Hi Mr. Kandborg. My name is *****. I have a story idea that I would like to direct and was hoping if you would like to work with me. I been trying to get in touch with producers but have no luck. Please let me know.
Typos aside (I certainly hope they’re typos), rather than dismiss the request out of hand as vague, incomplete and, well, odd, I decided to offer some suggestions since countless numbers of them were percolating in my head, unbidden. I’ve subsequently decided to post them here because I feel they may have some universal value to aspiring film makers everywhere.
Hi, *****. Sorry to hear that you’re having trouble getting in touch with producers. Maybe you aren’t being clear with what you’re looking for. You say you have an idea. Do you have a script? It’s unlikely that any established producer would be interested without one. As I like to say, having an idea for a movie is like having an idea for a painting. “Flowers!” Doesn’t mean much.
If you don’t have a script, write one.
If you don’t know how, learn.
If you have no talent for writing, find someone who does.
If you have a script and no one wants to produce it (because really, why should they?), produce it yourself.
If you can’t raise a lot of money, make it for a little (I know of features that were made for $5,000).
If you can’t raise any, write something else, either something better, something cheaper or something shorter. Maybe all three.
If you want to direct a movie, direct a movie. It’s never been easier.
If you’ve already directed one, direct another.
If you’re any good, someone will notice, believe me.
If you’re not, please stop.
I hope this helps. Good luck. And remember: if you want to work in the circus, you’d better get used to crazy people, anxiety and the smell of shit. Embrace the shit.
All the best,
I’ve thought all of these things when confronted with the boundless (and borderline insane) blind enthusiasm of one aspiring filmmaker or another who has, usually inadvisably, appointed himself the next Tarantino simply because he really likes movies, even though he may not be able to articulate, like, why. But I’ve rarely said them. Partly because I’m fairly sure they don’t really want to hear any of it, but mostly because I can’t bear to see the dreams of a fellow human being, however misguided, recoil and disintegrate before my eyes like a vampire hit by a sunbeam.
And I find nothing kills a crazy dream faster than a brush with reality.
Which is why I like to keep mine tucked away safely in the dark. On the few occasions where I’ve found the courage, or more accurately the hubris, to actually ask for a reality check like my new friend *****, the subsequent slivers of light have mottled the surface of my fragile, sacred passenger just enough to render me mute, confused and ultimately, immobile.
Maybe this time I’ll have the wisdom to listen.
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