The Gift Every Filmmaker Needs

19 Oct

As an independent filmmaker, the most important thing I can receive from others is encouragement.  This may seem naïve in a profession that heavily relies on equipment, networking and capital; however, without encouragement, I believe all the resources in the world are futile.

Christopher J. Boghosian Checks Camera with Gavin Fisher During Girlfriend 19

The prefix “en-” connotes a transformation into another state.  It is also used as an intensifier heightening said state.  To encourage, then, literally means transforming a person into courage, or intensifying courage within them.  Imagine that!  What a powerful thing to do for someone – transform them into courage, a state where they will face adversity with resolve and grit.

Unfortunately the opposite is also true.  To discourage means transforming another into the opposite of courage: cowardice, weakness, fear.  It’s often said that one negative comment can override one hundred positives.  I personally believe silence is a form of discouragement as well.  In other words, to not encourage is to discourage.  There is no neutral ground in my experience: you either encourage or discourage.

Conferences, festivals, and workshops have proliferated with the recent rise of independent filmmaking.  As an aspiring filmmaker who has attended such events myself, I strongly believe most attendees are unknowingly there for encouragement.  By acquiring knowledge, hearing testimonies, and making connections, desperate filmmakers want to be told they can make their movie.  Unfortunately, events are impersonal and temporary, thus, many attendees soon find themselves at another event, seeking another dose of encouragement.

Christopher J. Boghosian Working with Cassidy Brown during Girlfriend 19

Why don’t we encourage one another more often?  It can cost no more than a few moments of our time.  It’s crazy how trivial things on Facebook receive dozens of “Likes” and comments while one’s hopes, dreams and ventures receive little response.  And what about YouTube – oh man!  The absolute dumbest, most asinine videos generate millions of views while well-crafted, beautiful works are relatively unseen.  As a result, stupidity is encouraged and beauty is discouraged.

Please don’t misunderstand – I realize there is a place for everything, even a video of a salami sandwich doing the Macarena.  I’m simply questioning the sheer discrepancy of appreciation between nonsense and art.  A Like on Facebook encourages, a positive comment even more.  And a Share, wow, that’s gold!  But how often do we do that for people who really need it?

And the argument that Facebook and YouTube are simply places to unwind, goof-off and relax is a poor excuse.  The proof is in the pudding: prominent folks constantly receive encouragement.  Their endless self-promotion is frequently met with countless Likes, comments and shares.

Independent filmmaking is often difficult, bleak, and impossible, thus, encouraging a filmmaker can radically empower them.  With your interest and support, you bless them with the confidence, hope and strength to persevere – you transform them into courage!


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17 Responses to “The Gift Every Filmmaker Needs”

  1. Juli Jackson March 12, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    I realize this post is old but I came across it in a random search for encouragement to get through tough times with my first feature.

    Your words ring true and made me buck up immediately. I completely agree that silence is discouraging. It wasn’t until I read your post that I even realized I was feeling discouraged because those close to me have been silent.

    Thank you for the valuable perspective.

    • Christopher March 12, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

      Thank you for the comment, Juli! No post is too old if it pops up at the right time :) I’m so happy the post proved valuable to you.

      I checked out your Movie Site. Your film sounds way cool and I’d love to hear more. I’ll shoot you an email :)

  2. Sajib October 25, 2011 at 4:26 am #

    I’m wondering how come I missed this post despite following your blog for quite some time now. I agree with you totally.

    • Christopher October 25, 2011 at 10:05 am #

      Thanks! It’s one of my most transparent posts, one which I really believe in.

  3. spidergirlxD October 31, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    Heeyyyy!!! xD
    I agree with your post 100%, real encouragement helps a lot. I find this when I write – my friends saying something nice is a whole lot better than the teacher ticking all over every page in red ink.
    Good luck with the filmmaking – it sounds like a fun thing to do, but challenging, too. I’m gonna have to go watch some of your stuff some time. =)

    • Christopher October 31, 2010 at 10:17 am #

      Nice to meet you! Thanks for the comment – very encouraging! :) Red ink, huh? I know what that’s like…

      I’d love for you to watch my films. You can check them out HERE. THANKS AGAIN!

