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View Full Version : I HAVE NO FUTURE IN FILM!


Imsomuchbetter
10-17-2009, 08:52 AM
I just heard back from X film festival, which I attend yearly and love with all my heart, that my eleven minute alternative short didn`t make the cut. And not only that, the a**holes actually gave me the "however we look forward to receiving material from you in the future" line. Usually I wouldn`t care about rejection, but I absolutely worship this film festival and was so sure that they would love it that I don`t know what the fuck I`m going to do. I`m in a funk so fucking deep right now that the thought of having a career in film is about as likely as finding white-man dialogue that sounds right in a Spike Lee joint. Maybe I`m not talented, maybe I don`t have a future in film, BUT WHY GOD! WHY DID YOU MAKE ME LOVE FILMMAKING IF THAT IS TRUE????!?!?!?!?!?!?

When do you know that it`s time to give up? I`m in my early twenties, and honestly feel like if something was going to happen, it would have happened by now....and having now realized how fucking pathetic that sounds, I`m going to go shoot myself.

Shinigami
10-17-2009, 11:16 AM
Learn to roll with the punches?

Sorry to hear about your film.

vesaker
10-17-2009, 11:22 AM
that sucks man but keep on trying. I'm sure there are tons of ppl who had to deal with a ton of crap/rejection before they go their break.

echo_bravo
10-17-2009, 11:33 AM
When do you know that it`s time to give up? I`m in my early twenties, and honestly feel like if something was going to happen, it would have happened by now....and having now realized how fucking pathetic that sounds, I`m going to go shoot myself.

You're still VERY young. Early 20s? Sheesh, you got your whole life ahead of ya. I'd hold off shooting yourself buddy.;)

Keep at it. Most directors dont get films made in their early 20s.

Highspeed
10-17-2009, 11:58 AM
Your handle gives me the impression that one rejection wouldn't stop you from pursuing something that you claim to love so much...keep at it and you'll feel like your life is meaning something. When you give up and just settle in for something you have no passion for is when your truly gonna feel like you've hit rock bottom.

Shinigami
10-17-2009, 12:18 PM
If it must do something, let rejection temper your ambitions. Everyone sets out to premiere a blockbuster in some way. Maybe it will be an intellectual blockbuster, a mainstream blockbuster, an independent blockbuster... Most people begin these passions dreaming of the biggest and the best, when the biggest and the best is the hardest, largest step for an aspiring filmmaker to take. If you absolutely have to react to this rejection in some way, do it in your work. Temper yourself more. It takes everyone a very long time to learn that you can get your foot in the door inch by inch rather than barging in. I'm still learning to temper myself, and that's despite my knowing better.

It's a learning process. Anyone who has learned enough to succeed in their early twenties hasn't learned enough at all- they succeeded because they were lucky or genius on a level that you or I shouldn't bother ourselves to compete with.

Cheer up. Chin up. It will look better in the morning.

mutesaint
10-17-2009, 12:23 PM
Maybe try some sort of internet distribution. Its the new thing afterall.

Smiert Spionam
10-17-2009, 12:38 PM
Some of my favorite directors didn't blow up until they were in their late 30's/early 40's.
If you're willing to throw in the towel all over one rejection, maybe filmmaking isn't in your future, because anyone who was really passionate about it would keep at it, regardless if it was appreciated or not.

I know I will...

Natty
10-17-2009, 02:08 PM
Yeah keep on rolling. I can't think of any filmmakers who were successful in their early twenties, yet I can think of loads who were/are genuises. So don't let one rejection get to you.

I was recently rejected by RADA (one of the world's top acting schools) and they told Gary Oldman that he was so bad he shouldn't pursue a career!

miklpen
10-17-2009, 04:16 PM
I went back to school when my son went to school to finish what I started. I am 37 and at the end of this semester I will finally be getting my degree. I am a film major. My area is just behind the scenes (working on sets, AD, PA). Because of my school I was able to work on some independent films and meet some people who have worked in the industry. I am hoping to get into the business at one point through people I know.

The point is it took a long time for me to at least get here. Who knows, maybe I will be 50 before anything great happens, but when it does it will be awesome. Personally I feel privileged to be a part of something I love. How long it takes to get there shouldn't matter. As cheesy as it sounds it's the ride that gets you there through good or bad.

