August 19, 2015

Inspirational Advice from 'Breaking Bad' Creator Vince Gilligan: 'Gird Your Loins for Failure.'

"Strangely encouraging" is probably the best way to describe the advice Vince Gilligan offers new filmmakers in an interview with the Archive of American Television. The Breaking Bad creator sits down to remind us all that the entertainment business really wouldn't be the entertainment business without a steaming pile of failure lurking around every corner, but if you're going to go down, he says you'd "better go down swinging on something that's important."

If you've spent -- at least an afternoon working on a film project, you know that filmmaking is full of failure. The actor you want doesn't want you. That one film festival rejected your entry. (Or so you assume -- they never actually got back to you.) You hear "no" fifty times before you ever hear so much as a "maybe".

All that rejection, all that failure -- it really does a number on you emotionally. However, Gilligan explains how sometimes all of that anguish is worth it -- if you're working on something that you give a damn about. Essentially, passion is a near-perfect remedy for the brutum fulmen blues.

"Better to fail doing something you love than doing some hack work you're only partially invested in."

Passion can help carry you through the times when it seems as though no one believes in you or your project but you. It can keep you focused long enough to actually overcome the odds and find a way to finish your film. It can get you back inside your head to imagine another project waiting to be realized. Passion, not necessarily money, connections, or expensive gear, will help you get to the finish line when you've run out of the will to keep going.

If you want to watch the rest of the Vince Gilligan interview, head on over to The Archive of American Television    

Your Comment

9 Comments

"but if you're going to go down, he says you'd "better go down swinging on something that's important."

I guess that's directed at all these people out there who are thinking to make one more zombie movie or showing, one more time, somebody firing a gun. The amount of crap produced by people who call themselves "filmmakers" because they could buy a $ 3000 cam and a $ 1500 editing computer is mind numbing.

August 20, 2015 at 4:36AM

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The harsh reality is that there is no audience for a lot of the junk being produced, so in the end all that time and effort gets flushed down the drain.

August 20, 2015 at 5:47AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
33075

100% agree, 'a lot of the junk being produced' is washing out the good stuff.

August 20, 2015 at 6:07AM

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COYCO
Director of Photography
210

Well, if it were truly good stuff, wouldn't it rise above the junk?

August 20, 2015 at 7:34AM, Edited August 20, 7:37AM

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It would but not as quickly, its harder to find the good stuff among the junk.

August 20, 2015 at 8:58AM

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COYCO
Director of Photography
210

But... it's a gun, man. Thats, like, stakes and suspense, right?!

Ah, earnest ambition of youth, where everyone is a unique and special snowflake, right? Where we all have "passion" in some way.

For some perspective, watch that 1st week of American Idol. All those kids have passion. Not all have talent. Not many recognize the difference.

Personality, I make a living doing motion pictures. However, I'm never gonna have the sensibility, insight or wisdom of Terrence Malick. Some dudes have "it," and some do not. Terrence yes. Me no.

Maybe "It" is knowing when something is actually "important," as Gilligan says, and worth fighting for.

And just like anyone with a piece of paper and a pencil can be a writer, so too, these days, can someone call themselves a film maker. Obviously, it's not the announcing, it's the doing.

August 21, 2015 at 2:11PM, Edited August 21, 2:22PM

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Ha, its not the "zombies" fault, it's the story that is being told.

August 22, 2015 at 8:38AM

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Darren Orange
Director/Producer
287

Why isn't it ok for people to make bad movies?

August 22, 2015 at 6:02PM

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amen man, the gutenberg press didn't ruin literature. Giving the tools to the masses doesn't mean that everything that isn't huge is garbage, just means that not everyone will have their work seen by the world. Some of the best novels were hardly read or recognized during the authors time, who knows maybe that may become the case with some filmmakers.

August 23, 2015 at 7:09AM

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