Hello Film Doctor friends.
To kick off the new working week, the Film Doctor team are going to suggest we all get rid of some harmful habits and attitudes, that get in the way of our projects and plans.
Here are the 5 things you should give up starting today:
1. Stop comparing your work to others – If you’re writing a family drama and a fellow screenwriter has also written a family drama, this doesn’t mean that these projects are necessarily in competition: your work is unique to you, your way of expressing ideas – your voice. How you tell your family drama is not going to be the same way someone else tells their family drama. You also don’t know whether the ‘competing’ project will be produced or reach a wide audience or not.
Stop trying to model your career path on someone else’s, even if it’s someone really successful. How they’ve got to where they are is not necessarily the route you need to take. Every success story is individual. Of course, you can (and should) be informed about other filmmakers’ success stories and what favourable factors came into play – but don’t let it rule your own journey.
2. Stop looking for the perfect first draft – The first draft of your screenplay is never meant to be perfect. It is meant to be the solid, excellent quality foundation, on which to grow your work. Same with the first cut of your film – you need to assemble something good to then make it better. Take the pressure off!
3. Stop waiting – To be discovered. To be appreciated. To be hired for that dream job. To get recognised as a brilliant writer/director/editor/cinematographer, etc. This is not going to happen. What’s going to happen is you will have to show the world what you’re capable of. You need to seek chances/employment/projects/people. Be proactive.
4. Stop being afraid – Of what could happen and what won’t happen. Of opportunities knocking on your door and the ones you might not come across. Stop worrying in advance. Stop trying to predict everything.
5. Stop making excuses – For anything. Ever. When there’s a will, there’s a way. How many of the things you list as obstacles are really in the way? How many things are really out of your control? So maybe, if you keep finding yourself in the same spot, chances are you are just creating excuses for not taking the plunge. Creative progress should come regardless of part time, full time or any time work, family, social commitments, etc. Charles Bukowski laid it out really well in his poem “Air and light and time and space”:
“[…] no baby, if you’re going to create
you’re going to create whether you work
16 hours a day in a coal mine
you’re going to create in a small room with 3 children
while you’re on
you’re going to create with part of your mind and your body blown
you’re going to create blind
[…] air and light and time and space
have nothing to do with it
and don’t create anything
except maybe a longer life to find