Don't worry it will happen.

Brendan M.
10-17-2009, 04:27 PM
I just heard back from X film festival, which I attend yearly and love with all my heart, that my eleven minute alternative short didn`t make the cut. And not only that, the a**holes actually gave me the "however we look forward to receiving material from you in the future" line. Usually I wouldn`t care about rejection, but I absolutely worship this film festival and was so sure that they would love it that I don`t know what the fuck I`m going to do. I`m in a funk so fucking deep right now that the thought of having a career in film is about as likely as finding white-man dialogue that sounds right in a Spike Lee joint. Maybe I`m not talented, maybe I don`t have a future in film, BUT WHY GOD! WHY DID YOU MAKE ME LOVE FILMMAKING IF THAT IS TRUE????!?!?!?!?!?!?

When do you know that it`s time to give up? I`m in my early twenties, and honestly feel like if something was going to happen, it would have happened by now....and having now realized how fucking pathetic that sounds, I`m going to go shoot myself.

If giving up is even an option, then you're probably not cut out for this to begin with. I mean, if you're only twenty and you seriously plan on keeping at this, you're going to face a whole lot more rejection on the road ahead of you. All the film directors you've looked up to are still dealing with head-tripping issues to this day. What makes you think its going to get any easier? You have to be a sadomasochist to a certain extent if you want to work in this industry, and also you need to learn to pick your battles.

So either quit crying and change your attitude or move aside and start looking into law school or something.

LordSimen
10-17-2009, 05:00 PM
I personally believe if something like this was all it took to get you to question your career choice, perhaps you made a bad choice to begin with.

SAI
10-17-2009, 05:10 PM
I personally believe if something like this was all it took to get you to question your career choice, perhaps you made a bad choice to begin with.
Lord Simen and I don't, God knows, see eye to eye on many things, but he's right here.

Film is a tough, competitive business. If you truly believe that this is what you are supposed to be doing, if you really think you have talent, then ONE rejection shouldn't put you off. And frankly, if it does, then maybe you simply aren't cut out to be in the buisness, not because you lack talent, on that score I've got no idea, but becuase this simply is the wrong attitude to have going into this business.

ilovemovies
10-17-2009, 05:20 PM
You do know that Harrison Ford was once flat out told to his face that he'll never make it, right?

And that's friggin' Harrison Ford! Indiana Jones and Han Solo for crying out loud!

SAI
10-17-2009, 05:43 PM
You do know that Harrison Ford was once flat out told to his face that he'll never make it, right?

And that's friggin' Harrison Ford! Indiana Jones and Han Solo for crying out loud!
The notes on Fred Astaire's first audition read: "Can't sing, can't act, slightly balding. Can dance a little."

Tweek
10-17-2009, 06:35 PM
Imsomuchbetter,

When does one know it is time to give up? Not after something like this. Submit your short elsewhere and keep at it with other projects.

How many shorts have you done? How many places have you submitted projects?

NathanRomano
10-17-2009, 08:33 PM
Don't ever give up. If you truly love it, no rejection can stand in your way of making your film

Heisenberg
10-17-2009, 08:49 PM
I personally believe if something like this was all it took to get you to question your career choice, perhaps you made a bad choice to begin with.

Yup, basically.

Servo
10-17-2009, 09:30 PM
Okay, I personally hate the "well if you think this and wanna do throw in the towel then maybe you weren't cut out for blah blah." That's simply not true. Many filmmakers thought about giving up, I'm pretty sure the geniuses we all worship did at some point.

But I'm not gonna give you the "buck-up, kiddo" speech. That's lame.

You haven't failed. Rejection blows, but what you experienced isn't even close to the kind of rejection others have experienced. You made a short, submitted it to a festival, and they didn't think there was a place for it this year. That's more of a speed bump then a train wreck.

