Whether film or tee be one’s chosen creative medium, and be the genre mainstream or niche, the focus is audience - ticket sales or t-shirt sales, it’s all one. Lose sight of the audience and lose out on sales.
There’s a contrary old thread running through this marketer’s touchstone that suggests one should creatively produce to one’s own tastes - film something you’re passionate about; design something you’d buy yourself. This mindset is ideal provided you’re willing to fill the cinema with self-purchased tickets, or buy out your store’s inventory with your own money, otherwise it makes more sense to keep your eyes on the prize - the audience / the buyers – should business / career / income be your watchword. Of course, the strictly amateur, dabbler or hobbyist needs not confine himself to the lofty pursuit of audience attraction.
Many are those aspiring filmmakers who have lost the shirts of their backs attempting to produce films for the public's consumption, as have myriad accomplished auteurs and producers, thanks to the fickle nature of said audience. The trick to successful film-making, as in t-shirt selling, is in how one adapts and adjusts to an ever-changing market, by accepting each so-called failure as merely a successful teaching aid, and going on to produce / design other projects until ticket / tee sales are made. And, then, go onto producing / designing more "failures" till the next seem of paydirt is yours! Essentially, it is all about becoming an actor - put on a brave face and explore the various challenges of your role as filmmaker or designer.
Nigel Hamilton-Allan / LA-Tees