      • spidergirlxD November 1, 2010 at 10:44 am #

        Thnx =D I’m a bit busy right now, but I’ll watch them when I have the time.
        I’d just like to point out that I DO NOT HAVE A HUGE PROBLEM WITH MY TEACHER, I AM MERELY POINTING OUT THAT I LIKE TALKING TO MY FRIENDS. Ahem. Alrighty then. See ya xD

  4. Jay October 23, 2010 at 12:47 am #

    Dude, you have a feature in the can (congrats) and from the looks of your short (Fade to Red) it could be a friggin great one! Post production is a bitch, but keep on going, keep moving forward with an indefatigable heart, its the only way, because these things only get harder. I cannot wait to see Girlfriend 19, keep working hard on it and put your vision of the world out there. Sure, loads of people are making films, but only a few are putting themselves on the line with something that’s truly personal and meaningful to them. Keep Moving Forward. Goodluck, J

    (PS. I would go back to Cassavetes on Cassavetes (I know you’re big on Cassavetes! Check out the doc ‘A Constant Forge’ if you haven’t already) ‘Kurosawa Interviews,’ ‘My First Movie’ or ‘Spike Lee’s Gotta Have It’ to get that shot of encouragement and love and to see how other soldiers fought their own wars)

    • Christopher October 23, 2010 at 7:06 am #

      Thanks for the way cool comment, Jay! Much appreciated!

      You’re totally right: it’s all about the indefatigable spirit and I we need to keep reminding ourselves of that amidst the dark silence of discouraging. I know a man named Ralph Winter who is an immensely successful Executive Producer. He said the main thing that leads to success in Hollywood is perseverance, not talent nor connections.

      And thanks so much for the recommendations. Can you believe I never knew about the Cassavetes doc??? Crazy!!! Needless to say, it is now on the top of my Netflix queue!

      Peace,
      cB

  5. Juanito Cinefilo October 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    Well sometimes i write in english just for the sake of practicing so you’ll be able to read some of my random thoughts. Unfortunately my screenplay is being written in spanish as well, but still we can exchange some ideas.

    Good luck with Girlfriend 19.

    • Christopher October 22, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

      Sounds great! Keep up the hard work on your script and thank you for the good wishes regarding Girlfriend 19!

  6. Juanito Cinefilo October 22, 2010 at 12:12 am #

    Thank you for this. I’ve been stuck in writer’s block for a while, but after reading this i feel like going back the typewriter.

    • Christopher October 22, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

      Hey, Juanito! So glad my thoughts were meaningful to you! Yeah, it can get really tough at times, sitting alone trying to make Truth and Beauty happen – I totally understand.

      Keep me up-to-date with your writing! I see your blog is in Spanish, which I regrettably cannot read…

      Hope to see you soon here in the comments soon!
      -Christopher

  7. 757rubicon October 19, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    Encouragement is in short supply these days. Most people scurry from place to place, always having a place to be. The only time they slow down to offer input is when they are annoyed or dissatisfied with something.

    I respect the effort you must put into your craft. It can’t be easy to break into such a tough trade. Draw upon all your experiences good and bad and share them through film with the hope of making a connection with your audience.

    Good luck and stay true,
    Ted

    http://757rubicon.wordpress.com

    • Christopher October 20, 2010 at 11:29 am #

      Thank you for the comment, Ted, and very nice to meet you. Welcome to the blogging world, BTW! WordPress is pretty awesome and the support forums are phenomenal…

      I really appreciate your comments and encouragement. Who knows why we get so indifferent to other people’s efforts, hopes and dreams, but, hey, that’s no excuse not to, huh? As you said, I’m going to keep on going and use what life gives me for the best…

      Peace,
      Christopher

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My First Year Coming to a Close « Follow My Film - December 21, 2010

    […] also wrote about the free gift all filmmakers need, but rarely receive: encouragement.  Although encouragement is an invaluable fuel filmmakers need to keep going, I rarely hear it […]

  2. The Final Day « Follow My Film - November 8, 2010

    […] I previously have written, encouragement is pretty hard to come by these days, especially as an aspiring filmmaker.  So to receive the kind […]

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