In an inspiring article from Hollywood Reporter, these directors were profiled to talk about their involvement in their most recent films. Reitman was fully responsible for getting this year's independent phenomena Thank You For Smoking funded. What he went through wasn't easy and certainly didn't produce immediate results. Perhaps the number one quality these director/producers must obtain is patience. It took him a total of seven years to get the film made. Now the film is nominated for two Golden Globes and two Independent Spirit Awards. Too bad we couldn't go into the future to predict its success; it would have shaved a good six years off of pre production. As a result, Reitman's career is not only where he wants it to be, but he is also an inspiration for other like-minded directors.
Yes, patience is important, but perhaps the ultimate ingredient for making an independent film is passion. Neil Burger, director of The Illusionist (nominated for best screenplay by the Independent Spirit Awards; is anyone keeping count?) talks about directors producing their films being the only real way to get the film made. That no one else can have the same amount of passion and dedication to their film as they do. It's like a parent's enthusiasm for their child; filmmakers consider their projects their babies.
Even names like Emilio Estevez have to work to get their productions off the ground. His recently debuted film Bobby had the same struggles. Estevez went through finding funding and losing funding, then having to halt his production until he was able get the finances back on track.
The lesson to all artists here is that it is absolutely doable for you to get your work made. You just have to have the patience, persistence, perseverance and most importantly the passion to create something unlike anything that has ever been made before. And another perk for blurring the lines of director and producer is you get to keep the rights to your baby forever.