"Making It" is a documentary film which explores the professional lives of illustrators in the comics/fantasy industry. Woodrow J. Hinton III introduces and narrates this film in which he interviews three of his friends who have reached, like him, "the middle" of their careers in illustration: Eric Fortune, Andrew Bawidamann, and Brian Ewing. The four men share a supportive friendship and this provides the basis for the success of this movie: it could have been disingenuous, superficial, and perfunctory, even simply goofy. Instead, in interviews discussing their careers, their values, and their process these artists provide genuine self-assessments and vulnerable exploration.
These core interviews are interlaced with additional comments from other prominent illustrators all responding to questions about what "making it" means to each of them.
What emerges is a clear picture of the grind of making art on a daily basis, insights into the individuals who choose to walk this path, and understanding of how varied the path is.
This film offers a realistic view of working in the field, but it also gets at many truths about working in any artistic field. I think students in art school, or students about to enter art school will benefit from watching this movie.
The artists discuss finding a style, dealing with clients, and the need to change "hats" multiple times a day just to stay in the business.
If you're already a working artist the material covered isn't going to be new to you, but I think you will enjoy hearing how these artists talk about their work and their process, how they ponder making changes in their careers, and how they view their careers.
Ultimately I found this an inspiring movie about working hard, taking pride in your work, having a vision, and being willing to take risks to evolve. It is also a movie about friendship. I think the filmmakers have made a special record about four lives in an industry that is in constant flux; an industry in which you need to "learn to love the journey."
I recommend that you watch it whether you're an artist, married to an artist, the parent of an artist, know an artist…
I found the film on Amazon Prime. It rents in SD for $3.99 or HD for $4.99, or you can buy an HD version of the movie for $9.99.