As a filmmaker, it’s easy to make excuses for why you aren’t making movies. Maybe you don’t have enough experience, time, money, connections, friends or [fill in the blank with your best reason HERE.]
A few weeks ago, I found myself watching a Superman with some Hollywood acquaintances. At the end of the movie, one guy started blabbering on about why the movie was horrible and why the filmmaker should call it quits. Then his wife joined in and suddenly everybody starts criticizing Hollywood, other movies and people.
The conversation escalated into a cynical bitch session with bullet-points as to why screenwriting work is hard to find. Keep in mind these are all people who make a very nice living in entertainment. But based on the conversation, you would have thought they dug ditches for a living… Ugh.
If you’ve been in this game for any length of time, you probably met these people. If not, you will. These people are frustrated with their current work. And instead of writing more and doing more to level up their careers, they find it easier to embrace cynicism.
This is a trap for all of us. And the thing to remember is, cynicism won’t make movies.
Here is the filmmaker challenge:
For the next 30 days, force yourself to stop complaining and refrain from voicing anything negative.
The reason for this exercise is simple. If you can do this, you will stop talking and start doing. And the ongoing goal is to ask yourself the right questions. One of my favorite filmmaking questions is, “Given the resources that you have now, what is the movie that you can make this year?”
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