Stuck On Story

There are, apparently, many methods to use when coming up with a story or an idea for a story. The most common and by default, most popular, is the different perspective story. One reads or sees or is told of an incident or happening and tries to imagine it from a different point of view. There is also the method I favour of imagining what happened around the incident to cause it.
My normal approach to coming up with a story is to have one scene in my mind, it could be a short scene or even just an encounter, it may not even lend itself to a particular genre or even hint at a story, but once I have a scene played out in my mind, my brain will start building a story around it.
As tempting as it is, I will not start writing until I know how my story is going to end. I know if I start writing I will just waffle on, hoping that the story will work out. It won’t. Not that I plan the story or script out from beginning to end. Oft times I don’t even know what characters I have, introducing characters as I need them, a very first draft way to work.
There is a school of thought that says one should begin with a log-line, the story encapsulated in one sentence. This is supposed to help you stay on course whilst writing, the central premise of the work nailed in the log-line.

It is not something that I have tried with any great conviction, as I have always found it difficult to come up with a log-line and anyone who pays any attention to any of the many filmmaking gurus who populate the net, will understand my anxiety at not being able to nail my story in a sentence.
According to just about every filmmaking guru ever, one should be able to tell one’s story in a sentence. If you cannot sum up your idea in a sentence, it is probably not very good.

Admittedly, every classic film can be described in a sentence, but not necessarily a compelling one. Besides, what is of interest to one person is not always of interest to the masses.
The story, the script, has to come first, everything else is secondary. We have all seen beautiful films that did not quite work – “cough, cough” Avatar “cough, cough” – because the story was only written to serve the visuals or some new technological advance. Technology should help to enhance storytelling, not the other way around.
Write what you know is another popular gem that is bandied about by many a screenwriting sage. Though, on the face of it, this is good advice, what if you know very little? What if what you know isn’t particularly interesting? Some people have an encyclopedic knowledge of stamps, but not many would want to see or write a film about that.

If people only wrote what they knew about, some of the greatest and most imaginative literary and cinematic works would never have come to be.
This where the procrastination is both dangerous and a necessity. It is the fine balance between creative rumination and avoiding tackling a story or project. Sometimes one needs to take a step back from a project, let it sit awhile and then come back to it with a fresh perspective.

One does not want to leave it too long because each work has its own momentum, a momentum that once broken can take a long time, months, maybe even years to get back.
Like any skill or discipline, as ethereal as fiction writing can be, the more you do it the better you become. Unless you repeat the same mistakes over and over, one cannot help but improve with consistent application.

So it looks as though I’m going to have to contradict myself and launch into writing a story without an end in mind. After all, practice makes perfect.

It’s Story Time

Ever since I have decided that I am going to write a feature film I have had a mini mental block. I have no idea for a story that I think will make a good feature length film. I do not even have a genre preference. My short films were all couples related, comedic with a twist. A five-minute film, however, is a lot different from a ninety to a hundred minutes feature.
It is not even the long form that I am worried about. My favourite type of writing or story is the serial, with the arc running the entire season. Two ideas I have tackled and written are first episodes of serial ideas. Even when I wrote a sitcom it was with a six-episode arc in mind. I seem to find it difficult to think in terms of a self-contained, eighty, ninety or hundred-minute film.
Even as I write the above words I know it’s silly. After all, the length of a project is entirely up to me. Obviously, some subjects lend themselves better to a more detailed – serial – approach and others work better as a short format. Still, no idea or scenario is presenting itself as something to tackle with the potential to become a feature-length script.
I am thinking to just start writing, a bit like my approach to blogging sometimes, I write and something comes to me. This is not always the best approach, as even I have to admit that at times the blogs have meandered on occasion, the subject matter sometimes petering out.

The reason I write a blog every day – one day film related, one-day fitness and mind related, alternating – is that waiting for inspiration to write was not working.
Sure, I would occasionally get inspired and write furiously and passionately about some subject. Unfortunately, it would sometimes be months between blogs and, practically speaking, writing so infrequently is not the best practice.

I feel that my forced practice of writing every day is more beneficial than hoping or praying for inspiration.
It is a practice that I think I may have to adopt in relation to screenwriting. Probably not on a daily basis, but thrice weekly at the bare minimum. One cannot be a screenwriter or filmmaker without producing some kind of work, whether it is writing, filming or editing, because without the doing I am just another bloke dreaming of accolades without the work.
I also believe that one’s brain adapts to the patterns and challenges you throw at it. My decision some months back to write every day means that I am thinking about what to write or searching for a subject to write about every day. I know that I am going to write a blog and on which blog it is going to be posted, so I am – or my brain is – always searching for something I feel I can bring my voice to or maybe write about from an unusual angle.
My thoughts are that I need to focus on storytelling. Though dialogue is my strength when script writing, people watch and enjoy films and shows for the story and the journey the story takes them on.

