As part of the pre-production process for my upcoming film, A Thousand Moments Later, I put together a document for the actors and crew to give them something to think over. The document contained some prose and some reference photos of key moments. What follows is part of that document.
For those aspiring to say something meaningful it can be easy to get caught in thoughts of whether a project will be understood. We carry expectations into our projects and as such it is easy to become disheartened when these expectations are not met. Or worse, we let these expectations guide us through the creative process. This way is death.
Setting to one-side expectations of any kind is the light even if this entails the possibility of failing to be fully understood by everyone.
Successful filmmakers—no, strike that—successful people, embrace failure. That is to say, they embrace the possibility of failure for such people are not put off by long and difficult journeys towards understanding. They know it is a journey of discovery for both filmmaker and audience, and they lean on this process to get them through. In fact they are often inspired by such challenges and the patience needed to follow an unknown path. They trust in each other and the ability to see through common everyday likes and dislikes offsetting short-term narrative satisfaction for longer-term meaningfulness. And they do this with steely persistence. Wong Kar Wai and Terry Malick being two filmmakers that embody this tradition.
Process. Patience. Trust. Persistence.
These four tenets cohere creative teams. Allowing them to remain on course as everything else around them turns to mud and the haters (both the inside and outside haters) come to play.
Losing You Way — Finding Perspective
But sometimes it happens—we get lost. Lost in thought. Lost in time. Lost in life. Lost in the creative process. And yet these times can be the catalyst for fresh insights into old truths.
It is important, therefore, to allow oneself the chance to be lost.