Rejection is when you spend four years in film school, make incredible friends, then after you graduate you and said friends spend a year raising money to move out to LA. Your Mom even decides to chip in by selling sentimental items you'd never imagine she'd part with because she "wants to be a part of your dream." You get to LA and get some steady work but then shit goes wrong, your friends start to look down on you because you can't get the same gigs they can because you don't have a family member on industry. Sure, you're able to score some "free work" here and there, but soon that free work just ends up leading to more free work, next thing you know you're out of cash and your parents are paying part of your rent. Then your Dad loses his job and even though you spend hours a day driving and walking around town looking for any kind of work it still doesn't come your way until finally the only option you have is to fucking leave LA and live with your parents again. Meanwhile most of your friends are slandering you behind your back because "you couldn't cut it" like they did. Because they also believed, "hey if you're willing to give up maybe you weren't meant for this."

That my friend, is a legitimate fail.

But what you probably didn't count on is this one small, simple, fact. The world is still rotating comfortably on it's axis, and on this world is you: breathing normally with a beating heart and a fully functioning brain.

One of our fellow Schmoes that works in the industry said something that stuck with me before I moved out to LA: If you want to be successful at this, you're going to have to work harder than you think you have to.

But look at it this way...you have a film. Tuck it under your belt, and go for round 2. Don't stop at that one, keep on going. Throw it online, submit it to other festivals, add to your reel. You've got something and that's saying a lot, but you're only really done at filmmaking if you stop there.

I'm taking time off to concentrate on other things. Working in production is clearly not what I should do, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to dust off the boots and not get back on the horse. I'm just trying another way.

If I can give you advice about festivals it would be this: Next year instead of submitting a film, try to get a staff job with them. If you can get a coordinator or manager position you'll have a lot of face time with the festival programmers and other staffers in charge of filmmakers and their material. If you can befriend them you can get in front of the line way easier the following year. I wouldn't count on it if you were a volunteer though...those are a dime a dozen. Staff position = win.


Just my two cents.

bigred760
10-17-2009, 10:37 PM
Nobody likes a quitter. If at first you don't succeed . . . try, try again.

Just because ONE film festival didn't want to feature your movie doesn't mean it's the end of the world. You can try other festivals, work on more movies, try working on somebody else's project, or something.

But giving up after one failed attempt is a little sad.

Brendan M.
10-17-2009, 11:03 PM
My short film has been in competition twice, and lost both times. Against films that SUCKED bad. Mine was always better by far. I doubt I'll be in competition with filmmakers like that in 5 years from now. And if I do lose then, it will be against films that are actually good and that I respect. But also when that time comes around, I'll have improved much better than I am now and no one could refuse to ignore the awesomeness that I create like they did then.

"I'm the best filmmaker in the world. I'm just not sure if god is the best god in the world."

-Lars Von Trier.

FireCaptain4
10-17-2009, 11:25 PM
Imsomuchbetter, don't give up man.

Servo's already given great first-hand advice. My advice would be: find another way into the industry.

I have a friend who graduated with an engineering degree and was offered a job at Lucasfilm. He actually turned it down to work at NASA (which caused my mind to explode) because that's what he had always wanted to do. Of course, now he's filthy rich... I'm getting slightly off topic, but my point is that, maybe directing will come later for you. I'm going for an engineering degree as well and slightly hoping I end up getting a similar offer like my friend. If I don't, well, I also enjoy my field of engineering so hopefully I'll get my NASA offer.

Maybe your key into making/being involved with movies is elsewhere. Become technical in some area and work with that. If you are great at something and you can bring that to the table, no matter what it is, someone will want to hire you. Skills are an asset. Frank Darabont, for instance, became adept in the art/set dressing department. Maybe, one day, you will be a filmmaker/director and realize your dreams.

To quote the great Thomas Wayne:

"Why do we fall down, Bruce?"

I'm betting you already know the answer.

outsyder
10-17-2009, 11:41 PM
Brett Ratner is proof that sometimes even the most talentless people can make it in film.

Unfortunately, there are people on the other end of that spectrum.

miguel_montes
10-18-2009, 03:59 AM
I wanna see your short film. Post it somewhere. Let us movie fans enjoy it and "pump your ego". :)

Hotbox
10-18-2009, 04:27 AM
Nobody likes a quitter. If at first you don't succeed . . . try, try again.

Just because ONE film festival didn't want to feature your movie doesn't mean it's the end of the world. You can try other festivals, work on more movies, try working on somebody else's project, or something.

