Friday, March 9, 2018

The importance of trusting yourself as an artist.

When it comes to me being a writer, one of the most important things about the craft is that I trust myself. As a writer, I have to be confident and believe in myself when it comes to my abilities and my judgement as an artist.

Especially when it comes to my projects, no matter what happens during them, I have to stay calm and not freak out. I have to stay confident and believe that as long as I keep going, things are going to work out.

The reason that I'm writing about this is that during the last few weeks, I've been spending time on a film project. I've been working on a short film that has managed to take me a bit out of my usual comfort zone as a writer.

In a nutshell, me and my team have been working on short film that is going to be used as an advertisement by a non-profit organization. We have spent time working on a short film that deals with rehabilitation and helping people.

One of the reasons that this project has been so challenging is that on this task I wasn't only the writer of the project. I had to do other things than just to be the guy who comes up with the story and the structure for the script.

After all, on this project I had to be involved with almost every aspect of the filmmaking process. I had to be the co-writer, the co-director, the camera operator, the film editor and the person who makes decisions about the music.

Even though it's certainly true that I have had some experience with shooting, editing and putting videos together, making an actual movie was something new to me. This was something that challenged me and put me on a test as a storyteller.

Still, just because I had to be involved with so many aspects of the movie, that itself hasn't been the hardest part of the process. Me being somewhat inexperienced in producing stuff wasn't the most challenging thing about the project.

In reality, the most challenging part of the movie has had to do with us being on a tight schedule. During the filming, we were on a really tight schedule that didn't allow us much time to plan the film and to come up with a detailed screenplay. 

In practice, what this meant is that whenever we arrived on our shooting locations, we more often than not had to improvise based on the stuff that was available there. We had to rely on our creativity and write the needed 'action' on the spot.

Especially considering that our actor in the movie was only available for two days, we almost always had to be fast with everything. We had no choice except to be as fast as possible, write on the go and try not to screw things up.

So based on all these challenges with the project, one might think that we were bound to be in fairly big trouble with our film. It wouldn't come as surprise if we would have had problems getting things done with the movie.

Yet, perhaps surprisingly, the reality is that even though we did have some minor problems with the production, we managed get lucky most of the time. We managed to get creative and made the best out of the situations that we found ourselves in.

In that sense, now that we are in the post production phase of the movie and are soon ready to show the raw version to our test audience, things look pretty good here. It really looks like we have managed to put together something solid.

After all, even though we didn't get everything exactly the way we wanted, we still managed to get the basics right. We managed to pay attention to the basics and managed to make sure that our story structure worked from start to finish. 

In the end, getting the story to work is probably what is always going to count the most when it comes to making a film that has merit. Coming up a with a solid story structure is what is going to be the most important part in the process. 

After all, even though all those other aspects of filmmaking matter too (acting, directing, cinematography, editing, music etc.), nothing is going to count more than your story. Nothing is going to count more than a script that gives you confidence and direction.

In that sense, when it comes to my team, we can only be grateful that we managed to come up with a solid blueprint for our film. We can only be grateful that we came up with a premise that was strong enough and that we had confidence in what we we're going to do.

After all, had we not come up with a solid story, there's no chance that we would have succeeded with our project. Had we not made the right decisions before we started filming, there's no chance that we would have made a quality short film.

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