The mechanics of story and scenes are something that can be studied extensively, with many a film guru or scholar on YouTube, blogs, Facebook and at seminars, happy to tell you all the things you need to do to write the ‘perfect’ screenplay.
Three act structure, five-act structure, fifteen point plot map, the twenty-two must use elements, so many possible ‘right’ methods to adopt or follow, but when all is said and done, it is still people doing stuff that they care about or cared for, that create stories that you might empathise with.
The upshot of all of this waffle is I need to start writing more fiction. Writing and wanting to write is what has ultimately driven me thus far. It is time to get even more strategic; it’s story time.

Do The Doing

I have been editing. In an effort to be mildly proactive, as well as exercising some creative procrastination, I looked up the website to see if they had been doing anymore interactive editing stuff. Turns out they have. A while back I found their site through a link and had fun editing some of the raw footage they provide specifically for that purpose.
At that time they had put up a collection of clips for a horror scene. You not only get to edit it but colour and work on sound design as well. It proved very popular, with many edits popping up on YouTube and Vimeo. My effort is here.
Having not fired up the old editing software for awhile – I use FCPX – and not having used it since the last update, some of the interfaces had changed. All the basic edit features were, thankfully, still the same. Most importantly, the keyboard shortcuts are the same, though I believe a lot of the shortcuts are common across editing software.
I found two lots of footage to play with, one a hospital scene with a doctor breaking bad news to a couple. This scene was for the student – me – to concentrate on was is called an L cut. An L cut is when one character is speaking and you switch to see the reaction of the person listening to the point of some relevant information. As the scene is about the talking and the actors’ reactions the editing should be natural and feel unobtrusive.
As I mentioned, I have not edited for awhile and found this more challenging than I would have expected. The actual cutting was not too difficult and the colour work was quite straightforward, sound, however, was hard, not the dialogue, but the mood music, which after four hours of editing was probably not done to the highest standard. You can judge my attempt for yourself here.
The second project was much more to my liking, though I must admit still not easy. An action project, it sees a woman walking into a room, shotgun at the ready. She is accosted from behind by a man, who she quickly dispatches. She turns to face a second assailant, who tries to punch her. Slipping the blow, she knees him to the body. He is followed by another assailant who swings a baton at her, which she evades and takes him down with an elbow. She then pulls out two hand guns and shoots a fourth stooge. This all happens in less than two minutes. The edit is kinetic, to say the least.
I have not even begun to work on the sound or look for music – is my go to for all things sound – and I have only added a Sony LUT that I’ve reduced the intensity of by twenty-five percent as far as colour correction goes. All I have at the moment is a rough edit and rather than rush the work – I must admit that the excitement of editing the hospital scene, dull though the scene is, did have me rushing – I have left the edit for another day.
My meandering approach to becoming a filmmaker – though I have made films, I do not consider myself a filmmaker, even if one only has to eat one person to be considered a cannibal. I’m not sure the same holds true for filmmaking. – I am writing with regularity, though not scripts, the ideas are coming and the want to create is definitely back. I am edging toward doing.
Ultimately, it is only the doing that matters and in this regard – and the fact that I really enjoy it – getting back to editing has been a great step. I very much want, almost need, to write a feature film now. I have always leant more toward television writing as I have more of a love of television than I do of film, but from a creative standpoint – story, editing, colour, directing, production – film is where I see myself going. Just got to keep doing.

