There is No They

I currently have a lot of projects going on, and I sometimes get discouraged with the bigger ones (especially the feature film I’m planning to shoot next fall). Mostly this is due to outside pressure, real or imagined, about what I should realistically be spending my time on.

But here’s the thing, I WANT to make a movie. For as long as I’ve wanted to be a writer, I’ve also wanted to make movies. I’m a storyteller, and that transcends medium. I have some stories that work well as novels (or novellas), and I have some that would work better as films. That’s just the nature of my imagination.

And for a very long time, I let people tell me that it was all just a pipe dream. That I shouldn’t waste my time on it, and I shouldn’t get my hopes up, and I should “get a real job” (which I did, for awhile). I pushed aside my dream of writing for a living, of writing novels, and of making movies. I turned to more practical things. And I was very unhappy because of it.

Then, something happened: I started making money blogging. Then I started making a full-time living at it. I took the knowledge I’d gathered in my “real jobs” (mostly the parts I liked about my “real jobs”) and wrote about it. And people paid me to do so.

I wrote some novels during this time, too, and thought I’d follow the traditional publishing route and spend years waiting for someone else to tell me that I was good enough. And then I started looking at some other authors who were going it alone, and self-publishing their books. And I gave it a try. I’m not super-successful at it yet, but I’m making progress. I’d say that as my backlist grows and I keep putting more time and effort into it, I should get to the point where my fiction makes up the bulk of my income.

And yet I still let people tell me that making a movie wasn’t within my reach. That even if I could manage to make the thing, no one would ever watch it. It would slip into oblivion. I’d never be able to get talented people to participate unless I could somehow raise millions of dollars (and that I’d never be able to do such a thing without a track record). I believed them. I set aside my dream and figured that someday I’d just be happy if someone else wanted to turn my stories into movies. But even that was a long shot according to “them”.

See, a lot of this comes from the fact that as a teenager, I had very big ideas. I was going to change the world. I was going to be famous. I was going to do something so incredibly awesome that everyone would take notice. And time and again I wasn’t taken seriously. It’s not that I necessarily had anyone telling me outright that I couldn’t succeed. I just had a lot of people who scoffed at what I wanted to do and then stressed the need for a “backup plan”. Everyone told me to go into business. Or to do something with a more “guaranteed” success rate. Basically, not to take chances. I rebelled by finding something creative that was still business-like: I got into design (which I enjoy, but not as much as I enjoy some other creative pursuits).

But you know what? I’m an adult now. No one has the right to tell me what I am or am not capable of doing. Of achieving. (Not that anyone had the right to tell me that as a teenager, I just didn’t realize it then.) If I set my mind to something, I can achieve it. I’ve proved that to myself time and again, in all sorts of different avenues. I just have to make sure that “they” don’t talk me out of it again.

And on that note, I wanted to share this video of Quentin Tarantino talking about how there is no “they”. I feel like I should watch this video every single day. Every creative person should. Everyone who’s ever wanted to do something and let someone else talk them out of it should watch this. Also, it’s not exactly safe for work due to some of the content, but it is well worth watching.

I don't get paid for the content on this site, so if you find it useful, consider a donation.

5 thoughts on “There is No They

  1. I can relate without a doubt, at 53 years old I am getting closest to making a short movie, I studied since high school film making, writing for the mass medias and have actually done some commercials and a short 11 minute production to promote tourism in a Mexican travel destination but haven’t yet gotten to the “short movie”.

    I think during my younger years 18 to 30 the most unmotivating or dismotivating thing was having my parents tell me that making a movie or becoming a photographer who earned money off his trade would never happen. Both parents dead today but they got to watch my climb to the top, the photos published in magazines and of course the change in lifestyle from renting a little apartment in the suburbs to buying a penthouse in Mexico City’s version of Manhattans 5th Avenue.

    I have the equipment but have lacked the I will call it internal motivation to sit down like I did 20 years ago and write the script. At the same time I have a friend in Mexico who is an artist, she paints and has had exhibitions all over the world, she just finished her first script for a movie and has sent it in (she has no desire to film it herself).

    As Dale implied, make that movie and it will never go away, it becomes a part of history and you WILL leave your mark. Hope to hear more about the project.


    • It’s very hard to keep your momentum up when no one takes you seriously, or when people are telling you you can’t do something. I’m lucky that my husband is amazingly supportive of everything I want to do. So even if everyone else is telling me I have no chance to do something, he’s there telling me I can do it.

      The writing part is “easy” for me. I’m confident in my skills as a writer, and I know that even if I don’t get it right the first time, I’m perfectly capable of revising until I do get it right. It’s taking it to the next step that’s challenging.

      I’ll definitely be posting more about it as the process moves along, both here and on the film’s website (which isn’t live yet, but hopefully will be in the next month or so).

  2. “They” are never going to make a movie! You however can. If you don’t do it you will always regret it, and “they” will be able to say, I told you so. Is it not better for you to make your movie and not only be able to say I made a movie but to go through the learning process of making this movie so that it will prepare you for all the other movies that you will make? Here for you my dear is a prime example. Stan Lee wrote and published comic books for years, even in the face of people treating him like comics were the trash of all reading. Mr. Stan Lee however continued on along with many other writers and artist. Now “they” can’t get enough of The X Men, Thor, Hulk, Iron Man and many more to come. The point is look where it has taken him. So then the question becomes to you. Where will it take you? A lot of wonderful places were there will be even more to write about. It is your gift, so Quentin is correct. There is no “they”. When the talent is yours there is only YOU to use and develop it. Let nothing stop you. Continue writing and make your movies. I hope to see them. Oh, and Cameron always stay inspired my friend :-)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *