Thursday, January 22, 2009

Empty Your Cup

There's been a few comments this week, just things here and there that I've been told, that I don't quite agree with. I don't like being told what to do, no one does, and I certainly don't like being interrupted when I'm in the middle of discussing one of my projects. Especially when this same person asked me to explain the project. I like it even less when I'm interrupted in the middle of explaining a project by someone who is telling me what I "should" do.

I understand people have ideas, but if I've got an idea that I've decided to commit to actually shooting and producing, then I'm pretty solid on what it is I'm going to do and I need no further feedback. If you're part of the crew wanting to advise me on the lights and you just happen to be in the lighting department then that's fine, give me your feedback. But if you're feedback has nothing to do with your department, or even worse, if you're just someone I barely know trying to butt into production, then it's unacceptable.

Thing is, I am a control freak. When I decide on a story or an idea for a project it's most likely because I see the full vision for it. I don't like it when people try to intentionally get me to change that vision. It's going to change all on it's own when you bring in the actors, and you look at the set, and when you edit it together, the original vision evolves, and it should, and that's completely natural. When someone else decides to step in and tell me what needs to be changed solely because they had a "neat idea", that's different. That's tampering with what I've ALREADY PLANNED! Don't tell me what my vision should be.

This is why I have a hard time collaborating with other writers. I hog the vision. When I come up with something to create, it's usually because I've gotten so passionate about what it is I see in my head that I NEED to be the writer and director and editor and composer. It's because I know, and feel, and understand EXACTLY what the spirit of the story is. I have no room for someone else to just butt in and say, "Ooh what you should do is..."


Now when it comes to doing some improv on set, then that's fine. Improvising is great, and you get a lot of really great material comedy wise, but it's all placed within the context of the base vision and stays within the established essence of the story. It does not detract from the story of the script.

I have no patience for people who ask me to tell them what my vision is and then proceed to tell me what it should be. This is why I hardly tell people what's going on. You'll get a script if you need to get a script. You'll know the end result if you need to know, otherwise just wait til I'm done cutting footage and you can watch the final cut like everyone else.

I hate posting negatively, but I believe that your blog should be there for the occasional venting. So this is me with my venting hat on.

I use to talk about what my ideas and scripts were. I don't now. Because there is no need to. You'll see my ideas once I make them happen. Also because I end up talking to people who just talk. The talkers are the ones who have ideas, but will never do anything with them. They just wanna hang out all day and never shoot anything. This is why I do alot of projects on my own or with minimal help. Thankfully I'm working with some fairly smart people who are motivated. But these past few days I've gotten cornered with a couple of people who are talkers, and I made the mistake of describing one of my projects when asked.

There's this old tale that I never ever remember all the details of, but I believe it was something of an old Buddhist parable. About an old man and a young man drinking tea. The old man pours tea into both cups and they proceed to drink. The Old mad drinks his tea, while the young man proceeds to talk, ALOT. As the Old man finishes his tea he pours himself another cup and then sets the tea pot down. The Old man drinks his second cup. The young man get's upset and says "Why haven't you poured ME a second cup?" The Old man says "How can I pour you tea, if you have not emptied your cup."

I know I just totally butchered that story. But the essence of it always stayed with me. The talkers talk and they complain when the rest of the world has moved on without them. They're too busy complaining about not getting there second cup, when they haven't even enjoyed or even appreciated their first one.

And I do bump into these people. Ugh.

Their existence is necessary, though. Like all things that are opposite of you and your goals, they are their to help define who you are, and who you are not.

"The path of the righteous is set on all sides by the inequities of the weak and the tyranny of evil men."
- Jules 4:20

Let the talkers and the morons and the general stupid people in your life help define the fact that you are none of the above. Let them outline your greatness and while they complain about their full cups, you can sit back and enjoy your ability to empty your own and receive even more.

Venting hat off.

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