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This is kind of like a creed for real, down & dirty, DIY filmmakers. As a filmmaker, one of the things you learn early on is how to navigate around obstacles. Either that, or you don’t complete many films. It’s just the nature of the craft.

So when I start a film, I try to keep this thought in the back of my mind:

Every day, my movie will face certain death.

Could be finances, scheduling, mother nature, timing, life, health, etc. Could be anything. I just know that each & every day on that journey I will face some obstacle where it looks like the film won’t ever be made.

Not one or two isolated incidents. Not just the potential obstacles I planned for. A whole mess of curveballs thrown at me like facing Doc Gooden in his prime. This is just the nature of the beast when making a movie on any level.

Recently, my new short ‘Memorama’ has been continually on the verge of getting shut down, or worse, pushed back into that fictional paradise of ‘later this year’. I have faced these obstacles in just the last month:

  • The location was supposed to be available 1/7. By 1/15, I was still not sure if we would ever have it.
  • The DP needed to shoot by 1/12, or push it back to 2/13.
  • The actor I cast in a lead part needed to also shoot by 1/12 or not until March, so I had to replace that actor.
  • The SAG paperwork needed to be finished in time for rehearsals & production.
  • The cost of insurance for SAG was triple what we expected.
  • Another lead actor, because of these budget issues, needs to be recast in a week.
  • My cat got sick, and cost me close to $500 for vet bills.
  • My kids both got sick, and needed extra time from me, that I didn’t have due to my business and tis film.
  • Two key crew members who committed for the film in early January got jobs, so now won’t be available.
  • I have a 3 day window to shoot 2 days of a film, and the middle day is Valentine’s Day. Back-to-back days make the most sense, but now that might not work.

These are just a few that have scarred my recent memory. Each one is, or will be, navigated around, because, as they say, ‘where there is a will, there is a way’, and I’m doing it regardless. I guess I take comfort knowing when I open my eyes…

Today, my movie will face certain death.

So instead of fighting it, or wasting emotional energy on it, I simply realize anytime I set out to complete a film, it’s going to be this way. I expect it. In fact, I live for it. To be honest, at this point, I actually find it quite amusing. I just sit back, grin, and bear it. I mean, that’s all any of us can do.

At the end of the day, that’s what makes us filmmakers.

How we handle these obstacles is what will separate us from the crowd. No matter how successful we get, it will never change. There will always be obstacles that will make or break our next project. Maybe that’s why, these days, I’ve learned to look forward to them.

Every day, my movie will face certain death.

Bring it on bitch. I’m ready.

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