January 31, 2018

Why It's Good to Allow Your Films to Suck

We all want to be the best we can be, but sometimes that means being the best at sucking.

Whether you're a filmmaker, cinematographer, editor, writer, or any other type of creative, we all must all come face to face with the realities of our limited abilities. For some, it's like staring at their own potential for failure like it's the barrel of a gun, running away in fear of their utter suckiness blasting them in the face. For others, though, it's like watching a sapling claw its way out of the stony soil, hoping that, one day, all of the effort and work it takes to spring from the ground will result in worthy fruit.

But right now, at this moment, you may not know—maybe the fruit that has come from your branches are puny, bitter, little fuckers that you'd rather leave to the worms on the threshing floor. Your films may be horrible and your future, you believe, is dismal. Your failure may be as real as a cocked gun and you're ready to get the hell out of the way before the hammer drops. Quite frankly, you might think you suck at being a filmmaker.

If that's you, you should watch this video by Peter McKinnon.

"Done is better than perfect."

So yeah, maybe your film sucks. Maybe it's the worst fucking movie ever made. Fine. Let it suck. Let it sit on some external hard drive in a dark closet without a label forever, but for glob's sake, make another film. Make another shitty ass film and let it sit on top of the other external hard drive in a dark closet without a label forever. And then make another.

Keep making films that suck.

Why? Because, as McKinnon says, "Done is better than perfect." Your work will count for something eventually, I promise. It may not be on your next project, or your 3rd or 60th, but eventually, you'll start to notice your growth.

Peter McKinnon's Creative Process

  • This is awesome
  • This is tricky
  • This is shit
  • I am shit
  • This might be ok
  • This is awesome

Here's the thing: failing sucks. It's painful and soul-crushing and agonizing. It can take everything out of you, your passion, your enthusiasm, and your active creativity, but you know what? You may suffer failure but you will survive it. 

True suffering is giving up before you've allowed the seeds you've planted to mature. And that's what they're doing—they're maturing. They're constantly growing. Even if their growth is minuscule and goes unnoticed, every moment they remain sown in your soil, they're getting riper, juicier, and closer to the day when they will bear worthy fruit.      

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3 Comments

Peter McKinnon's Creative Process
This is awesome
This is tricky
This is shit
I am shit
This might be ok
This is awesome

I think that's Marcus Romer's creative process ;)

January 31, 2018 at 11:42PM

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This is so true.
I wish I had been told this years ago instead of the messages I got which were "If you can't do something well then don't do it at all."
I remember at a directing workshop I took, filmmaker Jean-Pierre Lefebvre was asked if he thinks he'll ever make the perfect film. He replied "Why would I want to do that? I would have nothing left to do after."

I look back at my first attempt at a feature and see that it "failed" simply because of my perfectionism. I only had so many resources both time and money. I ran out of steam and it ended up being salvaged into a short that hardly anyone has ever seen. I wish now I would have just done it sloppily and got it done. Then I could have moved on from there having had a feature under my belt.

February 1, 2018 at 11:17PM

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True
Also great video again by Peter McKinnon!

February 4, 2018 at 5:33AM, Edited February 4, 5:33AM

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