Writing Is Easy ​Until It’s Not

How do you measure productivity from a writing standpoint? If one is getting paid to write, I suspect payment and follow up offers of work would be a good barometer. What about the vast number of would-be scribes who are not employed to write – most of us – who write for the love, the practice and because you feel compelled to? How do you judge your output? Is a blog a day a lot? Not nearly enough, if one has delusions of being a writer of any note? Or is it all just procrastination, a way of avoiding the actual kind of writing – scripts, plays, books – that one ought to be focusing on?
It is probably, depending on why you write, all of the above and a bit more. In the world of blogging, I suspect there are as many reasons as there are bloggers. Not every blogger wants to be a writer, even if by blogging they inadvertently become one. Some are more sporadic than others, writing more streams of consciousness than subject focused blogs. There are many a diarist as well. For these types of bloggers, I suppose the volume of output is not especially relevant. If you’re just emptying your head, twenty words might work one day and two thousand the next.
Approaching it as a discipline, a task that must be done daily, as I do, it takes on a different significance. I like to try and write at least six hundred and fifty words, that is my minimum requirement. I have occasionally gotten really into a flow and ended up nearer a thousand, but the six fifty mark is my benchmark. It is an arbitrary figure with no reasoning behind it except that most of my blogs tend to run about that length.
With something like a script, it is much harder to quantify what constitutes a good daily output. Depending on the scene, with a rough guide of a page being one minute of screen time, two pages can feel like an absolute triumph. Because of the specificity of a script, or any kind of storytelling, you cannot, generally, just write and hope. Story structure dictates that there must be some purpose to each and every paragraph or direction.
Writing opinion is relatively easy in comparison to storytelling. In that way, blogging is definitely my procrastination, as it is more a conversation written down than a structured piece of writing. It is definitely a good practice, forcing me to come up with stuff to write about that is related to the blog’s title subject matter. I still know that I am just avoiding – delaying – tackling several works that would be closer and more beneficial to my goal of becoming a screenwriter and filmmaker.
The thing with writing as a profession, as opposed to blogging, is you have to get it right. With a blog, regardless of your following, you can write whatever you feel like and get it out there, no filters, no edits – though of course I do edits and proofread, still end up missing stuff! – no rigid structure. People will read it or not, but it will still be, in effect, published. If one wants to get paid for one’s writing, not only should it adhere to recognisable structure, but it has to be good, better than what a potential reader could write and entertaining enough for the prospective employer’s audience to want to read.
The initial question of productivity is not so relevant when viewed in the context of who the output is for and to what end. Writing regularly

Writing regularly every day is a good and necessary practice. Whether it the right approach for what one might one to achieve is down to the individual. For myself, the gnawing feeling of not doing the right sort of writing – both book and screenplays remain in limbo – is enough to tell me that it is, in a roundabout way, the best approach for me at this time. Hopefully, I am pretty sure it will manifest in a sudden urge to write one of those long waiting works.

The Intrusive Talent

The lot of a would-be writer is fraught with very specific difficulties. Writing is an insular process for most, definitely in the beginning. It is a singular pursuit, it is time-consuming, it is necessarily lonely and at times frustrating.
Like a lot of creative types, writers tend to be people who, when asked, say they have always written, it’s just something that they feel compelled to do. Like a calling, maybe. The thing is with any talent, creative or otherwise, is it needs to be nurtured, practised. For most talented or allegedly gifted individuals, their gifts are not only normally noted at a young age, hence giving them more time to hone their talent, but encouraged. A fleet-footed football prodigy, an angel-voiced songstress, an artist with an eye for detail, these all things that can be spotted passively, a would-be mentor or adviser glimpsing a standout talent by chance. Even in later life, especially in the world of reality television and multimedia entertainment, a talent that can be displayed, seen or heard in passing, can be discovered.
With writing, even the most obviously blessed scribe has to have their work actively read for anyone to notice. Writing cannot be discovered passively. Once one makes that fateful decision to pursue writing, getting discovered or read is only the beginning.
Like most things in life, there will be those who like what a person does and those who do not, but unlike other undertakings, if someone reads a work that they do not like or agree with, it is unlikely that they will read work by the same author again. Unlike other prolific artists, visual or aural, one cannot be swayed by a later chance encounter with a surprisingly great work of that unfancied writer whose writing was not to one’s taste.
Every artist needs if they wish to make their hobby or passion a vocation, the implicit permission of others. A belief in one’s own ability whilst admiral, will not persuade Joe and Josephine public you are any good. Conversely, it is easy to convince people that you have no discernible talent or anything of value to add the great and good written works that already exist in the world. Nobody cares if it’s your umpteenth draft if they are going to take time and read it, it had better be good.
The reader wants different but the same, like fresh linen when you get into bed after changing the sheets. They want to see pictures in their minds as they read, whether it is a character they recognise from life or a situation they can relate to. Those are the anchors, the ‘I know this’ moments. Remember, we human beings are lazy by nature, making a person have to work out where your story, script or play might be going without a compelling premise is heresy.
I suspect that writing a book is the most difficult. Not only is it a huge commitment, there is no guarantee of it being any good or interesting to anyone else. I think with a script because it is written to be seen, most feel they can imagine a different take. A script, for the most part, suggests what direction the story and actors take. The director or editor or even the actors can bring a distinct and differing interpretation to a script. A book tells you exactly what is happening.
As the world gets progressively faster, with expectations increasingly excessive when it comes to achieving results, time is seen as the most precious of commodities. Reading is not a convenient activity for the time-poor. It is not even as though there is another option. Writing with enough brevity to make your work less time consuming is hardly going to showcase your talent. Even if it did, the interested party would most likely want more of the same. The writer’s lot is unique in its approach to gaining recognition because no one inadvertently reads a script, book or play. All one can do is keep writing and hope that someone is curious enough to read it.

