Web Series World News: Burnt Out

(Stareable) #1

Welcome to Web Series World News! Today’s topic:

When the hustle and grind stops being #goals and starts being #dangerous

Massively popular YouTuber Elle Mills uploaded a video this week called “Burnt Out At 19,” explaining the toll overnight popularity and the required workload to “make it” on YouTube was actively harmful to her mental health. Though she’s a more traditional “YouTuber” rather than a web series creator, her struggle speaks to the heart of many familiar frustrations- being your own boss, overworking yourself to keep up with trends and algorithms and maintaining relevance.

All this goes to show yet again that “success” doesn’t always lead to happiness, especially in the digital realm where constant access to new content can be demanded from your audience without regard to the creator’s ability to churn it out at the quality they want to upkeep. And yet more and more overworking yourself is glorified, especially for millennial and creative workers.

2 questions- 1, how can we as a community of artists stop glorifying being overworked? and 2, how are you maintaining artistic/professional boundaries to make sure you don’t hit a breaking point?

(Erica) #2

Nodding my head at “as a community of artists stop glorifying being overworked”. This is something that makes me cringe in some of the forums at reading others notes in how they made it and in this notion of underpaying ourselves and others for what we create. As if our creations are not paying us then we have to work elsewhere to earn an income.

Now I know we are all at different stages of our careers, and generally as artists we need to proof our worth at different points, so people see the value in investing in our work. I have certainly done that. But I made a couple of choices along the way, unless someone is a partner in our project or we were doing some sort of equatable exchange, I would pay them for their work. In the event I could not afford to pay them, then I would figure out how to do the work myself.

This aided me in few ways:

  • I taught myself a lot of new things that have aided me in my career and have added to the teaching I do.

  • Having an increased understanding of different jobs has helped me understand what I am asking of others and what they need to do their jobs properly.

  • I finally understand my own value and that if I am paying others, I similarly need to pay myself.

Plus for a project to be sustainable and to fund future projects, we need to find funding solutions to creating our projects, in which the whole team gets paid properly, including ourselves.

Now don’t get me wrong, at the beginning we still need to put in the work. For me, that included building Roamancing.com and it’s surrounding storyworld, including our sizeable social media following. It also included me investing in Season 1 of Naturally Ours, in which everybody got paid, but me. But now that we can demonstrate the quality and audience response to Naturally Ours, we are hitting pause on filming, while I work at raising the financing for future seasons. This is important, as financing this properly will allow us to focus our energy, prevent me from burning out, and ultimately give us the means to invest in a pilot season to some of our other future series.

I know we all have our different approaches to all of this, but this is the path that at present seems to be making sense for me.

(Mark Mainolfi) #3

I really like that you’re highlighting the difference between the creative side of filmmaking and the business side. Whether we like it or not, both sides are necessary to make this kind of a thing a career. I also agree that getting yourself to really understand what you’re asking of others is very important in being an effective producer.