Filmmaking / Directing : MAKE STUFF: Or watch your dream die by Douglas Glenn Clark

Douglas Glenn Clark

MAKE STUFF: Or watch your dream die

I know the headline sounds harsh. Get over it. ​To succeed in today's entertainment/biz market it is not enough to be beautiful, cool or young. You must make something. For actors this means make a video series, a movie, a screenplay that can be pitched to production companies. The screenplay includes a role that nails who you are. ​For filmmakers, the 'make stuff' edict means creating a project, which obviously begins with a screenplay. (Check out the HBO documentary "Becoming Mike Nichols." Listen as he describes how he developed THE GRADUATE screenplay.) ​YOU CANNOT WAIT TO BE HIRED. That's so 20th Century. ​You must create SOMETHING that makes people want to hire you. In the 1990s it was not so easy to put some money and equipment together to make a movie. ​Yet, that's what Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn did. They shot a film, and they are such wonderful , candid talents that they fully admit they did not know what they were doing. ​Regardless, "Swingers" made them. WIKIPEDIA: "Swingers is a 1996 American comedy-drama film about the lives of single, unemployed actors living on the 'eastside' of Hollywood, California during the 1990s swing revival. Written by Jon Favreau and directed by Doug Liman, the film starred Favreau and Vince Vaughn, and also featured performances by Ron Livingston and Heather Graham. a critical and commercial hit, the film helped propel Favreau, Livingston, and Vaughn to stardom while also launching Doug Liman's directing career as he won the MTV award for Best New Filmmaker." SPIKE LEE understood this concept decades ago. He made a film called SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT. Mostly recently he made CHI-RAQ. ​Has Spike been hired by Hollywood and many product brands to create movies and television commercials? OH YEAH. But he didn't wait to be wanted. He made his own stuff first.​ ​It doesn't stop with film. Bestselling author JOHN GRISHAM is a brand now, but his first novel could not find a publisher. Did he want to be discovered? ​No. He self-published his first book and sold it out of the trunk of his car. This was long before Amazon and Kindle made it so simple to create your own book. “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” ​— Henry David Thoreau NIKE prospered with the pointed question, "Is it in you?" WELL ... is it? ​Make Stuff. And then share your book, screenplay, song, dance, painting with an audience that may need you. Douglas Glenn Clark Multiplatform Artist

Vidas Pliodzinskas

This is amazing!

Vanessa Bailey

I COMPLETELY agree Doug - which is why (as an actor) I have written a short script, had the script looked at by professional script readers, crowdfunded the finance, produced it, cast it, my husband built me a website and we're shooting this Summer. It's a huge amount of hard, hard work, but you have to be proactive, you're absolutely right. http://www.threedaysshortfilm.com/

Douglas Glenn Clark

Vidas -- thank you for your kind words. Best of luck with your projects. Vanessa -- congrats! I'm very impressed with your project, and love that website. Keep us updated on your shoot and debut.

Fiona Faith Ross

You're so right.

Joe Fiserano

You can't just churn out stuff when there's zero demand though. I understand that you need to be proactive to create that demand but, it is not the whole piece of the puzzle. To me, the real reason why more than 98 percent of people fail in this industry is because, they are not as good as they think they are. Success starts with understanding where a person is really standing at. Once that's acknowledged, then proper steps can be taken to improve. Without that, people will just keep scratching their heads trying to understand why their phones never ring. You can't expect to write better when you have the mentality that your writing quality can compete with Stephen King or John August with your first novel/script. You would be surprised to see how many people actually live in the la la land and have no idea how bad they really are. So, getting off the clouds and doing a reality check should be step number one for anyone who is willing to see any success.

Douglas Glenn Clark

Hey Fiona -- wishing you every success with your work. Hi Joe -- "can't just churn out stuff" is true. Yet .... I believe productivity has its own rewards. And sometimes we wait around when we could be working. But hey, nobody said it would be easy. Best of luck

Erik A. Jacobson

While it's true that many people have a conceited opinion of their own talents, you only learn by DOING, not by sitting around talking or dreaming of success. I had never seen a script before when I found one an actor had mistakenly left on a chair. Read it. Told myself "This doesn't look too hard to do." (Ignorance is bliss!) Wrote a script. Talked my buddy's semi-famous wife into playing the lead. And shot it on the cheap over a couple of weekends. Result? A distrib was so impressed that they ageed to finance my next film "learning experience". And my career had taken off!

Douglas Glenn Clark

Eric -- Fabulous story. Making stuff gives us all a chance to succeed.

Doug Nelson

I follow a simple philosophy: Just do it! Revel in your successes, learn from your failures – and then go do it again. (The Devil made me do it the first, the second time I done it all on my own.)

Douglas Glenn Clark

Hey Doug -- Excellent advice. Get 'er done, and then see what happens. Oh, and I met the devil once, too. Just once. :) Continued success.

Robert Rosenbaum

I just finished a table read of my new screenplay and am working on a preproduction plan. I can't wait any longer for other people to recognize my brilliance! LOL

Douglas Glenn Clark

Robert -- strong move. No need to wait. I'm impressed. Best of luck.

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