I’ve been mulling over this thought during the day job for several months now and while it hasn’t been perfected I thought I would post it just the same. It’s roughly modeled after the 5 stages of grief, but hopefully, a bit more humorous.
- Denial~ Otherwise known as the honeymoon phase of filmmaking. This brief period of time occurs when you first decide to make a film. You run out, buy a bunch of equipment and video tape your cat, ferret, idiot sibling trying to open a childproof bottle of aspirin. As you preview that ‘hilarious’ you tube buzz worthy footage you declare yourself a budding filmmaker.
“Look out Lucas, Ford and Coppola! All your Oscars belong to us!”
- Anger~ You have a few short films under your belt, but not setting the world on fire. Any constructive criticism is instantly considered an attack on your artistic vision. People obviously aren’t cerebral enough to ‘get’ the material and your talent is being wasted on knuckle dragging neanderthals who’d be more content watching season 16 of Jersey Shore: Seaside Heights Retirement Village where Nonni Snookie get’s the beat down from Pauly D’s walker.
Something is telling me I probably shouldn’t have been able to pull their names out of thin air like that.
- Bargaining~ A few more films have been created and you are slowly getting ‘it’. Not all of the films are going to be epic. In fact a few of them you’d soon rather forget. Lessons have been learned, however painful they might have been. You are now on a barter system with people. Actors actually get decent food on set. In exchange for a location the business gets a plug in the credits. Life it good.
To local business owner: How important is that wall over there? Do you REALLY need it?
- Depression~ This happens when you wake up one morning and total up your expenses towards this ‘hobby’. You instantly slip into a near catatonic state when you start delving deeper into filmmaking; legally and technically. You are far beyond compositions and the happy little white balance button on your camera. You are now juggling scheduling, re-writes, casting, location scouting, catering, crew, equipment, etc...etc... You are overwhelmed, over budget and can’t remember the last time you slept more than four hours or ate something that wasn’t in a wrapper. Overall you haven’t even scratched the surface on all that is filmmaking.
- Acceptance~ Despite the odds being stacked against you you’ve come to realize you wouldn’t want it any other way. You’re finally able to tell the difference between constructive criticism and ‘haters’. Overall you embrace each project regardless of the outcome, but hope you are in that 1% that make a difference.
“I shot a film over the weekend. What did you do?”