About two months ago, I began pre-production on my latest short film, which we aim to enter into the Impact50. Yes, I know the official filmmaking rules haven’t yet been announced, but if there’s one key piece of advice I’ve picked up from the Create50 and London Screenwriters’ Festival community it’s that you should be out there doing it NOW!
Not one day, some day. But now! (To borrow Chris’s words.)
Sure, it may emerge that I’ve missed a vital piece of information and can’t enter our film, but that doesn’t matter because my team and I have to make another one to qualify as a wildcard anyway. What it does mean is that in a year’s time, we’ll have made at least two short films to add to our roster.
I’ve been making films since I was a kid, using Lego figures to create Star Wars comedy-sketches with my brother. Then at college I discovered screenwriting and whilst at university I met an awesome group of people and we started making films together. I’m normally a writer/director but for this project, ‘The Watchers of Worlds’, I wrote and am producing it.
Producing your own work will teach you exactly why you should write sensibly. For reference, zero-gravity, space stations, and a shot of an asteroid hitting Earth is not writing sensibly. But where there’s a will there’s a way, and it really does take a certain kind of crazy to willingly take such a leap of faith, which, to their credit, my team has done, and I’m immensely grateful to them all.
Now, I’m not saying you should also go and spend months of your lives trying to figure out how to build a space station set on a fraction of the $100million they spent making Gravity. But I am saying you should go out and make your movie.
Why? If for no other reason than you’ll be able to say you’ve had something produced. I’m not a fan of waiting for things to happen. The best part of being involved in the Create50 community is that these are all people with similar interests who may later become collaborators.
I’ve met so many people through Create50 and LSF, and so many of these people have since, very generously, backed our film, offered advice, and generally have just been so supportive. Did I mention we’re running an Indiegogo campaign to fund it?
Cynical marketing statement aside, I’m a hugely competitive person and when I first wrote ‘The Watchers’ (as it’s now called) I desperately wanted to win the Impact50 competition. But as it went on I realised that we’re more than just competitors, we’re companions, traveling along the same path.
Some are further along than others and as for myself, I’m just getting started on my filmmaking journey, but I’d also invite you to make a start on yours too and let’s see where they take us!
Before I finish, there’s a quote that always stands out for me: “Always remember, your focus determines your reality” (Qui-Gon Jinn, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace).
David F. Jacobson.