For the Artists Who Like to Remain Strictly Out of the Box
Walking the road of screenwriting and movie making is an exciting creative adventure that will have you crossing paths with a variety characters while experiencing the good, the bad and uncensored moments of the entertainment business.
There are certain creative souls that feel a burning desire to journey down the road of screenwriting and movie making come hell or high water. When a screenwriting and movie making fire burns white-hot inside a person they feel completely driven to pursue their creative goals with all they have.
These types of creative souls use their burning desire for screenwriting and movie making to make a strong commitment to move one foot in front of the other to walk down the road of screenwriting and movie making without looking back or letting negative verbal bile told to them by naysayers hold them back.
Walking down the creative road is not easy. There are lots of mental obstacles to push through like fear of failure, self-doubt, unrealistic expectations, being super sensitive to criticism and other emotional creative roadblocks.
Aspiring screenwriters and movie makers that are honest with themselves while preparing for what’s to come ahead for them in the entertainment business are less likely to get scared off the road, mentally beaten down or robbed (signing a bad contract) as they make their own way in the entertainment world. They’re creative fire to write screenplays and make movies helps open their minds and egos up to learning from the good and bad experiences of other screenwriters and movie makers that have been on the road longer and seen a lot more of it.
Preparing to write movie scripts and make films can be done by reading screenwriting books, watching online filmmaking tutorials, following screenwriters and movie makers on social networks to get school of hard knocks insight.
Bottom-line is there are lots of ways to get helpful screenwriting and movie making information if you’re open to learning what others have been through first-hand. I always reach out to fellow screenwriters and movie makers asking their opinions about all areas of the entertainment business when I need a light shined on something.
I’ve found the indie film community is great about sharing both good and bad experiences. Sure, people are more inclined to talk about their good experiences and successes which are helpful on the road, but I’ve always felt the best information came when people shared their MISTAKES.
That is a totally ego-less creative gesture. When you’re comfortable enough to tell people how you screwed up and how to avoid the mistakes you’ve made you are one of the good people traveling the road of screenwriting and movie making.
I wrote a book on writing movie scripts and making films where I bared all of my mistakes from pre-production to movie distribution. Having learned from other writers and filmmakers it felt right to pay it forward best I could.
I screwed up plenty of times writing movie scripts and shooting movies, but mixed in with my bad decisions I also made good ones that worked out well.
Unchecked egos don’t like to prepare for things or listen to anyone. The unchecked ego will tell an aspiring screenwriter or movie maker words all sorts of things:
“Your raw talent is all you need to succeed.”
“Asking for help or advice is a sign of weakness.”
“It’s a waste of time to listen to other people’s mistakes.”
Aspiring screenwriters and movie makers with a know-it-all attitude feel the road will be no challenge to them even though they have never finished a screenplay or movie. Usually they are first ones that quit the journey when the road gets rough.
Their inflated ego gets bruised and their fire quickly goes out. Overlooking the value of learning from other creative road traveler’s good and bad experiences can lead to a hard time in the entertainment business. I was humbled and my ego checked early when I first started my walk down the road.
Don’t get me wrong. To write movie scripts and make films you need self-confidence in your abilities or you will not be able to deliver. But there is a difference between self-confidence and being an overconfident ego maniac.
Healthy self-confidence helps out a lot when you meet certain types of characters in the entertainment business. The harsh reality, like with every business, is you’re going to meet crooks, cheats and users out to rob you for money or your creative time.
You’re also going to meet downright negative creative souls sitting on the side of the road that have been so emotionally beaten down by the fists of the entertainment business that they will want to hold you back with them. Misery loves company. They are very jaded with their creative fire barely flickering.
They won’t share their mistakes for you to learn a lesson from that can help you keep going down the road to your destination more prepared. Instead they will try to scare the hell out of you to break your spirit. Negative creative souls try to plant seeds of doubt with each word.
They might say, “I’m a lot more talented and experienced than you and look what happened to me. I got screwed. You’ll get eaten alive. Trust me.” The idea is to get as many aspiring screenwriters and filmmakers to quit. It briefly makes a negative creative soul that has basically given up on the side of the road feel better to see another fail. They don’t do it out of malice.
The transformation can happen to any screenwriter or filmmaker when the creative fire is down to a single burning ember that is going out.
Being bitter changes a person’s true self, the part of them that wants to help and see others succeed without jealously. It’s best to keep on walking when you meet negative creative souls.
There are also positive creative souls you’ll meet on the road. Maybe they’ve been knocked flat on their asses, but they keep getting up and walking the walk of screenwriting and movie making. Positive creative souls deliver words of encouragement, offer advice and share their good and bad experiences in the entertainment business.
The cool thing is you can take what you want and leave what you don’t without any hard feelings between one another. The indie film community is strong because people are more open to pulling resources or sharing information compared to the studio driven film industry.
In your creative life if you’re able to connect with even one positive like-minded person you’ll count yourself lucky as you travel the road. If you’re walking the road of screenwriting and movie making solo, then try to be one of the good people out there not one of the crooks, cheats, users and negative creative souls.
The road is tough. It’s nearly impossible for you to not experience moments of anger, anxiety, stress, depression and other negative emotions, unless you’re an enlightened individual of some sort. I already know without any doubt that I’m not that type of person and experience moments of negative vibes I have to fight through.
At different times on the road I’ve felt anger, anxiety, stress, depression and one time a brief overwhelming sense of powerlessness over a movie distribution agreement I regretted signing. Talking with other positive creative souls helped me push past the garbage and keep on walking with my fire fully lit.
The road of screenwriting and movie making can also be exciting and rewarding. You’ll cross paths with some of the most fascinating people you will meet. There are limitless creative possibilities in the entertainment business when you connect with equally driven people like yourself that share a passion to make movies.
You might meet a fellow screenwriter who becomes your writing partner or helps you get your screenplay read by an agent or legitimate movie producer they have a connection to. Or you could end up part of screenwriting group that helps one another by exchanging scripts, giving notes and doing table reads. This strengthens and sharpens your screenwriting craft.
Movie makers have the golden opportunity to meet potential film investors, movie producers that live and breathe the film business and talented actors on the road. When positive creative souls get together on a project cinema magic happens.
I know the road of screenwriting and movie making is not all about making money from film distribution, but this is still the entertainment business. The film industry was built on the thrilling rush a screenwriter or movie maker gets when they earn money from their hard work.
I’ve only been through one script option that was not exercised. I was paid a percent of the agreed upon selling price, but when the option expired the producer let the rights revert back to me. I can say even getting a small check for a script option was a rush.
I can only imagine the thrill screenwriters get when they sell a script to a movie producer or major studio that gets made into a movie with name actors. It can happen to any screenwriter as long as they’re not sitting on the side of the road. I’ve read entertainment articles how some first-time screenwriters have sold scripts to big time movie producers or major studios for six figures or more.
Talk about a creative life changer. I’ve also read about screenwriters that had dozens or more scripts rejected before writing one that launched their careers with a boom. You never know when your entertainment business break will come, so you should always be writing new screenplays and fine tuning your pitch for each script.
As an indie producer of entertainment I have enjoyed cashing royalty checks from movie distribution deals. There is nothing wrong with being paid for what you love to do. Every person has different creative goals and personal motivations in the entertainment business as they walk down the road.
I hope the road of screenwriting and movie making treats you well many more times than it treats you bad.
Get the inside scoop on writing, producing, directing, and movie distribution at Slice Of Americana Films [http://www.sidkaliflicks.com/about/]. Check out the life and times of filmmaker Sid Kali.