Writer's Block (again) [another fucking rant]

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Writer's Block (again) [another fucking rant]

Post by Guest on Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:57 pm

Which might win the award for the most blatantly obvious title for one of these posts ever.

One of those nuts I'm still trying to crack (imagining that all of my problems are nuts and I've never cracked any of them and I'm starving to death) is how to make a goddamn movie.

I've posted about this topic before, being incapable of making even the cheapest movie. Not really because I have no ideas (that too), but because even the cheapest movie is fucking expensive and I don't have the funds to afford such luxuries as making movies. Once you go under...say $7000, you're more or less guaranteed to make absolute horseshit.

So that's the Catch 22 I'm in: I can't think of any good movie idea that would cost less than 1/6 of my tuition.

I've only ever come up with ideas I like when I'm not forcing myself to, but those "good" ideas would cost millions upon millions to make properly.

I have no money and I have no ideas, and it's why I'm the only person in my class who has never directed anything, because I have no intention of making crap. The fuckers are posting their Smosh-level films (they're a YouTube group who are fucking poison and I want them to die) on their IMDB pages. I don't even have a fucking IMDB page because I've made nothing worth putting on there.

So again, I don't know how the hell I can make any film at this point, because I have no ideas and no money, thus no possible way to make a film.

I mean, if I wait too long, then I'll never be able to make a movie, instead languishing in the dregs of the film industry for my entire career. A lot is at stake here. I need good films to move forward, but I can't think of any and I can't afford them.

I really should've chosen a degree with job security that I could make money in.

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Re: Writer's Block (again) [another fucking rant]

Post by Enail on Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:07 pm

Make crap. Seriously. If everyone else is getting out there and directing shit, they are improving. Every terrible, worthless junk film they direct is giving them practice and showing that they'll put in the work and teaching them what to do differently next time. If you want to make great films some day, you need to be making crap films now.

Make a cheap horseshit movie with a bad idea if that's what you can make right now. Make an intentionally bad film if that's what you need to do to make your perfectionism shut up and let you do it. Make films. Make lots of films. Get them out there and put them on your IMDB page whether or not they're worth putting there.
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Re: Writer's Block (again) [another fucking rant]

Post by eselle28 on Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:14 pm

I think enail's advice sounds wise. If you don't like to think about the idea of making crap, though, maybe you could focus on one specific thing you'd like to learn from a film and think about the project in that light? For instance, you could pick out a technique you'd like to experiment with or a story element you don't usually see, and then play with whatever that one thing is within the context of a teen horror movie or a drama about three people who spend all their time in the same apartment or whatever else is considered inexpensive to film.
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Re: Writer's Block (again) [another fucking rant]

Post by ChrissyOrig on Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:48 pm

Enail wrote:Make crap.

I agree, and I'll add: Make cheap crap. The goal should be to finish something and get it out there as inexpensively as possible. One cheap location. Small cast. Dialogue driven. Can be realistic (Diner, My Dinner With Andre) or fantasy (The Booth at the End [see it on Hulu!]).

Practice creating original characters--and make them sound VERY different. That in itself will be a great lesson and very useful in the future.

There could be a gimmick (two people playing chess, where the moves echo the dynamic of the dialogue [see Fresh if you haven't!]) or movement (try to do a walking-and-talking scene; they're hard, but you learn a lot by trying).

For some people, the major component of creative blocks is the fear of revealing oneself. But that is unavoidable.

Bite the bullet. Break a pixel!

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Re: Writer's Block (again) [another fucking rant]

Post by Guest on Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:41 pm

Enail wrote:Make crap. Seriously. If everyone else is getting out there and directing shit, they are improving. Every terrible, worthless junk film they direct is giving them practice and showing that they'll put in the work and teaching them what to do differently next time. If you want to make great films some day, you need to be making crap films now.

Make a cheap horseshit movie with a bad idea if that's what you can make right now. Make an intentionally bad film if that's what you need to do to make your perfectionism shut up and let you do it. Make films. Make lots of films. Get them out there and put them on your IMDB page whether or not they're worth putting there.

I just need to find an idea to fall in love with, and the problem is that I hate all of my ideas as soon as I think of them. I lose interest the second the screenplay is done. I spent the entire day throwing old crap I'd written at film festivals and stuff for giggles, just to prove that they wouldn't accept me. And if one of them do accept me, it'll be a miracle.