Why Can’t They See Me?

I had planned to begin this blog with the popular idiom ‘the cream always rises to the top’, putting forward, in a roundabout and hopefully engaging way, the theory or belief that if your work is good enough, it will be discovered. I decided to look up the history of the phrase – research folks, just like a serious writer – and came across an interesting argument against it here.
It got me thinking, especially as the central premise of this blog is not about being talented, it is about that most dreaded of activities, one that anyone who is serious – that word again – about their craft, must engage in; networking.
What prompted this was a blog by the brilliant Lucy V. Hay (if you’re a writer and do not follow her you’re obviously not serious about it.) She points out that no writer should be without a social media presence and that this was also the perfect way to build your network. Hmm, network. Networking, not a thing that comes naturally to yours truly.
The thing is with networking is that it is sort of the equivalent of the long con. When you are networking, it is not necessarily for the now, or even for the when, it is advertising without selling anything tangible, the product being yourself, your personality. People want to and like to work with nice people, people they like. That’s not to say being nice is what gets you work or even noticed talent wise, it definitely helps though.
It is, as Lucy points out, about getting your name out there. Though many derided the work, both as a book and a film, E. L. James’ Fifty Shades Of Grey is known around the world, as is her name. As much as we might like to believe that, given the opportunity, we would only ever employ or utilise the best person for the job, if you are paying money to somebody and working closely with them, as much as the quality of their output matters, you would want to like them –  not have to tolerate –  as well.
Of course, there are those who could care less if they are liked, confidently believing their talent speaks for itself. That may well be true. One could indeed be an extraordinary writer, your gift obvious to any who should peruse your work. In years gone by, before the explosion of social media, you could, in spite of a less than warm personally, get discovered due to possessing great ability. Now, however, being popular, coupled with high competence, is what will get you noticed.
What’s that you say? It’s not fair, especially as you are so much better at writing than so many out there. No doubt you are, but think of it this way; an engaging and friendly writer has a social media following of ten thousand, you like their work but are not blown away by it. Another writer has a following of twenty-seven, writing heart-wrenching prose and captivating stories, only a smattering of followers but definitely superior written work. If both of these writers produce a book, which one do you think is going to gain the most traction? Don’t answer that.
These days especially, a social media presence is a must. If you can gain a large following, that’s even better. A writer with an audience is much more attractive to an agent, publisher or any person of influence than a bog standard brilliant writer, because not only is there less work for them to do, it also shows that the writer is prepared to work and push as well, beyond their comfort zone of just writing.
Now, a social media presence is only the beginning. You have to engage as well. Admittedly, this is where I flounder. I have quite the healthy media presence – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube – I am out there. It’s the interacting where I fall down. I read other blogs, tweets, watch short films on YouTube, I even tweet and link works of other artists regularly. What I don’t do is engage. I rarely comment I will leave a like, but that is about it. I don’t even have the good grace to comment on comments left on my own blogs! I will comment or reply on Facebook, but the mechanics of that particular platform encourages that, also you can sort of ‘see’ everybody there. I have had brief Twitter exchanges, but that is such a fast moving medium you need to attack it with military regularity.

I don’t even have the good grace to comment on comments left on my own blogs! I will comment or reply on Facebook, but the mechanics of that particular platform encourages that, also you can sort of ‘see’ everybody there. I have had brief Twitter exchanges, but that is such a fast moving medium you need to attack it with military regularity.
For a writer Instagram is crazy! It’s a good place to show your likes and loves – mine being film – but its link-less architecture makes it a very niche platform, better suited to visual than written content. So how do you stand out in a sea of millions of web pages – some with cat videos, which for some unfathomable reason are popular – and great content? If you have the answer, please let me know in the comments. I promise I’ll engage.

