In his experience of persisting through a difficult challenge in obtaining the rights to a story for a short film he was producing, Eric Kripke said this,
“‘The Lesson here is get it done, no matter what. You can never give up and never quit. If you find an insurmountable obstacle, then you weren’t meant to be making movies in the first place. The whole thing is about impossibility, so you have to be willing to conquer the impossible in every realm'” (Levy, Frederick, Short Films 101, New York: Berkley Publishing, 2004, pg. 24).
So far on my short journey into the film world, I’ve created one short film for the 168 Project (“To Die For” on my Work page) and participated in networking opportunities afforded; I’ve contacted Sherwood Baptist Church, only to be turned down observation visits during the filming of “Courageous;” I’ve contacted Phil Cooke to get some insight, receiving a reply that his travel schedule won’t allow time to talk to get his insight. I’ve emailed Mr. Shun Lee at Greenhouse Productions, and am waiting on a reply. Items I thought were easy connections have not been so simple. Now, I am definitely not knocking on those who provided negative responses – they don’t know me, and I am sure that there are plenty of others who are wanting their time, as well. What I am saying is that if I am going to get anywhere it is only going to happen through continual persistence and moving toward my goal. Filmmaking contains a specific niche of people, and they are not out there looking for people everyday; they’re satisfied with their existing connections. To find an inroad will require regular seeking of individual leads through relationships.
I remember as a kid, I hated calling businesses to ask questions, yet my Dad made me do it. I wanted to check if something was on their shelf – Dad made me get out the phone book and dial. I hated it, but it taught me a valuable lesson. It instilled in me the attitude that if I need something, I need to be willing to seek it out, to take the time, even if it’s uncomfortable, to seek out what I want.
If I am going to make it, I have quite a distance to go. I need some more connections into the industry, a great calling card/short film showing my ability, and for God to begin opening some additional doors. It can be frustrating at times, yes, but it is not something to take me out of the game. I’ve got a God-given direction, and I am following it. As I do my part, the Lord will do the rest.
Here are some items I currently have on my checklist:
- Create a short film of theatrical quality – This requires me to develop a great story, to find funding, and then to put together a team of people to get it done… hard to do for a guy who’s current job is to generally do the entire process on his own.
- Start building connections – Begin calling and contacting leads to get involved in elements of the film industry. Get on-set and start interacting.
- Experiment with storytelling techniques – Do some short creative elements for small groups or businesses. Stay fresh and active. Bloom where I am so I can then take the next step when needed.
- Pray – Yes, I take my spiritual life seriously, and God does reward faithfulness.
So, that’s me in a nutshell. You may not be looking to direct a film, but you may have an issue that has arisen in your professional life that looks like a brick wall. Maybe, like me, you need to take a few steps back and to ascertain what’s been successful and what you should be doing next. Don’t just do what you’ve always done. Consider what the best path is and then take it. Keep in mind, though, it might not be the easiest path. Honestly, I could just stay where I am in my present life, but I know it’s not where I should stay – I have an internal drive to grow and be something better; I want to step out and to attempt greatness.