The work is working! I have finally figured out that I procrastinate because I’m afraid that the work may not be good enough or it might not get finished! How irrational is that? Now when I feel that feeling of procrastination coming on I jump in and get started right away. No sense in letting nonsense defeat you! Thus, the reason you have not seen a Chop Chop blog in a while…there’s been a little procrastination going on! Since our last blog appearance, much has transpired. We are in the midst of development of the second television doc-drama series of my lifetime. It feels like a dream come true just to be working on this project. All the aspects are interesting and fun, some easier than others, therefore there is a varying level of procrastination evident depending on the task to be tackled. I have branded myself in part as a dream promoter, but now I’d like to add to that branding that we at Chop Chop Media are hard work promoters. With hard work, persistence, consistency and determination you can almost do anything.
The process has included many steps. I think a bit too much talking on my part at the beginning, but if talking is what gets your ideas flowing than I guess this step can’t be judged too much. The IDEA is the birth of any project. Typically for me, it’s a nagging idea, one that comes but then won’t go away. Over time it keeps screaming for attention saying, “Film me, you should interview him or her, you should write or read about that, I’d love to watch something like that myself.” Usually dreams are involved, recurring, and anxiety provoking because I’ve likely had several about the subject matter but not done anything yet. It’s like my brain says, “Screw you!”, to my body and conjures up the imaginary project and develops it in my dreams.
The second step is SURRENDER. Yes, surrender, letting go of the “I can’t, I won’t, don’t have time, or nobody will like that story” stories and surrendering to the exploration of the subject matter. It is very typical of the artist to second guess themselves before even writing anything down. It is important to not judge oneself while in the creative process. God or the Universe (I choose God) gives us ideas for a reason. This leads directly to the third step of getting the ideas out of your head and onto paper. Outline your ideas, contacts, story possibilities, etc. Write in a journal about it, do a exploratory interview with the subject or subjects, outline your ideas, research the internet and write out contextual information about your subject matter. Then when you can’t do it alone anymore proceed to step four.
The fourth step is FIND THE RIGHT TEAM to support you. If you are a female, asking for help can be difficult. This means being open to vulnerability in a man’s world of filmmaking. It means getting quiet and taking time to envision your team, how you think you will work with others? What do you see as your strengths and therefore your role and how does that relate to who you think you need to help you? What are they good at? How would you like the communication to be? What is important to you in working relationships? Make a list. Then, pray about it or sit with it for a while. If you are not a member of a local filmmaker group, join one, in my case I am part of Southern Oregon Film and Media. Put yourself around other filmmakers and talk to them. Note who you connect with and reach out for a coffee meeting. Ask them how they like to work and listen to what they think their strengths are and then weigh that against what you believe your strengths to be. If you project is a “meant to be” project it will feel peaceful, the right people will show up to help you. Honor this part of the process because it may be the single most important part of the project. Plan to pay people, if you value others, they will value you. We are all valuable, but before you hire them develop your budget. In my case I needed some help so I worked creatively with other more experienced producers to consult with them on how to do this.
Step five is CLARITY. Clarify your ideas and how the team will operate. Make sure each person knows the role they are in and what kind of expectation you have of them as well as understand what expectation your team has of you and the project. I found hiring the right legal counsel was the best thing I could have ever done. I selected my legal counsel, Bianca Goodloe, based on a colleagues’ recommendation. It was the best thing I have ever done. She helped lay out for me all the agreements and who needed to sign them and why. She explained the typical process of marketing television show ideas to networks and producers and even assisted me with suggestions for going rates. Your lawyer should advocate for you and the project with the ultimate goal of getting the project sold. There are many parts to this. More on that later.
Once you have clarity, a team, and you are making forward steps in development you are on your way. The key is to support the creative unfoldment with positive messages, whatever that is for you. I listen to Joel Osteen every day and keep Bible passages with me that speak to the things I am working on overcoming, specifically the fear of making forward steps. I follow Marie Forleo‘s video blogs and am reading Brendan Burchard‘s book Motivation Manifesto. I start my day by asking God what how can I serve you today with my gift of filmmaking? I then work to quiet fearful thoughts that lead to procrastination by sitting down with my project each day to do a progress check in and do the work to keep it going in the right direction. With hard work and clear, positive intention anything is possible. Now, get out and there and start developing your project so that it can develop you!
COMING NEXT WEEK…SHOW DEVELOPMENT: WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE