There have been plenty of lists about the mistakes that amateur filmmakers make on set. But what about the more insidious mistakes, the psychological ones?
Our friend Simon Cade, who has been knocking it out of the park with his educational videos lately, recently shared another video that covers this very topic. But before we get to that, let's talk briefly about why psychology is important within the context of filmmaking.
Like most endeavors in life, particularly the artistic ones, success in filmmaking is tied closely with whether or not we're able to conquer our fears and doubts. It may sound corny and trite, but when it comes to creating work that we are proud of on a consistent basis, more often than not, we are our own worst enemies.
So here's Simon Cade with 5 mistakes that he's been making lately, most of them psychological, and what he's doing to overcome them:
Here's the list of psychological mistakes mentioned in the video:
- Too much typing: Getting off of the computer and working with your hands as much as possible can really benefit your creative process.
- Caring too much about what's popular: It's important to create things that you care about, rather than give in to fads.
- Not making enough narrative content: Story is everything. Make sure you're making it a priority.
- Worrying about failure: Failure is inevitable, but if you focus too much on it, the fear will keep you from creating.
- Practice humility: Simon shares a quote by Ze Frank: "Let me be not so vain to think that I'm the sole author of my victories and a victim of my defeats."
The mistake that resonates with me the most from Simon's list is #4, or being crippled by the fear of failure. It's something that I'm pretty sure most of us have dealt with to some extent. We start thinking about a new project, and we imagine how great it's going to be when it's finished. And then we think about what it takes to make that vision come to fruition. And we worry that the project won't live up to our expectations, that we're not experienced or talented enough to make it great, that we don't have access to the proper budget, equipment, or crew. We worry so much about these things that we end up doing very little, or worse, nothing at all.
Like many of the psychological problems that we encounter throughout our lives — and I know I'm being incredibly broad here — the solution lies in learning to find joy in the process and not getting wrapped up in the desired result. This is something that I intend to write about in-depth at some point soon, but suffice it to say for the purpose of this article, if you enjoy filmmaking as a process, including all of its odd little sub-processes and intricacies, then nothing you make will have been a waste of time.
What are some of your biggest psychological barriers when it comes to making films? Share them with us down in the comments!