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 common, and that it had to do with the way the power cord was directing the flow of electricity.
“Sometimes you just gotta get rid of the bad bits,” he said.
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.
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 just 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’s embarrassing.
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 major lesson for me was that it’s necessary to make bad films. Not only make bad films, but also show your films 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.
If you’re always walking the tightrope of perfection, you’re bound to fall.
Thankfully there is a cushy 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 it into the world is what separates the adults from the children. It is the most important creative wall you’ll ever climb.
John Morena is an animator and maker of micro-short films. He approaches all of his films with the mindset that animation is not just kid’s stuff and has a penchant to provide a healthy layer of cultural commentary into his work. John is a New York City native; raised in The Bronx, migrated to Brooklyn. You can watch all 52 animated micro-short films here.