Pride and Filmmaking

As I embark on my next producing project, I want to talk about pride and it’s place in film making.

Now, I freely admit that I am not a writer, but to play the roles I want to play and stretch myself as an actor, I have to make my own opportunities. Last summer I started writing a short film about a young married couple in the crux of a world pandemic. As they struggle to survive they are also struggling with their relationship and the choices they have to make.

Of course after I wrote it I was so proud of myself. OhlookatmeI’msosmartIjustwroteamovie. I thought it was a great script. Looking back, I’m glad I believed in the story more than anything (and not the actual script).  I was lucky enough to get Zeek and Chris at SHEP to come on board to direct, after I had such a great time with them on In the Pines. My good friend Aaron Blakely also agreed to join the team to play opposite me. Surprisingly, I wasn’t completely precious about the script and said that I would like their input.

Now we are two weeks from our shoot date and I am so glad I have learned to distance myself from the work. What I mean is, it is imperative to not let your pride get hurt by the creative process. Earlier this week, we had our first meeting on the script and it was really just all of us tearing apart the first few drafts and putting it together again. Changing things, realizing what would never work, adjusting, complicating, problem solving. Had I been extremely attached to my first script this would have been agony.

Though this process has been difficult (and I hope to share more over the next few weeks), I have learned so much. Mainly that you mustn’t let pride get in the way of the creative process. Film is a collective medium and everyone’s voices must be heard. Let yourself be surprised!

My strategy now for film making is to surround myself with people who are smarter than me. That way they can see the weak points and will have great solutions. This will bring criticism but you must embrace it if you want what is best for the project. I want to make good films and if that means my ideas get torn apart, or I need 20 takes I am willing to do that. Rejection is a means for growth, and as they say, if you want to increase your rate of success, increase your rate of failure. Go ahead and keep the ideas coming, but be ready to let them go and let something better come along.


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