Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Utah Filmmakers™ Values & Ethics

"Creepy Movie Director"
AI image by Craiyon

Most are familiar with the cliché of the self-serving, duplicitous “movie” guy that exploits young ingenues in front of the camera and naive wannabe auteur filmmakers behind it. It’s cliché because it happens. When it happens, it hurts. What makes it hurt more? The fact that it’s a cliché. It’s a vicious cycle.

When the Utah Filmmakers Association adopted its vision of bridging the gap between amateur filmmakers and an industry for which they may have trouble finding a door—to say anything of getting their foot into it—we asked professional filmmakers to help us better understand what it takes to become working filmmakers in the industry. Using the platform with the greatest reach available to us—Ben Hawker’s “Utah Filmmakers and Actors” Facebook group—we requested that the professionals in that forum define the standard for the group and invited the other members—students, hobbyists, and amateurs—to aspire to that. The first rule in the group is Professionalism. This is all anyone needs to remember because all the other rules address specific issues that wouldn’t be issues if people just remember to be professionals. It’s thanks to those higher standards that the Utah Filmmakersgroup has become a more valuable resource for Utah’s film industry and the local film community, as well as helping to define how the Utah Filmmakers Association, as an organization, can better serve them.

Professionalism is the first of our Core Values, along with Integrity and Respect—i.e., being a good and trustworthy person—which inform our Code of Ethics & Conduct. With over 17,000 Community Members, it does not exist to dictate anyone’s behavior. It sets a standard to strive for and lets others know what they should expect from a Utah Filmmaker.

When someone in the industry casually remarks, “I know that person! They’re a Utah filmmaker,” it's our hope that descriptor is automatically associated with Professionalism, Integrity, and Respect, inspiring other filmmakers to want to work with them.

When it comes to UFA™ Members placed in positions of trust and recognition—including Forum Moderators and Community Liaisons—there’s an implicit expectation to be held to this standard. For our Principal Members and Associates, unequivocally committing to abide by that Code is a requirement.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and—especially where guest posts are concerned—do not necessarily reflect the official policies and/or practice of the Utah Filmmakers™ Association, its officers and/or associates.