If you care deeply about the craft of filmmaking, chances are that you have incredibly high standards for what makes a "good film." Trying to live up to those standards can be nearly impossible.
In a new video from DSLRguide, Simon Cade talks about that very subject — about why the creative process is inherently fraught with failure and self-doubt — and he offers one simple tip to combat this psychological barrier that all of us face at some point or another. This one is Simon's most personal videos yet, and in my opinion, one of his best. Check it out:
I've been big on the psychology of filmmaking lately, largely because those self-imposed mental barriers seem to be one of the biggest factors in why more people don't actively create. And few psychological barriers are as difficult to overcome as "the gap," the one between your expectations and your reality. No one else has summed up this dilemma quite as well as Ira Glass, host of This American Life.
For me personally, I love watching the work of Sven Nykvist or Gordon Willis, or any of the world's finest cinematographers for that matter. But afterwards, there's always a small part of me that thinks it would be pointless to go out and shoot something that I know won't be 1/10th as beautiful or meaningful as what they created.
But then again, comparing yourself or your work against that of others will never be a fruitful thing. Everyone's at a different point in their individual journey. Making a comparison between someone who's been shooting films for 5 years to someone who's been shooting for 40 years is kind of like comparing a $6 box of wine to a lovely French vintage that cost several grand. It's not a fair comparison, and making it will just drive you crazy.
In the end, the solution to this is both simple and difficult. You just have to put in the time and effort to make something, put it out into the world, then move on to making more things. Going through that process again and again will help you start bridging the gap between your abilities and your expectations.