Filmmaking- Finding inspiration for your work, or getting the proverbial ‘kick up the bum.’

Filming Man Eating Tree, 52 Films/52 Weeks, 2011

I’m the kind of person who can’t stop creating, even if I don’t write it all down and it stays in my head, which is actually more often than not come to think of it, I am always thinking about some new or old idea I have for a film.

I certainly don’t require anyone or anything to start those creative juices flowing, but I do work a lot better with a specific goal.

That’s just me of course, everyone is different and each of us has our own inspirational and creative process.

But, and this a a big fat but, pun intended,….sometimes we all need our goal post to be set by something other than our own tremulous agenda.

I am the world’s worst procrastinator, or maybe I am the world’s best procrastinator, I suppose it depends on how you look at it….and maybe that last statement reinforces my previous point…

Either way, I do respond well to a deadline, or at least, I will actually complete something if I have a deadline, by the deadline, or there abouts. But the point is I do finish, procrastination withstanding…..eventually.

Finding a way to help yourself actually complete, or indeed, even begin something can be a tricky proposition. Since I have painstakingly worked out over the years that I have trouble beginning something, working on it and then actually finishing it, I finally resolved that the answer must be to employ myself. The thought process being that if I was employed by someone, even if that someone was me, I would have to follow some kind of schedule and that would help me work.

Strangely enough, it did!

I produced 52 films in as many weeks, and wrote and directed 15 of them….brilliant!

But then it was all over and I was left to my own sloppy devices again…

Not so brilliant…

I then invited myself to become employed by this fabulous website,, so that I would again have a commitment, and deadlines and certain expectations of producing something that made sense, at least slightly, and it worked!

If nothing else comes of this, I certainly know ‘thyself’!!

I think the point that I am hopelessly staggering toward is that we all need our own ‘kick up the bum,’ whatever that means to each of us.

It could be a competition, or joining a group and committing to having something to share at each meeting. You could get some pals together and inspire each other by working on something as a collective. Or you could start a completely anonymous blog, or series of shorts, or whatever.

You just have to find out what works for you.

After writing regularly, I find that it becomes easier to write…regularly. But I would not have known this about myself if I had not begun the process.

You will probably have to try a few different methods before you find the one that suits you the best.

I just finished writing with another couple of writers, a first for me! We got together each week, and wrote a feature screenplay. We began with the outline and then worked on the characters and once we had all of that worked out and we knew the story we wanted to tell, it just about wrote itself!

Well, actually, it was a little more work than that, and I had a terrible time writing on my own, away from the other two writers. This is because I have a ridiculously busy life with kids and dogs and other work and chickens and my days are manic and chaotic and seem to be getting more so as the years go by. So my two lovely co-writers, who don’t suffer from the same kind of overly dramatic lives, decided that we should all write separately but together, in the same apartment, and that worked brilliantly! It was also rather a lot of fun and a good excuse to eat chocolate and drink tea, as if I have ever needed an excuse to do that, good or not.

In another example of motivation, a friend of mine and fellow filmmaker, Dawn Alden, recently told me about a film festival/competition she is putting together and asked if I would like to submit something.

How fun! A film festival originating amongst friends, expanding to the rest of the universe merely by word of mouth and a bit of social media. Nothing fancy, just filmmakers encouraging other filmmakers to, well, make films!

Simple and wonderful and it might actually work!

A festival where it’s not about the prizes, the awards or the large amount of money you have to pay to enter the bloody thing, but about creating something original and theme driven.

Who knew that in finding your own very personal creative process through by actually making something real, you could end up with a film by the end of it, almost by accident really!


Here is the blurb on the competition/festival, read about it, think about it, and take your caution by the throat and go out there and make something for it!!!

Vicarious Films is sponsoring a short film competition inspired by the article Casual Predation by Arikia Millikan, as published in LadyBits on Medium.
As evidenced by the #yesallwomen thread on Twitter, and the murders in California that inspired it, women live in a different world than men even while side by side with them. Mention certain experiences and all the women in the room will nod their heads in sympathy and recognition, while the men in the room will scratch their heads in puzzlement. The experience of feeling like Prey is one of them.
In keeping with Vicarious Film’s mission of providing opportunities for women both in front of and behind the camera, submissions to the contest will be required to have a majority representation of women in key creative roles. Details are here: