Maybe I Suck…

25 May

As I rewrite my latest feature length script, I’m feeling more and more like I suck!  I find myself questioning my talent on a daily basis and it’s getting a bit depressing.

I’m not saying I’m depressed.  In fact, life is good.  It just gets a bit discouraging while chipping away at a boulder with the aim of creating a beautiful sculpture.

I’m not sure why this happens.  Maybe I’m not seeing the big picture?  Maybe it’s an inevitable aspect of the creative process?  Maybe I really do suck?  I’m just not sure….

What do you think?

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20 Responses to “Maybe I Suck…”

  1. Bryan McManus June 8, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    I’m a little late on this conversation – but I just found your site and your work today. Firstly, wanted to say that the work you’re doing is really encouraging to me! Your youtube interview, where you said “be a film-maker not a film-planner, etc.” good stuff, thanks.

    Secondly, wanted to share this with you, if you haven’t already seen it:

    that talk fundamentally changed the way I thought about the creative process, enjoy!

    • Christopher June 9, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

      I’m so happy to hear that my words were encouraging to you! And thank you so much for sharing the Gilbert talk with me. I just listened to it and it’s wonderful! I’ve always believed there are “ideas floating all around me” and she perfectly captures that notion. People think I’m crazy for believing that, but now I know I’m not alone!!! Way cool – thanks again!!!

  2. virtuos and beautiful May 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    You can do it!

  3. Jim May 25, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    I’m kind of a beat back in this thread. Still thinking about what you wrote:

    “Regarding your question, the ultimate force keeping them apart is themselves, i.e., internal conflict. She is a servant who is unable to be served and he is a transient farmhand who fears being grounded. So they both are hesitant to fall in love, since that calls for commitment to another.”

    As far as ‘sucking’ goes, my experience is that in every project (maybe multiple times in large projects) there are moments when it is ‘clear’ than the whole thing is vanity, worthless, meaningful only to me and maybe not even that, etc. This comes with the turf.

    What you wrote (quoted above) is oddly relevant. Commitment to what we are doing is tough, thankless and necessary. And, I find, the first step after, “it sucks” is to locate one element, one thing, one paragraph that – by itself – actually does not suck. Then build from there.

    Back to the subject of your plot / plot aversion, etc. Reading the quoted comment, I felt it made sense, although it clearly demands some great acting to pull it off. But it also made me think that secondary characters will be critically important in reflecting the lack of commitment back to your almost lovers. Maybe even the old lady being cared for.

    • Christopher May 25, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

      Good to hear from you, Jim. I really appreciate your notion on finding the strength in a project and building from there. I’ve been talking to my wife lately and we’ve agreed that I need to keep on going, then, once I reach a certain point, I need to assess my work and expand on what I actually did right.

      And you’re totally correct regarding secondary characters. In my first draft, the secondary character did not signify much regarding the primary characters. They were not very helpful in understanding the primary characters and their internal situation; however, as I work through my second draft, they sure are becoming more integral, rather than passerbys….

  4. Paul May 25, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    Sounds like someone just hit a home run off you and it’s only the third inning. No worries, just keep pitching. No-hitters are great but what really counts is that you get the win. Remember the Ira Glass post a few months ago?

  5. Chris b May 25, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    Obvious comment but I think it always helps: keep the faith! I remember a lot of moronic things in fifth drafts that I couldn’t believe i missed. Just keep rereading and rewriting an you’ll crack the problems. And if not? Remember we’re collaborating as filmmakers. Other heads will solve problems you couldn’t if you’re open (as in, smart dedicated DPS or actors on set)

    • Christopher May 25, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

      Way true and encouraging, Chris! But it makes me wonder: so how do really crappy movies end up being made????!!!! Right? I totally agree with you; there is a filtration system. But it doesn’t always work. Quite often, films turn out really bad. Crazy…

  6. Cassidy May 25, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    YOU. DO. NOT. SUCK.

  7. Miguel N. May 25, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    Maybe you do, hahaha. No. Maybe you’re not comfortable about how things are going. Your ambitions might be telling you that your film should be more than unique.
    But, don’t get discouraged by questioning your talent. I know many gifted people (that love filmmaking) that don’t have the guts to go through the process of making a film.

    Just focus on your task, your own work will show you the right path.

    If you want some interesting entertainment, check out “Silent Light” by Carlos Reygadas.
    This year, he is in Cannes with his new film “Post Tenebras Lux”. Listen to the press conference.

    http://www.festival-cannes.fr/en/archives/ficheFilmVideos/id/11257862/year/2012.html

    • Christopher May 25, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

      I began watching the press conference, Miguel, and within the first five minutes, you know what? I began to feel a ton of anxiety. Why? Because I absolutely love what they are doing in the conference and I want to partake in that. Believe it or not, I had to stop watching! Crazy, right? It’s not the sexiness of Cannes or any of that, but the intelligent, international nature of the conversation. I’m so sick of all the bullcrap conversations I’m surrounded with here in LA – the are so uninspiring; however, watching that conference truly inspired me, even the first 15 minutes. I’m definitely going to watch the rest tomorrow!

      • Miguel N. May 26, 2012 at 6:11 am #

        I just wanted you to look at somebody who makes his fims regardless of what others think.

        As you said, stay away from all the bullcrap.
        Just keep focus on your work, you’re a smart man. You’ll find the way.

      • Christopher May 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

        Thanks again!!!

  8. mona elias May 25, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    We can be our worst enemy at times. In our minds we want perfection. When we see something is not perfect, we immediately think it is horrible. How you are feeling is normal, accept that as your honest thought process and then just let it be. Let it be for a while, then you will have a clearer picture of how you want to approach it.

    • Christopher May 25, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

      So true, Mona. I definitely think I have a lot more of a perfectionist in me than I like to admit!

  9. Sajib May 25, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    I think, according to what every other author out there says, is that it’s perfectly normal to get frustrated when writing the first draft. If you’re feeling that your writing is going just perfect, then there’s something wrong. If you feel like what you’re feeling right now, everything is all right. Finish it, put it aside for a while then take a second look. :)

    I’m no expert but still wanted to share my opinion. Hope you don’t mind. :)

    • Christopher May 25, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

      Of course I don’t mind, Sajib! Thank you for the encouragement and I really do plan on putting the script aside soon for a while! I definitely need to do that…

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