New Year, New Project: Past Lessons Learned and Big Things in 2014

So, now that I’ve finished writing Trees of Peace, it’s time to make the script come to life! This is my dream, my big ridiculous project for 2014 – making a feature film all on my own, and my first feature, no less.

Going forward with this, I begin by reflecting on my first (and only) filmmaking experience with 1426 Chelsea Street. Here are the first handful of things I know I must do differently this time:

1)    For the love of God, GET A PRODUCER!!!
2)    Somehow bribe Amanda (best friend) to provide craft service and lunch once again
3)    USE A SCRIPT SUPERVISOR!
4)    Revisit how to create a line script and have one prepared for shooting
5)    Finagle my way into the heart of a Chapman University student for access to their amazing sound studio

Finding the Silver Lining

By committing to this project, I’m basically sentencing myself to a year of stress, anxiety, more breakouts than usual, excessive armpit sweating, and financial debt.

I’ve thought about just trying to sell it, however my obsessive vision for the film compels me to create it and direct it myself.  So I’m diving in headfirst. I’m bracing myself for the emotional roller coaster ride of WTF was I thinking?? and This is the greatest moment of my life!! (The vitality and verve of being on a set and watching a story come to life is…well, there’s nothing like it.)

It may be costly to produce a feature length film single-handedly, without getting paid and in fact paying instead…but I look at the silver lining of this circumstance: At least I get to retain all creative control and have no one to answer to. Someday when I’m directing for a big studio, this will not be the case.

Until then, I look in excitement and fear toward the coming months. I know it will be grueling, I know I’ll cry and panic, probably lose weight from the stress (another part of the silver lining), and wish that I’d never attempted such a project at times. I know I’ll face disappointment, rejection, and indifference.

Arnold Schwarzenegger on strength

But I also know that, in the end, looking back, it’ll be worth it.

And so it begins. According to my project calendar, one of the first orders of business is finding a producer. Anyone know anyone who knows someone? More on that next week…

In the meanwhile, I encourage you to live your dreams. Break them up into smaller, doable projects and fight through the impossible parts. In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Your struggles develop your strengths.”

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