But giving up after one failed attempt is a little sad.

yeah right. Look at me...even my mum says my films are bad. But i just keep on truckin'.

Maybe you're a future Alan Smithee. The world always needs an Alan Smithee.

The Postmaster General
10-18-2009, 07:40 AM
All the advancements that people have made since the dawn of man, and as a whole, no one seems to have grown comfortable with the fact that they probably won't die at 30.

Give it time.

Imsomuchbetter
10-18-2009, 08:17 AM
First of all, I wasn`t fishing for sympathy, but I appreciate the encouraging replies. Second, I`m sure it sounds pathetic to say that a single rejection from a film festival has made me question my future, but you have to understand that to me, the film festival in question has for many many years been a fucking religious event. I don`t believe in god or the legitimacy of any being higher than Francis Ford Coppola, but I do believe that a very few people in the world have the ability and skill to inject complex thought and emotions into their art, in a way that potentially has the ability to change the way a person sees the world. The first time I realized that was at a screening at the very place that has now rejected me. I guess you could compare it to being told you`re not clever by a teacher you admire and respect.

Okay, I personally hate the "well if you think this and wanna do throw in the towel then maybe you weren't cut out for blah blah." That's simply not true. Many filmmakers thought about giving up, I'm pretty sure the geniuses we all worship did at some point.

But I'm not gonna give you the "buck-up, kiddo" speech. That's lame.

You haven't failed. Rejection blows, but what you experienced isn't even close to the kind of rejection others have experienced. You made a short, submitted it to a festival, and they didn't think there was a place for it this year. That's more of a speed bump then a train wreck.

Rejection is when you spend four years in film school, make incredible friends, then after you graduate you and said friends spend a year raising money to move out to LA. Your Mom even decides to chip in by selling sentimental items you'd never imagine she'd part with because she "wants to be a part of your dream." You get to LA and get some steady work but then shit goes wrong, your friends start to look down on you because you can't get the same gigs they can because you don't have a family member on industry. Sure, you're able to score some "free work" here and there, but soon that free work just ends up leading to more free work, next thing you know you're out of cash and your parents are paying part of your rent. Then your Dad loses his job and even though you spend hours a day driving and walking around town looking for any kind of work it still doesn't come your way until finally the only option you have is to fucking leave LA and live with your parents again. Meanwhile most of your friends are slandering you behind your back because "you couldn't cut it" like they did. Because they also believed, "hey if you're willing to give up maybe you weren't meant for this."

That my friend, is a legitimate fail.

But what you probably didn't count on is this one small, simple, fact. The world is still rotating comfortably on it's axis, and on this world is you: breathing normally with a beating heart and a fully functioning brain.

One of our fellow Schmoes that works in the industry said something that stuck with me before I moved out to LA: If you want to be successful at this, you're going to have to work harder than you think you have to.

But look at it this way...you have a film. Tuck it under your belt, and go for round 2. Don't stop at that one, keep on going. Throw it online, submit it to other festivals, add to your reel. You've got something and that's saying a lot, but you're only really done at filmmaking if you stop there.

I'm taking time off to concentrate on other things. Working in production is clearly not what I should do, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to dust off the boots and not get back on the horse. I'm just trying another way.

If I can give you advice about festivals it would be this: Next year instead of submitting a film, try to get a staff job with them. If you can get a coordinator or manager position you'll have a lot of face time with the festival programmers and other staffers in charge of filmmakers and their material. If you can befriend them you can get in front of the line way easier the following year. I wouldn't count on it if you were a volunteer though...those are a dime a dozen. Staff position = win.


Just my two cents.

Thanks man, I felt like such a douchebag after reading that, and I do realize that there are people out there in the world who have lost and given more than I can even imagine, but putting things in perspective is a slow process for me. However you saying that the world keeps moving after your "legitimate fail" (:)), is perhaps a fuel that will get me there quicker. Also, I can sort of relate to the film school connection thing. I knew a guy who got an entry position at a mail room at an indie production company, and after a few weeks he was acting like he was an executive producer on titanic or something. Like, completely out of the blue the guy turns into a dick. Although I`m sure that after four years of film school your connections got better positions than entry level mail room. I would hope...

visual_tension
10-18-2009, 02:54 PM
Even though this film festival is extremely important to you, don't let that make you question whether or not you should pursue filmmaking. It's one festival. Keep trying other ones. Does your film fall into a certain genre or category? Horror, experimental, documentary? There are loads of fests that might be a good fit for the type of film you have.

