You exist because your heart beats. You don’t wake up and think, “Well, I’m just going to wait until I get some more ideal pathways to pump some blood through, then I’ll start beating.” No! It doesn’t work that way. Your heart beats and beats and beats, for better or worse. It’s always working.
Too many of us go through life saying to ourselves, “I’ll do it when the time is right.” Or “I’ve got to wait until…” and then that time passes and another excuse is created. At this time that is the only thing that is being created, excuses, one after another, because conditions are never ideal. Then we blink our eyes, 10 years have gone by, and we are still sitting on the same story idea. Whatever your reason is for not beginning your project, abandon those issues. Switch your mindset to now and go out there, heart beating strong, and make your movie now!
I have read numerous articles and heard plenty of stories and the one through line in everyone’s quest for completing a film is always the same… Setting A Date. Much like looking at yourself in the mirror and saying, “Alright it’s January and I need to get into get shape by June for the summer season”, setting a goal is the second thing that needs to be done on your quest for making the best film that you can make. Okay, so what’s the first thing?
You need to step outside yourself and know that this is a great story. This is a film that needs to be told. It is an exciting piece and you are the perfect person to tell it. Get that confidence, get that motivation and know that nothing is going to get in your way. After you have that confidence going strong, you should definitely set that date to start filming.
Make a list of the steps involved with completing this extraordinary task; i.e. writing the treatment, writing the screenplay, gathering a crew, getting the equipment, securing the locations, finding the talent, getting the props and the costumes, etc. Next, you should make a timeline for each of the items on your list to be completed by. Proper scheduling is essential for all of the steps to be executed properly (and not necessarily in that order). Understand your world and your method, and find a way to make this possible, then, break your calendar up into little dates that you are going to achieve these steps by, until you reach you ultimate date of shooting.
Much like a kick-ass action film, it is time to go into the back alleys, the dive bar, the underground fighting tournament to locate your friends, family members or allies that will team up with you and take this journey to Middle Earth.
Once you have that rag tag team and you have your screenplay in hand, it is time for the first battle on the agenda. That can be whatever you set your schedule up as, whether it’s acquiring the equipment, pulling in your cameraman, line-producer, costume/make-up artist, breaking down your screenplay, scouting locations, etc. The point is to begin hammering away at the block of marble.
This is a fact. Life always throws curve balls in our direction and, it seems even more curve balls come your way when you’re creating a film. This is why it is important to surround yourself with problem solvers, people with even temperaments that will not crack under pressure. During this time, it would not be a bad idea to take up meditating. There will hits you will take, some harder than others, never the less…
While you are punching, pulling, clawing and biting your way through this process remember that each individual point throughout needs your complete full focus and attention, your film will benefit from it. Don’t walk through pre-production like, “This part of the process is not important – shooting is”, Do not put one part over the other. Attention to detail is key (however obsession over the little things can weigh you down. Lean to pace yourself).
With full focus and determination, you will meet your goal and you will make your film because you will find a way. There is no time like the present, so get up, get out there and Make Your Movie!