Dark midnight of the creative soul

Pike I am suffering right now (well actually last night to be specific, but past it this morning) from one of the symptoms I discuss on my two day film makers course. It’s a common problem and it can be quite crippling.

When you set out on any creative venture and think up some kind of story, then work on it and polish it, it is perfect… You can play the movie in your head and it’s wonderful. But obviously, it doesn’t exist. On my course I can see how some film makers are crippled by their fear of failure, and are more comfortable making the film off in the future, in their head, with perfect conditions, rather than bite the bullet and make it now, complete with (what they fear will be) under funding, rain, bad actors, poor crew, over shooting,  yada yada yada…

That’s why I have worked so hard to get as much money as I can, to work with the best crew and cast, find the right locations… But in my head it’s still AMAZING and I can feel the dreaded compromise creeping up on me. It’s an inevitability. But it still plays on my subconscious. I guess this all serves to focus my mind like a razor too.

One of the amazing and exhausting things that happens as a director is that you get a complete view of the whole project. Truly, no-one knows it better than you do. And sometimes that leads to what may appear to be strange choices or ideas that conflict with other departments. What some people fail to remember is that they are working on a small part of the jigsaw, where my job is to make sure that not only all the jigsaw pieces fit together, but that the picture is also amazing from where the audience sits. And what is even more frustrating sometimes, is that they think that they have the holistic view also. It leads a director very quickly into megalomania, which of course, can be disastrous.

So I try to be best informed at all times, listen to all ideas, cherry pick and thank people for the best or appropriate ones, and shepherd everyone in the same direction. It can be quite overwhelming at times.


Right. Onward and upward.

Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author

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