Hello there. I’m Josh Bailey.
I’ve been obsessed with storytelling ever since I was a child. From making my own Batman home videos, to memorizing the jokes I heard from my Dad, to creating my own comic strips, I was always fascinated with story.
I still have so much to learn about filmmaking, but I’m always open to learning from others.
INT. HOUSE – Day
Josh (24) sits at his iMac with Celtx open. He’s looking at the screen, eyes glazed over.
Wow. This sucks. I don’t feel creative or like writing anything. I guess I’ll write a blog post to kick myself in the butt.
I’ve been wanting to do something creative lately, but I just feel like I have nothing right now. I think sometimes I have this unrealistic hope that one day I’ll just be walking down the street eating an ice cream cone and then BAM, the greatest movie idea known to man will just suddenly make its home inside my brain. Until then I’ll just keep walking down streets eating ice cream cones and patiently wait for it to appear. What I don’t want to admit is that I’M BEING LAZY. Yeah, that’s right, I used the “L” word.
If there’s anything I’ve learned by spending way too much time reading articles about screenwriting, it’s that I’ve been spending way too much time reading articles about screenwriting and not enough time, you know, ACTUALLY WRITING. Really, the gist of what I’ve read by all these artists that I look up to is simply that I have to put in the work to get to where I want to be. It’s a journey, you can’t just teleport to your final destination. To use a Lord of the Rings analogy: The eagles can’t just come pick you up in Rivendell and then fly you over Mount Doom so you can drop off the ring (wait, why can’t they do that? I was never really clear on that…).
If I had to guess, to finally get to the place where you’re writing a script that’s really great, you’ve probably got to write a lot of terrible/mediocre/decent/pretty good scripts first. It’s pretty hard for me to do this, because I like to shoot down my own ideas really quickly. I’m my biggest critic (well, that I know of). Often, I start getting excited about an idea, but then shoot myself down because it’s not “amazing” or “original.” I think this “originality” trap is something that I fall into way too often. At the end of the day, there’s nothing new under the sun; everything is ultimately a remix of some other idea. BUT YOU ARE UNIQUE. There’s not another person in the world who is just like you, and there’s not another person in the world who will tell a story the exact same way that you will. (By the way, I didn’t come up with that idea either, Xander Benett gave that great insight here: http://screenwritingtips.blcklst.com/2011/11/screenwriting-tip-800/)
So, what do I need to do then? WRITE. I need to write, even if I don’t think it’s going to be amazing. When I write, I develop the ability to see what doesn’t work, what does work, and I start to find my own voice. If I can put in the work, I’m going to develop all of my abilities and my work is going to get that much better. Yes, I’m probably going to have to suffer through some cringe moments when I let others publicly view my work (or am I the only filmmaker who experiences this?), but it will be well worth it when I can make something that I’m truly proud of. And I’ve found that when you actually start writing again, you suddenly remember, “Oh yeah, I enjoy doing this.”
And by the way, this applies to basically anything creative, not just scriptwriting and filmmaking.
Alrighty, time to get writing!
Be sure to check out the feature film Josh Directed last year!
Make Your Paths Straight.