It’s So Much Easier to Say “No.”

When you’re working on a low-budg’, independent, passion project, you are at the mercy of so much good will. You need people all around you who want to help you make your show solely because they think what you’re doing is cool or possibly just for the sake of helping somebody. Today, I’m thinking particularly of those who control locations. If somebody you’ve never heard of arrives out of the blue and asks to film something in your store/bar/home, the path of least resistant is to say “No.” We’re all busy already. If you say “No,” you’re not adding anything new to that already heaping plate of activities and responsibilities. You don’t have to do anything. You can just go on doing whatever it is you do without having the hassle of dealing with something new and—for the uninitiated—mysterious. So let’s hear it for the folks who say “Yes.”

We’ve had the best luck with independent, one-location operations. If you can contact a place and get ahold of the owner and originator of a business within one transfer or by leaving a note, they’re more apt to help out. Maybe it’s because they know what it’s like to try and force something into being, maybe it’s just to try something new, but they’re the most laid back about the whole thing. The more franchised an operation, the more levels you need to move through, the harder it ges to reach that “Yes.” I think it’s because once you reach a certain level of the company, the person being asked already has so many different things under their purview they’d rather not have something else to have to remember. Plus, like I said, mysterious. If you don’t know all of the factors involved in what someone is asking you, why risk the disruption? It makes sense. That’s why Half Price Books was so unexpected. They allowed us to shoot back when we were recording on mini-dv tape and getting substantially less views. I have no idea why they did it, but I love them for it. They’re a franchise with a ton of locations throughout the US. They had literally NOTHING to gain by letting us film in their store. But they did it anyway. The super coolest. Not to say all the others aren’t. All the independent places that have opened their doors to us—Dark Tower Comics, Bridie McKenna’s Pub, Close Knit, The Honky Tonk, The Wooden Nickel—such nice folks. I love them all.

This is all on my mind because it’s friggin’ hard to find a parking garage to shoot in. Just saying.

Thanks for reading.

–Jake

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