Speak Up. Don’t Be Silent. Encourage!

20 Mar

Juli Jackson recently searched the internet for “filmmaker encouragement” and came across my blog post, The Gift Every Filmmaker Needs.

In the comment section, she wrote, “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.”

Why are we so often silent with one another?  Even if we subjectively don’t like something, there often is something objectively valuable we can encourage.

I suspect our increasingly competitive, win/loss way of life has something to do with it.  In other words, like money, encouragement is viewed as a limited good, so the more we give, the less there is to receive.

What does this have to do with filmmaking?  Everything!  Encouragement fuels creativity; it emboldens it.  My Mac dictionary says, “To encourage is to give active help or to raise confidence to the point where one dares to do what is difficult.”  Can anything be more beautiful than that?  Imagine, with a few words you can “raise confidence to the point where one dares to do what is difficult.”  And, no doubt, independent filmmaking is difficult – extremely difficult.

Ironically, I have received the least encouragement from my filmmaking peers.  You would think they would appreciate the challenge and my need for encouragement; however, with the limited good perspective, it’s no wonder they rarely encourage; they want to ensure there is enough for them.  Like a small pepperoni pizza at a large party, they dare not offer me a slice…

But isn’t a need for encouragement a sign of weakness?  Does a bona fide artist, someone “called” to create need encouragement?  Yes, absolutely!  Encouragement is an essential human need, like food and shelter; it is bread for our soul, it warms our spirit.  Sure, we can survive without it, but we cannot thrive without it.

Let’s encourage more.  Let’s not be silent.  Take a moment or two everyday to applaud effort, even if you subjectively don’t like it.  Spot the objective goodness and encourage it.  Imagine: with a few words you can “raise confidence to the point where one dares to do what is difficult.”  How beautiful is that?!

You can find Juli and her recent film project here!

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5 Responses to “Speak Up. Don’t Be Silent. Encourage!”

  1. Juli Jackson April 14, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    Thanks to you Christopher, I have had a fantastic turn of events after months of wintry silence. After reading your post I had started making a conscious daily effort to check in on my friends, artists, and filmmaking peers, seeking out more than the typical social networking posts. No surprise – it is easy to say a few genuine positive words here and there and the result is I actually feel more inspired, have new project collaborations, and like karma, that encouragement is coming back to me. It is beautiful!

    • Juli Jackson April 14, 2012 at 7:39 am #

      p.s. Thanks for the link! The new teaser trailer for 45RPM is up. :)

      • Christopher April 16, 2012 at 5:53 am #

        Fantastic, Juli! Congratulations on the progress of RPM. And I’m so happy that my post was helpful. The beauty of your response is that you chose to encourage from a place of need of encouragement, which lead to encouragement (okay, that was confusing – LOL). I struggle with that all the time: giving of something that I myself am in need of. But in the end, it comes around, especially when given unconditionally…

  2. Amir Teymouri March 20, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Great Stuff Chris,

    I can only speak from my own personal view, but sometimes I personally don’t post out of insecurity I guess. Your very eloquent when it comes to writing and film making, and then I see the brains behind the replies I’ve read, and it get me thinking, “what can I add, without looking foolish.”

    It’s silly the more I think about it.

    Either way, you know I think of you as a film-maker on another level from the rest of us. Also, if your blogs is any indication, you clearly could be a full time writer if you so choose to do so…lucky for us, your focus is on your films.

    • Christopher March 20, 2012 at 11:04 am #

      Thanks for sharing, Amir! I really appreciate your candidness and willingness to see that, in the end, it really isn’t about you; it’s about the other person. Remaining silent even out of modesty is still silence….

      And thank you for the kind words! I admit that I am quite insecure about my writing, probably because I barely passed English throughout school! LOL So I really appreciate it, man…

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