Today I was contacted by someone telling me about a young man named Noah who is very eager to be a film maker. Specifically, I believe he is doing animation, which is not quite my area of expertise, but still he is telling stories. There's something truly amazing that happens when a storyteller finds his/her medium and has wonderful people supporting him/her. I remember the very first script I ever wrote. For years I had been telling stories, but I had never created an actual script. Although I knew very little when I started, that didn't stop me from jumping. I had found my medium and although I made my share of mistakes initially, I didn't care. That's what passion does for a person. It drives him/her to keep going no matter what.
Whenever you are tempted to say, "I don't know what to do next" stop. Just stop right there. Take a deep breath, clear your head, and remind yourself that the next step is always there when you are ready. Sometimes you're not actually ready yet, but in most cases you are and that next step is indeed there. Have you ever been looking for a lost item such as a shoe, a pen, or a book and no matter what you just can't see it? Then amazingly the item turns up in a place where you swear you already looked. What happened? Well, you were so convinced the item was lost that you convinced yourself and your mind obliged. I know this may sound crazy, but the next time you "lose" something, sit down for a moment, close your eyes and say, "I know where it is." Then just release it for a moment. Stop being panicked. Stop focusing on the problem. The same is true of film making. You will encounter challenges. You will lose things and you will feel like you've hit a brick wall at times. But the thing is there is a solution. There is a way around a challenge or through it. Stop focusing on the problem.
This week I also spent some time talking to Dov Siemens, yes, the online 2-day workshop Dov Siemens. He is a firm believer in finding solutions and in the power of storytelling. I promote his classes on this website not because I get any financial gain, but because his classes were my solution early in my journey as a film maker. (I have a firm belief that when someone helps you, you need to be grateful and help in return.)
Noah and Dov were both inspirations to me this week, but I'd be remiss if I didn't add one more name to the list of people I worked with this week who shared their passion. John Gerds, the director for ThreeSocks' production of Traunik reached out to me this week as well. If you ever need to talk to someone who has found his medium and is on fire, talk to John. He has passion to spare when it comes to film making. I am truly honored and very thrilled to have had contact with such wonderful people this week. They are this film maker's greatest resource.
Lynne M. Smelser is an executive producer and scriptwriter. For more than 20 years she has been an active writer who has won many national awards. She also holds a Ph.D. in English from Michigan State University.