Good morning, film folk.
This week The Film Doctor Team are going to approach a rather common phenomenon amongst both working and aspiring creatives – the not-knowing-who-you-really-are issue.
This week’s Monday Prescription is holding a mirror up to who you are, what you are, what you want to be and whether you’re spending your time in a way that will achieve what you want.
Do you REALLY want to make commercially successful movies?
If the answer is “Yes”, stop standing on the sidelines. Just talking about your plans & ideas is not actually getting you any closer to realising them. Just proclaiming your love for the film world is not going to make you a successful part of it.
Examples of ‘standing on the sidelines’:
- Doing ‘the critic routine’ – You have an opinion on every past, recent & forthcoming film release, and you’re proudly voicing it out on every medium available. Commenting on and criticising and rowing over famous films can make one still feel a part of ‘the biz’ without actually doing anything film-related. But if you have previously claimed to want to make movies, yet spend 90% of the time discussing other people’s work – is that productive? Do you like dissecting films or creating films?
Alternative option: Become a film critic. Full-time. Paid. (That takes a lot of work too! You can’t just jump into it straight away but perhaps that’s where your talent is).
- ‘Twitterati’ & Facebook community – OK, so you’re a Director/Producer/Writer. That’s what it says on your business cards, your LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter profile; your introduction sentence at networking events. But your presence is more consistent & active online than on set – spending all day RT-ing film news, commenting on people’s “statuses”, watching uploaded Vimeo/YouTube projects. Do you like promoting other projects or making your own?
Alternative option: Become a social media manager. In a film/media company. Get paid to Tweet.
NB/ We’re not saying don’t keep up to date with and love your favourite TV series and films. That’s what got you interested in the first place and it’s worthwhile staying up to date. All we’re saying is that work and ‘content-enjoyment’ must be proportionate. If criticism and analysis is your flair and passion then follow that road!
Is it just a way to vent out frustration?
Maybe, the time spent in analysing films and judging other people’s projects is your way of dealing with the built-up frustration of not having your own body of film work. The “I could’ve done that” comments and the anti-Burton or Tarantino brand (“it’s just the same old thing again”) moans are sometimes a sign of an unreleased filmmaker sitting inside you. Show us then. In this case, get proactive. Get something down on paper. Shoot something. Draw up a plan. Otherwise you’re just standing on the sidelines commentating. Your craft – singing, writing, acting, directing – should be your soapbox.
Thing is, you have to decide – do you want to work in this industry or do you want to make a name in this industry. In the first scenario, you take up a position and become a jobbing Director/Writer/Actor/Editor, etc. – you provide film-related services and you get paid for it. In the second scenario, you do all that plus work ‘overtime’ on your own projects. You treat it not as a job, but as your life’s purpose.
The two are equally viable and perfectly acceptable choices but you’ve got to know which one is yours, so that you plan your life accordingly. Don’t waste that lovely precious energy you’ve all been given!