sounds like that just makes you feel like your working all the time, but personal projects have a lot more freedom. You can feel more comfortable being ambitious and best of all you can fail them with no 'real consequences' (that excludes cases where you've invested loads of money - i always just try to avoid that).

    That is why i respect them almost as much as i do my hired work.

    My final bit of advice about balancing them is to know where to draw the line between them. Be strict on the hours you have for hired projects and the hours you have for personal projects. I always just lay out my typical day as 9 hours of hired projects and 3 hours of personal. That can vary day-today but generally i stick to it and i end up getting a healthy amount of time to do personal projects... or you can make it more of a weekly thing and say i want to do 10 hours of a personal project this week, set a day on the weekend for that and you'll have done it in one!

    Hope that helps!
  • Make a trip out of your personal projects with friend or partner.. I find you get more inspired when you’re in unknown territory.. Keep your camera with you & you may make a personal project out of the blue..

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