I have a short horror film that was rejected by a lot of festivals and eventually, it started getting several acceptances and is now being featured on a horror site because someone who watched it at a festival recommended it to the person running the site. I recently directed another short film and I've been getting more acceptances than I was with the last one.

So, keep making films and continue to improve your craft. You'll learn from your mistakes with each project. Get feedback, but try not to get it from friends and family because they won't be 100% truthful with you. I know it can be hard to stay motivated but don't give up so easily.

Good luck.

CyclicNightmare
10-18-2009, 02:57 PM
This is a little personal. But I'll move it to the Screenwriting Forum.

APzombie
10-18-2009, 03:14 PM
The most important thing a filmmaker needs is a backbone.

I'm in my early twenties as well, moving to L.A., trying to get my potential work out there. Most filmmakers will not get in the door in their twenites. It's a rare thing. Keep your chin up, they'll be more oppurtunities. Listen to Servo's advice.

XvoorheesX
10-18-2009, 05:13 PM
No offense, but if not getting into a film festival has this strong of an effect on you and makes you question whether or not you should keep doing this, then you aren't cut out for it. Not even close. I'm actually kind of mystified by the whole film festival obsession thing. There are hundreds of film festivals out there. Getting into a film festival is not a career. Having a feature film play at Cannes or Sundance doesn't even mean all that much in Hollywood anymore. Not having a short film accepted by one film festival is unbelievably trivial. How many films have you made? How many submissions have you made? Dozens? Hundreds?

One?

I work in the industry. I don't know a single person who's had it easy. For most of the people I know, the average is ten years. It takes most people at least ten years to break in. Ten years of living in shitty apartments, working shitty jobs, making no money, spending all of their free time working on their craft, and getting rejected over and over and over and over. There's a very influential theory that argues that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. That's about twenty hours a week for ten years. That's over two hours a day, for ten years, working on your craft. Did you take it easy today? That's four hours tomorrow.

This is what it takes to break into Hollywood.

If you can quit, you should. The people who would dedicate their lives to doing this even if they know they'd never make a single dollar are the people who have what it takes (well, if they also happen to have one-in-a-thousand talent). If you could look into the future, and see that ten years from now you still haven't broken in, would you still try? How about twenty years?

Not trying to be harsh, but naivety does nothing but hurt. This industry preys on the weak, and it's not worth the heartbreak.

If you love doing what you're doing, keep doing it. If you don't love it enough that you can't be happy without success, then stop doing it, and go do something that will make you genuinely happy. That's the most honest advice I can give. Everyone wants to give the "don't give up" Rudy advice, but I think it's better to actually encourage people to lead satisfying, fulfilling lives than to just quote motivational posters.

Also, to anyone questioning whether they have it or not, whether they should quit or keep going, do yourself the biggest favor you'll ever do yourself and read this article, very, very carefully: http://www.wordplayer.com/columns/wp34.Throw.in.the.Towel.html

JoNuggs
10-19-2009, 11:26 AM
Sometimes having a close mentor, or someone that you admire, tell you that you're not good enough is the best criticism to receive.

Rejection and criticisms shouldn't feel like barriers - they should empower you to do better and/or move on to the next project. I won a first place award at a festival, for an experimental short I did while still in school. Bolstered by that I submitted it to around fifteen other fests. All but one rejected it, and it didn't come anywhere close to placing in the one fest that did accept it. Did it discourage me? No. I saw it as an opportunity to make more films - better films.

Competition isn't there for the sole purpose of stroking your ego, no matter how much you love that particular contest. Regardless of whether you fail or succeed, you should see it as a learning experience rather than a chance to be put on a pedestal.

Rejection is part of the landscape in filmmaking or any professional creative endeavor. It takes a thick skin to deal with it. If it's really important to you that you get into this one festival, then you need to make a better film. But if the only reason your in it is just to feel accepted, or for the win, then any victory will be hollow.