Reaching Your Goal As a Filmmaker

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Last night, I popped in a DVD someone had loaned me involving interviews with various Hollywood directors. Three disks, several directors per disk and some of them are the biggest names in the business. With each lasting 25 minutes I chose two I recognized - George Lucas (Star Wars), and John Carpenter (Halloween,Escape from New York, etc)

Watching other directors helped in these ways:

You Are Not Alone

  • It let's you know you're not alone if they happen to discuss an aspect of the process that you personally relate to.

    For example, George Lucas mentioned how he'd start thinking and dreaming about the next production while he was "supposed" to be working on the current one...

    I do that too! I've got this project planned for the summer and yet I've got an eye to the next one too... and sometimes ideas pop up for the one after that!

    He also talked about the difficulty in casting young actors for a film that was populated with them... or maybe it's the look on his face that told me it was difficult!

    As I'm planning on doing a film with teenagers mainly this summer, it's making me wonder what my experience is going to be like. It felt like quite a contrast to what I've read of Spielberg's experience in this area.

    Realistic Timing

  • Getting a sense of timing... Lucas talked about each Star Wars film episode take at least 3 years.

    I like sci-fi - maybe I ought to think about working on a film for a longer period of time too to get a better result? Especially as the film I want to create starting 2016 is more sci-fi?


  • A lesson in humility. Lucas won film festivals from just doing a beginner's course. Natural talent, you might say. Wow. Makes me feel why am I bothering?!

    John Carpenter talked about the launch of this first two films making no difference to the rest of the world - no reception to speak of... It was his third film, Halloween that helped his career and even then, it was released slowly across the country as the film reels were taken from place to place so in the beginning, there would still be no sense of immediate success we've come to associate with those blockbuster weekend releases.

    So if at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again!

    While he'd worked across genres, I found Carpenter's journey more encouraging as far as he just kept trying with the simply goal - to make a living as a director. Do you want to encourage others? Be humble.

You are Unique

Just watching these two very different interviews shows me there is more than one way to reach the same goal. Just as no Christian thinks God must talk to them through a burning bush like Moses, you don't have to reach your film goal by being like George Lucas. You are you. What path God has for you - do that with all your heart!

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