Let’s get real. Are you a filmmaker? A director? A producer? A writer? What is it that you REALLY want to do? Because you just cannot do it all. Of course you actually can do it all but how effective will you be carrying a dozen different hats? How can you stay objective acting and directing something you also wrote? Stop believing your ideas are the best ideas, stop believe you are the greatest gift to filmmaking, you are not. There will always be someone better, it’s just a fact. Change is hard I understand that. But change is inevitable and necessary. You must learn to let go and learn how to kill your darlings or you will cement yourself into a lonely island of filmmaking. If this is what you want then fantastic! If you feel you are the greatest asset you have and less than value your team then so be it, but even if you make a great film, you will sink. Who is going to want to work with you?
I am not saying don’t have a voice or a vision, or that you shouldn’t stick to it, what I am saying is that if you surround yourself with good people, people with experience, people with a proven track record it might behoove you to drop your guns and truly consider what they have to say. Check the ego at the door and try to focus on the big picture, the finished movie. You are only as good as your weakest link and if you are the weakest link you better bone up.
Let’s say you are a writer, someone commissions you to write a story and they give you a synopsis, maybe some character break downs, hell maybe even a full treatment to work with. You hideaway for a few weeks and then present to them your opus based on their idea. They don’t like it. They have notes, they want changes. Are you too stubborn to get out of your own way and accept constructive criticism? Are you too attached to what you wrote to consider the changes? Does your ego just get the better of you to the point where you believe they don’t know what the hell they are talking about and you just completely disregard it? Or do you consider, discuss and change?
Maybe you are a filmmaker who wrote a brilliant script, decided to have coverage done. The feedback you receive is less than stellar. Do you immediately decide they are crazy? Tear the coverage up into bits, throw a temper tantrum? Spend hundreds of dollars on every coverage company you can find to prove them wrong only to discover you are receiving the same notes? Or do you consider the changes and actually make changes? Of course not everything will make sense to you and that’s ok as long as you are open and willing to receive constructive criticism for the good of your story. Now you can take that project and make it something better than it was. But what happens if you decided you also wanted to play the lead and direct?
I have been bashing writers in the post but as we all know we couldn’t make films without them. They are the single most important piece of the puzzle, without them you have nothing. But as much needed as a writer is, some can be stubborn but so can everyone on the other end. Next time I’ll talk about directors, we will take a look at that person who believes they are the most talented person on the team that is just perfect to run the show as well as perform as the lead.