Putting words to a page can be one of the most rewarding things you can do with your time.
Paradoxically, the level of enjoyment you derive from doing so often depends on how you define success, be it personal growth or satisfaction, financial gain, external validation or a combination of these things.
Any which way you look at it writing is a challenge and you’ll need to rely on the knowledge of others if your intention is to pursue the art of screenwriting seriously. And that’s what I’ve found.
Over the course of this article I’ll explain my position and perspective on the topic since rebranding Dichosis and nailing down my career and studio’s trajectory.
Getting into the Right Frame of Mind
I’ve always considered myself a writer, though my educational background is in illustration, and this simple fact was something I struggled with in those early days post-graduation.
Having recently moved exclusively into film however, I can say I’ve finally been able to merge these two disciplines into a valuable skillset with a core focus on pre-production.
But like everyone starting out in a field, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. For me, filling in these gaps required me to say yes to taking on more responsibility within the hierarchy of projects the studio is involved in.
In less than twelve months on one project I’ve personally gone from script editor, to writer, to concept and storyboard artist and most recently, to Production Coordinator.
I now wear a lot of hats and have to change between them quite often these days. And it can be a bit maddening at times trying to keep track of everything.
The good thing about embracing a myriad of other roles and figuring out what’s required as you go along is that you begin to look at each stage of the process very differently, and from many different angles.
Finding a Method in the Madness
Making films really is a balancing act you need to get right. There are so many moving parts to manoeuvre into position and success is never guaranteed, even for brilliantly written scripts that sound good on paper.
That is not to say that an ambitious script is not worth writing, only that you must be willing to work incredibly hard and make sacrifices for the betterment of the screenplay.
If you and your team are successful in bringing a script to life however, there is no better feeling! It can really be a galvanising moment that defines you, in your own mind and in others, as successful screenwriters and filmmakers.
Where and Why Failure Fits into Filmmaking
Experiencing some form of failure is an inevitability as a number of external factors outside your control will invariably crop up to bar the way forward.
Obstacles such as money (specifically the lack of it), genre, execution and more have become so ingrained in the business model of modern-day filmmaking it seems the entire process is inherently fraught with late nights, compromise, rejection and doubt.
The trick is realising the only real factor you need worry about is time.
If you continue to forge ahead despite any fears and take every project you can as far through the production pipeline as possible, you will get to where you want to be.
Soon the relationships, insights and technical proficies you’ll have acquired over several weeks, months and/or years will culminate into something good.
What is it they say? ‘Behind every overnight success is 10 years of hard work’.
Starting a Conversation
Hopefully this post will have been somewhat useful and/or interesting to anyone out there who may be struggling with screenwriting or filmmaking in general.
I do expect to be adding more articles to this new ‘Mindset’ category as things progress so stay tuned for updates on that either by signing up to our newsletter or following along on social media.
In the meantime, get out there and keep creating the films you want to make!