The Amish are not notorious filmmakers. Growing up, my interest in filmmaking made me unique. Since it consumed nearly every waking moment for me, it became a large part of my persona. I realized this when my family stopped asking me what I wanted for Christmas. They didn’t need to ask. Confidently they purchased books on filmmaking, screenwriting, the history of the Oscars, clocks made of film reels, director’s chairs. When you’re young living in farmland you don’t think much of it. However a change of surroundings can put things in perspective.
Los Angeles is the second most populous city in America; with a growth rate of about 1% annually. How many of those 3.8 million special and unique snowflakes do you think have a dream just like yours? Filmmaking is the norm here. All your film history and screenwriting knowledge is suddenly no big deal. Worse than that your movie memorabilia now seems kitschy and lame. The equivalent of wearing a Hollywood T-shirt in Hollywood.
My best friends are screenwriters, script consultants, and producers. I’m not bragging. Quite the opposite. While my friends are fantastic people the stories are often limited to the industry. And I’m sorry to say it, but let’s be honest,
screenwriting is boring.
I used to hang out with cops, accountants, members of the military, engineers, steel workers, good church-going folk. And none of them gave a shit about three act structure. Thank God. Their stories were infinitely more fascinating. In fact their everything was more interesting. And as a writer, more useful.
But forget the writing benefits for a sec. Take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror and hear my words.
Screenwriting is the least interesting thing about you.
And if it isn’t, it fucking should be.
Remove every trace of filmmaking from your personality and what’s left? If there’s nothing, if you’re as empty and vapid as a rough-draft-online-dating-profile then it’s time to pick up some hobbies. Learn to play the piccolo, collect parasols, and take matador lessons. Find a life outside your life. You’ll become a better, more interesting person. And most likely a much better filmmaker as well.