Are You Paralyzed by Perfection?

Yesterday I heard a great quote: “The path to perfection only leads to procrastination.” Wow! There’s a lot of truth in that. As artists it can be so easy for us to not do ANYTHING because we’re waiting to have just the right tools and toys; or just the right crew; or just the right [insert-you-favorite-excuse-for-not-doing-something-you-need-to-do here]. For example, reading the boards, I saw a lot of filmmakers holding out on the Epic or the Scarlet before starting whatever film project they’ve been waiting to do. (They’re still going to be waiting). I love the post that Stu Maschwitz wrote when the Canon T2i/550 was announced. With a list price of $799 (or a 3-day rental price of just $62) there are no more excuses for not going out and making films!

I Gotta Have It!

But lately as a filmmaker I’ve been convicted that we can’t wait for all the stars to align before getting our butts in gear. We gots to do it NOW! I’ve started re-reading a book a read a loooooong time ago, “Spike Lee’s Gotta Have It.”  It’s his personal journal leading up to the making of his break-out feature film debut She’s Gotta Have It. (note: this book is easily rated “R” given the colorful language Spike uses as well as the content of the film. Not for kids!) In reading it a common theme is that you can’t wait for everything to be just right. You can’t rely on anyone one “hero” (whether it be an investor or the perfect DP). You need to go out and get your business handled. Ya dig!

Ken Burns’ Lasting “Effect”

I was also reading an article about Ken Burns in Success Magazine last week on my date night. Ken talked about the first big documentary he shot in 1982 about the Brooklyn Bridge. While raising money for it, for every “yes” he got 150 “no’s.” But he persevered. The doc went on to earn an Academy Award nomination and was featured on PBS. Now a major “effect” is named after him and he’s forever immortalized in iMovie.

So, what is it that YOU’RE procrastinating on? For me, it’s writing. I started to get back to writing scripts, but then I floundered. But lately I’ve been inspired by my wife Tasra again based on this blog post. She talks about getting near the end of her 365-day photography challenge and adding yet another personal challenge. She gives 7 great steps for anyone to go out and persevere. One of the tips is to “find a buddy and accountability.” In almost any great endeavor, accountability will play a key factor. You need someone who can hold you accountable to deadlines, promises, to provide encouragement, etc.

Hold Me Accountable

So, I’ve decided I need to get back to writing. There are a few short film ideas I’ve been talking about for months, and I’m only about 3 pages into writing one of them. That’s unacceptable. So, I’m about to break back into my online screenwriting account on Scripped, and dig back in. Will you please hold me accountable? Every now and then, tweet me about how the script is coming along. When appropriate, I’ll write about the experience here.

Okay folks. Let’s stop waiting for Jupiter to align with Mars and get our groove on! Who’s with me?

12 thoughts on “Are You Paralyzed by Perfection?

  1. Ron this is a great post. Thanks for giving me that extra umpf to get my butt in gear.

  2. while i like this blog post, you could have written 5 pages of a script instead!

  3. Sure, but I have one question. Why short films? No one buys them, write a feature!

  4. That's a great question Kyle. First, the feature idea I want to do right nowis a documentary. No script writing really necessary. So my feature makingefforts will go into that for now. I also have another documentary styleseries I want to do. I see these as buying potential revenue generators formy company.I want to do the shorts as a way of 1) telling some really cool stories, 2)establish my cred as a narrative filmmaker, 3) get back into the groove ofdoing narrative work and honing those skills, and 4) I think theseparticular ideas I have could garner a lot of attention.

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