I'll come up with a good idea in my head, try to write it down, and then it's suddenly terrible. It's almost magical. I wouldn't have the patience to make a deliberately terrible movie, I'd give up the first day. Assuming I could get actors and locations and props and catering and transportation and financing and a budget and cameras and sound and makeup and...

It's almost impossible to make any film at all, honestly. I don't know how the fuck anyone else does it.

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Re: Writer's Block (again) [another fucking rant]

Post by Enail on Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:07 pm

If you hold out for the perfect idea, you'll never get anything done. Besides, it takes practice to do a great idea justice. Don't make it your goal to make something brilliant, make it your goal to push yourself and learn so that you will be able to make something brilliant in the future. Like Eselle and Chrissy said, pick a specific thing you want to get better at and just do it.

Not to mention, learning those logistics of getting props and cameras and so forth together. That stuff's not trivial, so accept that it's something you need to get in practice on.

But that's excellent that you're applying for festivals and stuff. The only way to do this stuff is to do this stuff and keep on doing it until you can do it well.
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Re: Writer's Block (again) [another fucking rant]

Post by ChrissyOrig on Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:33 am

Glides wrote:I just need to find an idea to fall in love with, and the problem is that I hate all of my ideas as soon as I think of them. I lose interest the second the screenplay is done. ... I'll come up with a good idea in my head, try to write it down, and then it's suddenly terrible.  

I think this is where things go off track. It's like deciding you want to produce a work of art equivalent to Picasso at his most accomplished, but without any sort of learning curve. This is a setup for failure. Choose a small goal and work toward it. And don't expect to feel confident or excited all during the process. There is a sort of yin/yang cycle between the creative and the judgemental parts of making something. When you are judgemental too soon (sounds like that's what happens), then you kill your creativity. But without judgement at all, you won't get better.

Find a way to turn off your judgement until it's needed, like after a draft is done, give it some time, then review it objectively, as though someone else had created it. Focus on the things that work, build on them and find ways to fix or change what isn't working. Forget "good" and "bad" because you're beating yourself up with that. Maybe try writing a scene or two or three. Put aside a bit, get friends to read it and record the reading. Then listen to it later by yourself. Be open to what you experience. You might find your story goes a different way than what you planned.

The thing is, why do you want to create film? It's a lot of work, not all of it is fun, it's very challenging to overcome the obstacles, but if you are not getting ANYTHING out of it, think about what your goals are. Also, try working on small parts first (scenes or collections of scenes), because you'll probably have a better chance of learning how to turn off the judgemental side that is invaluable later in the process.

Do you have a video camera, or something cheap you can play with? It might help to get some actor friends together and do structured improv and record it. It can take some of the judgemental pressure off, but still give you a way of creating some material. So, like you'd think of a situation with conflict and create 2+ characters, then see what comes out of it. Try lots of things to see what works. If nothing else, write pages every week and get people to read them and record it so you can listen to it later. Whatever gets you through the process gives you the experience you need to move forward. Being paralyzed sucks. The good thing about doing something crappy is that criticism doesn't hurt because your expectations are so low. So, it's good experience in just getting through the process.

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Re: Writer's Block (again) [another fucking rant]

Post by Guest on Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:02 pm

ChrissyOrig wrote:
Do you have a video camera, or something cheap you can play with? It might help to get some actor friends together and do structured improv and record it. It can take some of the judgemental pressure off, but still give you a way of creating some material. So, like you'd think of a situation with conflict and create 2+ characters, then see what comes out of it. Try lots of things to see what works. If nothing else, write pages every week and get people to read them and record it so you can listen to it later. Whatever gets you through the process gives you the experience you need to move forward. Being paralyzed sucks. The good thing about doing something crappy is that criticism doesn't hurt because your expectations are so low. So, it's good experience in just getting through the process.

I have no actor friends at all, that's my problem. Shooting anything takes hours, and very few people can tolerate me for that long. Whatever I can do, I can only do it alone with no one else's help.

Honestly I have no motivation, and then a lot of it at once, and then none again. And most of the time I have no motivation to do anything. So that's the problem: a combo of hating anything I write and no motivation ruins me.

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