The Smouldering Boats

The performance coach and inspirational speaker Anthony Robbins, says that to move forward in life you have to burn your boats. The boats are, of course, metaphorical. We have not all reached Mister Robbins level of finance, we can’t all own a boat or boats. The metaphorical boats he was speaking of are the safety nets we might employ that prevents us moving forward.
The phrase is actually derived from history and a historical event. Caesar had come, a flotilla of ships in his wake, to conquer Britain. His forces were outnumbered by the British and he knew that if his command felt there was an opportunity for a retreat, they would take it. As his legions gathered on the cliffs, he had them look to where the ships were moored. All the boats were burning. There would be no retreating. With no other option than to go forward and fight, his forces advanced and defeated the British.
If you “burn your boats”, you have no option but to make a life on the island you have landed on. That is sort of where I find myself now, except I am not quite ready to fan the embers, hence the title. The thing is, my ‘boat’ has been smouldering for quite some time now. Years actually. The reasons not to let everything else go and focus on writing and filmmaking is simply fear.
I can come up with many other seemingly authentic excuses – because that is all they are – but the overriding one is fear. Fear of what though? There is fear of the obvious; failure and success. One does not want to fail, even if failure is inevitable on some level. Conversely, success is scary because it needs to be maintained, so is another route to eventual failure. Not that failure is fatal. The oft-quoted lesson of failure is that you learn more from failure than you do from success. Tell that to the practically failsafe J. J. Abrams.
There is also a strange guilt associated with wanting to ‘work’ in a creative industry, coming from a working class background, growing up around people who worked long hours for other people, so as they could pay bills. Even having felt the pressure of directing and making films, the pain of writing and rewriting, it does not feel like work or a chore. It feels like your cheating, as though you are trying to con a living.
There is the fear of disappointing people; family, friends, peers. If you don’t take a risk and stay uncomfortably miserable in your comfort zone, the only person you will definitely disappoint is yourself. Disappointing yourself is doable. You can lie to yourself, keep the reasons coming, the ‘I can’t just’ litany of excuses and stories you tell yourself. Truthfully, you know that those closest to you will support whatever it is that you want to do, especially if you are showing the necessary commitment.
What is difficult, is forging ahead with creative work when no one in your immediate circle – friends, family – has any interest in your thing. Everybody needs their circle. Even though writing is a pretty insular pursuit, having like-minded people around, those you can bounce ideas off and who understand the grind of the creative process. As much as any and every creative person, with writing or filmmaking, has a particular singular view or perspective on what their project or work should be. Still, nobody wants to be alone.
One has to get into the headspace, a selfish, singular headspace. That is where the bravery comes, the overcoming of fears, to forge forward, almost blithely believing that what you are doing is not only needed but will be appreciated and liked.

As long as the crutch of the job, other fiscal opportunities, sensible, credible excuses and the mythical peer pressure exist in the mind, the boats will always remain smouldering. It’s getting to the point where I must blow on the embers and push the boats out into the sea to be consumed and sink. It’s time to burn the boats.

Me See, Me Do.

