This questions is a big one! How to stay creatively motivated as a filmmaker? You’re no doubt hoping for a magic answer, a simple technique that would pull you thought and keep you feeling on top of it all. Because when filmmaking gets tough, when you feel like it’s a grind and you’re getting nowhere. It’s had to stay motivated and you need a way to get through.
There are definitely times in filmmaking, or any pursuit really, where it feels impossible, thankless or just crushing.
There have have been occasions where I find myself daydreaming about abandoning the camera, ripping up my storyboards and going to work on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.
And why don’t I? Well, I also have this unrelenting urge to produce movies that make a difference. So deep down, I know I will stick with the filmmaking thing. But that passion alone is not enough to keep me motivated.
So what is motivation. Is it something you ‘have’ or is it something you ‘find’? If you think motivation is something you should just have then you might find the info I’m going to share with you helpful because some small shifts in your expectations could really make a difference when you're trying to stay on track.
In filmmaking there are certainly a a bunch of roadblocks that can regularly bring me down – securing the right funder, having time to get everything done, battling the challenging distribution process … On and on it goes.
It can be incredibly frustrating and the amount of work involved in filmmaking that’s not about creative outputs can be tedious. And that’s where motivation can wane (hence the daydreaming).
Which is why I wanted to use part 4 of the How to develop your documentary or narrative film series to dissect how filmmakers find the motivation to do what they do when the going gets tough.
Because no doubt you’ll get struck down by a lack of motivation at some point in your filmmaking career. Maybe your camera guy bails on you. Or a key talent pulls out at the last minute. Perhaps you just received more feedback than expected on your latest script.
While it can be crushing, I promise, it’s just part of journey – and you will get through it. You just need to have a few techniques to turn to when things are getting you down.
If you’re suddenly thinking to yourself, Part 4! What? I’ve wandered in halfway through a series and I have no clue what’s going on’ – don’t fret. You can catch up on parts 1,2 and 3 via the below links.
Up to date? Terrific. Here’s what to do when your motivation levels drop.
If you'd like to download the Ultimate Guide to Video Storytelling, click here.
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