(Disclaimer: This article contains words and phrases that some people may find offensive. Please do not continue if easily offended)
I've been thinking a lot lately (at least for the past 18 months) on what it is that makes some creatives such a joy to follow and others, well, meh. I think it boils down to a few of things:
- Their content is informative and useful
- They share their experiences
"We are doing/did this... This is how we're doing/did it... More great resources here (link)... Please ask if you want to know more..."
This to me creates the most powerful tool any creative could wish for - Interest and Interaction. The way I see it is this: The reason why we make something is so we can share it with others, to get feedback and ultimately whether we like it or not, to get their APPROVAL (psychologically speaking, I think this stems back to social stature/hierarchy from our knuckle dragging days).
I don't give a fuck who you are or what you say to fool yourself and others, we all desire approval for the works we create. Our egos scream for it. Begs for it like a jittering crack addict going cold turkey... OK, going on a bit of tangent here. Let's get back on topic.
We want APPROVAL --
Alright-alright! Shee-it, #justsayin
For me, Interest and Interaction is vital to forming community and community is vital for our own creative growth. I understand this now, but always struggled with it before. At the start of my own personal filmmaking journey, it was all about me-me-me:
"Look at what I'm doing! This is what I'm doing! Hey, why aren't you looking at me? I'm creating GOLD here people with nothing but a banana skin and a bulge in my pants! I'm the new sliced bread you've all been waiting for! Looook Aaaaattt Meeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!"
To the resounding tune of crickets (ironically, this is now by biggest pet peeve in others) Roll on creative burnout, depression, loss of faith and all the other good stuff that comes along with a lack of APPROVAL -- Sorry, couldn't help myself. Friends? Don't get me wrong, I still continue to share my work, but waaaayyy turned down. If people wanna check it out, it's totally up to them.
What Am I Giving Back?
The big Q. A blog here and there, sure. Some vague details on social media, yeah. Full details of my filmmaking/creative process? Not so much. Why? Scared that some Ass Hat's gonna steal my ideas/techniques and go onto bigger and better things while I'm left with cock in hand, gritting my teeth. I'd say that was the most likeliest of answers. And yet, as I've realised, this is DEFINITELY NOT how community works!
The best examples I can give of giving back are two groups of creatives whose works and processes I've been following and engaging with for a little while now:
I am a supporter. I want them to succeed.
Do yourselves a favour. Go on their FB page HERE. Hit like, share, sit back and be inspired. Thank me later.
Mentorless - Nathalie Sejean. The Story Fabricator. What can I say about this lady. I've met her a few times in person, we've chatted online, I've even written a guest blog for her: From Writing To Releasing The No Budget Short 'Setback'. I love her drive, commitment and determination. Not only that, I swear she's a machine, because there's NO WAY someone could consistently provide so much useful filmmaker content and still have time for their own creative journey! She recently started up a Vlog for her 52 week feature film "In 5 Years" where she's sharing her experiences for all to see. It's insightful and inspiring.
I am a supporter. I want her to succeed.
Subscribe to get all the latest updates and insights on her feature film "In 5 Years" HERE. Thank me later.
What Am I Giving Back?
Giving back without asking for anything. Sharing experiences. Creating informative and useful content. Combine all this and something very organic kicks in: Interest and Interaction. I naturally GROW Interest. I naturally WANT to interact. I naturally WANT to support in what little way I can and if there's natural reciprocation later on down the line, that's a bonus. There's no ego or hidden agenda here, just genuine support and THAT to me is key for growth.
My aim now is to be as giving and as informative as these guys are and continuing to be. Every project I undertake from now on will revolve around community and all of the aforementioned, starting with this quick and dirty little screen test: SWAT- When Opportunity Knocks with blooper reel. It's not much, but I think it's a step in the right direction.
I hope to see you, speak with you and grow with you along this (hopefully) helpful new path :)
Until next time, folks.
You might also like:
SWAT - When Opportunity Knocks
Screenwriting White Space: What Is It Good For?
What A (Good) Story Means To Me
Bulent Ozdemir is a self taught Writer, Director and Filmmaker who left his day job as an insurance broker back in 2010 to pursue a career in film.