Why All Filmmakers Should Make Bad Films

A few years ago, I had an issue with my computer that was concerning enough that I needed to call Apple to help resolve it. The solution was simple:

Unplug the computer from the wall and also the back of the machine. Then let the computer sit for a little while. Then plug everything back in.

The Apple rep explained that the problem was expected and had to do with how the power cord was directing the flow of electricity.

“Sometimes you just gotta get rid of the bad bits,” he said.

It turns out this is true when you’re creating things as well. A little more than halfway into my self-imposed challenge of making 52 animated micro-shorts in a year, I hit a wall… Like pancaked into it at 80 miles an hour.

make bad films

Allow Yourself To Make Bad Films…

As I sat down to make more films, the same random bits of images and sounds kept entering my head like recurring, boring dreams. After a while, these bad bits collected into a bunch that blocked the creative flow like a clogged sink.

Instead of hoping my terrible ideas would eventually eradicate themselves from existence, I decided to string them along and make bad films. I didn’t have any other choice.

It’s a terrible film. But here it is:

I know. It isn’t great.

But a valuable lesson was learned from allowing myself to make bad films.

Much like a clogged sink, the only way to clear a massive creative block is to reach in and take out the gunk.

I made and released several bad films after this one.

I even did one called “Bad Movie,” which you can watch here:

Then I made a sequel:

The primary lesson for me was that it’s necessary to make bad films. Not only make bad films but also show your movies to people. Get embarrassed! Disappoint yourself!

Trust me… When you allow yourself to make bad films, the work will lead to creatively prosperous times. It keeps you in the groove of consistently making stuff.

You’re bound to fall if you’re always walking the tightrope of perfection.

Thankfully there is a restful safety net at the bottom, and it’s going to be the worst work you’ve ever done!

But make no mistake, when you make bad films, having the courage to push them into the world separates adults from children. It is the most critical creative wall you’ll ever climb.

John Morena is an animator and maker of micro-short films. He approaches all his movies with the mindset that animation is not just kid’s stuff and has a penchant for providing a healthy layer of cultural commentary into his work. John is a New York City native, raised in The Bronx, and migrated to Brooklyn.

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