Did you know Richmond Hill had one of those? Well, we do.
Meet Anne-Marie Miles and her dog Medaase. I’ll give you one shot to guess which one is the filmmaker and which one is the critic.
Sometime ago, Anne-Marie contacted me about the Women’s Business Alliance. She was planning on moving to Richmond Hill and was interested in learning about some of the groups here. So, I did what any person well versed in the art of Southern Hospitality would do – I invited her to lunch. And, because life is always better when Heather is serving the food, I took her to 606 East Cafe.
Anne-Marie is funny, quirky, creative, and an all around great person. I had never met a filmmaker before, so I had a lot of questions. The biggest one revolved around the scope of her career – what it was she actually did and who her ideal client was.
This one is kinda hard to explain because I’m such a such a talented, complex and mysterious woman… does that sound intriguing? Well, it’s really not… I’ve just been able to pick up a few extra skills since I graduated from college. So, I guess that makes me a “jack of many trades” – not ALL trades, just many.
The title I’ve been using lately is Documentary Filmmaker, but you could also call me a TV Producer, Writer, Narrator, or TV Show Host (and there are a couple more things I CAN do, but don’t really like to do).
I started out working in TV news, and after a few years I discovered that the local news industry doesn’t jive very well with my soul. So, I started working at a local PBS station and was able to work with what I was passionate about – nature and the environment. My time with PBS also taught me how to create and develop multi-media projects that include websites and outreach. I was also exposed to history projects and realized how fascinating history can be… but, after awhile my workload continually increased, my life experiences outside of work continually decreased, and my paycheck continually stayed the same!
So I thought to myself, “Self, why stay here and work like a dog for very little pay and even less appreciation, when I can do the same job on my own (and more importantly, on my own terms)?” In my mind – which I now realize is very small & confined!) there was no argument. So, I quit my job at the PBS station and started doing freelance work with the dream of becoming an independent Documentary Filmmaker.
Freelancing has some great benefits, but also has some great challenges. I’m constantly applying for jobs that I’m overqualified for – just to get the work (and the paycheck!). And, creating a documentary film independently has some major challenges – mostly, funding. So, I’ve been pursuing the documentary filmmaking in my spare time, with my own money, while searching/doing freelance work. Unfortunately there hasn’t been enough freelance work to support me and my documentary filmmaking hobby, so I decided to start my own production company. Even though this takes very little start up costs, it does take time, so I’ll probably end up working a part-time or temporary job until I can get enough clients for my business.
My ideal client (in the strictest sense of “ideal”) is myself. As a “creative”, I love the thought of being able to create something (ie: a documentary) that is uniquely my own and not having to alter, adjust or change it in order to please others.
That being said, usually the only “creatives” who don’t have to please others AND can still make money at it are already very successful in their field…
and they probably became successful by pleasing others.
So, who is my ideal client, you say? Anyone wanting to help fund a documentary just because they think the subject matter is important. Any environmental and historical agencies or groups that have a compelling message, interesting story, or a desire to educate their community.
You can contact email@example.com to get in contact with Anne-Marie for projects or support.