More and more I am thinking that I am going have to write the next episode of my sitcom, even as I contemplate – see procrastinate – making the first episode. It is probably another way to avoid tackling making said episode. More procrastination.
I know I’m going to make the first episode, so I should just get on and do it. Yes. I’ll get to it. Instead of outlining the next episode or fashioning some pithy prose to persuade people to join me on my project – crew recruiting – I am having a cinema day. A female empowerment cinema day to be precise. Having just finished watching Colossal – a peculiar but highly enjoyable Anne Hathaway starrer, I have gone straight into the latest attempt by the DCEU to redeem itself in Wonder Woman, starring the luminous Gal Gadot. I realise referring to her looks is not very empowering, but the woman is distractingly attractive!
My stalling does seem to be working as I am sure I have the second episode opening worked out now. It has completely changed from what I had in mind a week ago, so score one for procrastination. Other elements of the story are coming together as well, though the main character is at a bit of a loose end at the moment. That, obviously, is a problem.
What you, dear reader, cannot know is that I write my blogs over the course of a day. Even though they are short, because I tend to write as I commute, my writing windows can be brief. Also with various goings on during any given day, the subject matter can sometimes get subverted. This being a film blog, after a fashion, and me having watched two films that bear similarities, whilst being very different, it is hard not to slip into review mode.
I am not going to review the films; Wonder Woman has already had many fulsome reviews, that I would just be reiterating and Colossal is a film that needs an in depth and researched review – I want to know who wrote it (though if you want to read a good review of it, you could do worse and go here). What I will say is what watching good films, which both are, does for me.
There is the obvious; they inspire, especially from a story point of view. That Wonder Woman is a tentpole film, but still manages to bring heart and emotion, as well as the thrills and spills you would expect, is testament to the story craft. Colossal is a different beast altogether, managing to make an incredible story, involving a monster a giant robot and disaster in Seoul, believable and engaging.
Watching good cinema, great cinema, having watched a fantastically intricate episode of American Gods the night before, one cannot help but be inspired by the talent of the writers and story makers. The visual flare of all the fare – American Gods is very cinematic in its shot selection – is breathtaking, true visual storytelling.
It makes me want to try different types of storytelling, explore less conventional methods of exposition, or in the case of American Gods, have the bravery to trust the audience to stick with the story. Of course, that takes compelling characters and a strong story arc. The detail in these projects – Colossal has a scene in which Anne Hathaway’s character, Gloria, visits Jason Sudeikis’ Oscar at his home and we the audience discover, just by the chaos of his home, that Oscar is not as together as he might seem. Wonder Woman not only has the detail you expect in a big budget film, it also, unlike so many of the rest of the DCEU fare, has amazing colour, though not quite on the level of the gorgeous Nocturnal Animals – cinematography to die for! – it still rises above the pallidness of Man Of Steel and B vs. S.
The best thing about seeing great cinema and television is the feeling of excitement to do your own thing, to try and emulate or match that which you admire. It may be procrastination, but it is the necessary kind and hopefully, it will help to make me a better storyteller and filmmaker.

Create To Relate

So I signed back up to a website and resource for budding writers, actors, filmmakers and all things related to film. I have not used it for a few years as it is a few years since I last made a film. Now that I am on the lookout for a producer to get my next project rolling, it seemed a good time to actually take some sort of action.
Having not been on the site for a good long while, I decided to take a little look around, especially as I’m paying for the service. I came across a pitch section that I am pretty sure was not on the site before. Basically, you pitch your project and ask for what you’re after – a producer in my case – and hopefully said person will see it on the site and get in touch.
As I have always said, film and television are collaborative, you need others to do good work. The pitching of scripts or stories, however, introduces another element of the creative process that some like to ignore or feel themselves to be above; acceptance and the need to be appreciated.
There will always be those people who proclaim that they do not care whether they are liked or accepted, they are going to do their own thing. Whilst this is, to a degree, laudable, only the exceptionally talented can really take this stance. If you are lucky enough to be considered exceptional amongst your peers, people will want to work with you, your talent allowing you to pick and choose your collaborators. Even so, the exceptional still have to display their talents – be accepted – initially before they can become choosy.
The truth is we human beings crave appreciation, some more so than others, but we all have someone in our lives, whether it be work life or personal, that we want appreciation and recognition from. The pantomime that is the annual Academy Awards, in these cynical times where everybody tries to show they are above such things, invites derision in some quarters. It is overlong, self-important, self-congratulatory and indulgent. It still matters. No matter what social media might spout; it’s sexist, it’s racist, it’s run by old farts, all of which is true, it still does not take away from its relevance.
It’s not just the Oscars. The Golden Globes, Palm D’or, Baftas, Emmys, they all matter to the content creators; writers, directors, makeup, set design, cameramen and women, special effects and every other type of job that is involved in film and television production. Though winning the awards is obviously nice, it is the acknowledgement of your peers, people who understand what you do, that gratifies.
Before all of that – or not, which is the reality for most – you have to persuade others of your vision, make them believe that you’re worth that which is most precious to them; their time. Not only must they believe that you’re worth it, they have to believe the project is worth it. Even after all of that, a good script, a good team, actors who are committed, you can still end up with a project that fails.
It takes only one believer, that one person whose opinion you value, that you respect enough to want to show them that their encouragement or attention was not unwarranted, that you have the wherewithal to push through with your project, that you can overcome the fears and get your work done.

Of course, your belief in your own project is where it all starts. Unless you are one of those outliers who happens to write something brilliant first time out of the gate, you’ve been working on things, rejecting things, rewriting, feeling disappointment when you thought you had nailed it, only to find out that it maybe isn’t quite….right.
A creative endeavour may not be necessary for existence, like oxygen or food and shelter, but for our sanity, to feel alive, to get that perspective one may never consider, life needs the content creators, the writers, the filmmakers, the creatives to believe, to feel relevant, to create.