Production-Now.com Media Production Mentoring

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3.07.2008

Directionless: A Barrior to Progress

I often counsel media enthusiasts who are stuck without an idea in ways to get their creativity flowing. In a very short time it is relatively easy to come up with several options to pursue. And I tend to believe that once you have something to pursue, you're set.

But this isn't the case.

You need much more than just an idea, a story, even a script. Shoot, I've got an edited film on my hard drive just waiting for me to finish cutting the BTS. And I haven't. It's been half a year and I still haven't finished it.

Why?

There are certainly numerous reasons, but one of the biggest is my lack of direction. I've tried cutting the BTS together, but I don't have something unifying to cut to. There's no structure holding the piece together, and so every edit is arbitrary, and so I fear cutting anything out.

I've got several other projects like this. I just revisited my Production Manual I've been working on for a couple years now. I'm stuck. I've written about 40 pages and can't seem to move forward. If I had a clearer outline I could probably keep going, but I don't have an outline, and I don't know how to make one. I lack direction, and I can't seem to figure out how to get my bearings.

A prime example of an idea not being enough is our latest concept for a web show that we want to start. We've got it all: Structure, basic story, characters, and even the first few episode ideas. We should be set.

But I'm stuck. I lack a clear direction or journey to start my characters on. I have no clever start, no unifying joke that I can write into my scripts. And so, a great idea is on hold until I figure out a direction in which to go.


I've found that being or feeling directionless makes me feel weary. Not sleepy, and not really tired, but just weary: Like it would be too much work to do anything.

And that's a disastrous place for a media creator to be.

If you find yourself in such a "space" (as the artistic folk may describe it), get yourself into a different space. Go for a walk, go to the mall, go swimming, go skating. Get outside.

That may be something else that we digital/creative/techno-geeks do not do often enough: Get out for fresh air. I know how awesome Azeroth can be. I understand the draw to watch another movie. I empathize with the feeling that you just need to type up something else. But you and I have both likely been sitting on our duffs too much of late.

Get up. Get out. And perhaps, just perhaps, you may also get direction.

~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor

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