We fail if we cannot recognize that we accomplished something great merely by setting a goal and reaching it…So Says Jed
As a director, writer, and producer of a number of independent films, music videos and screenplays, my work has been accepted into over 50 film festivals and screenplay contests worldwide.
If I were to include the films that I worked on as a Production Manager, then that number rises to well above 100 festival acceptances. This honor is a testament to the hard work, sacrifice, and Full-On blood, sweat, and tears that myself and countless co-workers have put into creating our films.
One could say then, that I am doing something right. However, over the same span of time, I have also personally received over 100 rejection letters from film festivals. So, if one were so inclined, one could also say that I am doing something wrong. Especially when you consider that overall, my work has been rejected close to 400 times by film festivals worldwide.
Put simply: As Rob said to Mike: “It’s all how you look at it.”
I bring all of this up because I think a lot of Americans and for sure, most of us indie filmmakers can get caught up in the competitions we win, the laurels we garner, and the “In Yo Face” stories we get to Rock when we are asked “…And what do you do” a our high school reunion.
What our true definition of success should be is simply: Completing a film, putting our thoughts into a tight screenplay, or displaying our talent and hard work On Screen.
We fail if we can’t recognize that we accomplished something great merely by setting a goal and reaching it.
It doesn’t matter if things didn’t turn out exactly how you first imagined them. It doesn’t matter if it took longer and cost more than you planned…or even understood that it could. It doesn’t matter that your film didn’t catapult you to the high heights of Fame And Fortune in Hollywood that you wished for.
It doesn’t matter.
What does matter is that you completed a film…and that is a special, special thing, my Friends. It’s much more than most everyone you know will ever attempt to accomplish, and it means more than even a lot of you indie filmmakers reading this fully understand yet.
Filmmaking is art, and art takes sacrifice…Sacrifice is a big part of what makes art, Art. Sacrifice is pretty much the exact opposite of what Riches and Fame offer. Now, you may want to be both an artist AND be Rich and Famous…and maybe you will be. But if you’re Number One goal with filmmaking isn’t to simply complete the best film that you possibly can, then regardless of the the outcome, you’re going to be disappointed with the results every time…believe it.
Being Rich And Famous can’t bring you happiness, it can only cover up the fact that you aren’t truly happy, and only for a short while. Creating something that you put your heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, hopes, fears, and dreams into and feeling amazingly alive that you did…Creating something that is bigger and more lasting than yourself….Creating something that has meaning to you, you friends, and family…these are the only real things you’ll ever get back from making a film. So just make films as best as you can and realize that finishing it as best you can is the only goal that matters…and then bask in the glory of your success!