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misc Ever take a break from Filmmaking?

Has anyone ever taken time away from filmmaking? Maybe to rekindle a creative spark, or have different hobbies?

I've been holding my filmmaking desire hostage for the last few months... But I feel my previous motivation and desire slipping from all this time away.

I don't want to get so far gone, that I loose any lessons or skills....

But I also wanted to become a more well rounded person, read/write/play more. My hope is that taking a break might make me better at coming up with stories.

How long is too long away from the craft you think? Anyone have more success after a long hiatus than before?

Am I making a bad decision???? Haha.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I think if you’re gonna take a break the ideal time is after you have a plot formulated for your next story.

then when you come back from your break you will have all this fresh energy and perspective to infuse into the story
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
But I also wanted to become a more well rounded person, read/write/play more. My hope is that taking a break might make me better at coming up with stories.

That's not a break. Sometimes you are so close to something you can't see it anymore and you need perspective. Break = perspective but you are still working at your craft. So not a break. A break is a two week vacation in Hawaii where you try to forget about filmmaking altogether.
 
Years back, I had a 5 year break from filmmaking. I changed jobs and cities, so it took a while to get grounded. I came back hungry; made 3 features and a bunch of shorts. Then the 2009 recession happened. I became very cautious with my money. I haven't shot a feature since 2007, but I did keep making shorts, since they were cheap. Now, with push from a partner, it looks possible that I will be shooting/directing two features, in the near future. Hopefully, it works out, as I think that my technical abilities are better than a decade ago. I would like to prove it.
 
Has anyone ever taken time away from filmmaking? Maybe to rekindle a creative spark, or have different hobbies?

I've been holding my filmmaking desire hostage for the last few months... But I feel my previous motivation and desire slipping from all this time away.

I don't want to get so far gone, that I loose any lessons or skills....

But I also wanted to become a more well rounded person, read/write/play more. My hope is that taking a break might make me better at coming up with stories.

How long is too long away from the craft you think? Anyone have more success after a long hiatus than before?

Am I making a bad decision???? Haha.

That depends. It's different depending on who you are and what you want to do.

Taking a break has consequences. You can lose your connections and momentum and you can become less relevent.

A break can help with renewed motivation. It can also help you step back and get a perspective.

It's also a good opportunity to gain skills, especially transferrable soft skills.

I took a 15 odd year break. I used to work on old 3/4" U-Matics (I think that's what they were) so the technology was different which took a while to pick up. Connections and resume had to be started again from scratch. The advantage I had was my soft skill set had grown over the years, so even though there were jobs I had never done on a film set, I was able to fumble into some of them if needed. It helped me gain more experience on film sets and build more contacts faster than I usually would. If I didn't take the break, I probably would have been stuck in the editing bay forever.

Right now, I'm on another break from filming. It's been about 15 months. Currently into games development and looking at taking on software development in more of a business sense. I'd like to get back into filming on larger budget action films down the track. Time will tell what will happen.
 
Awesome responses in here, lot to think about and consider.

Thank you for the thought morsels!

What I really need I think is an excuse to keep practicing. Something easy, something cheap, something open to flexibility. Just something to get the creative gears working and the mind churning.

I have a theory that a solo hobby or skill would help, with the occasional "touch base" with teamwork. I've been drawing in Charcoal and wood carving. So far, nothing much, but I have one little silly wooden totem for a planter, and a drawing of a man meditating in a windy forest.

I found that doing this recently sparked an idea for a really short artsy, experimental film over the last couple of days.

So, I'm thinking about taking a stab at that. It will be a narrated poetic work, so no need for a complicated script. The film will consist of sporadic and time lapsed shots. Easy, almost B-roll like footage. Just to get me outside and filming through the Pandemic Pause.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Awesome responses in here, lot to think about and consider.

Thank you for the thought morsels!

What I really need I think is an excuse to keep practicing. Something easy, something cheap, something open to flexibility. Just something to get the creative gears working and the mind churning.

I have a theory that a solo hobby or skill would help, with the occasional "touch base" with teamwork. I've been drawing in Charcoal and wood carving. So far, nothing much, but I have one little silly wooden totem for a planter, and a drawing of a man meditating in a windy forest.

I found that doing this recently sparked an idea for a really short artsy, experimental film over the last couple of days.

So, I'm thinking about taking a stab at that. It will be a narrated poetic work, so no need for a complicated script. The film will consist of sporadic and time lapsed shots. Easy, almost B-roll like footage. Just to get me outside and filming through the Pandemic Pause.

What about volunteering on someone else's project?
Or drawing a comic book.
 
What about volunteering on someone else's project?
Or drawing a comic book.

I've been sending out applications to some other projects, so we will see. Not really a huge fan of working with indie groups during this COVID stuff, so it would have to be a pretty legit production team that takes sanitation and protection seriously.

Most people in my area are pretending like nothing happened... Haha.
 
Thats goods practise. I'm writing every week now for a few hours to make voice over work. Do you know your subject or are you gonna film first?

Got the subject down already. Have two folks from the previous scifi project interested as well.

It's going to be a creative, experimental micro short on meditation.

A man sitting in a dark void, trying to meditate, but his thoughts are on the attack. He thinks about his doubts, fears, memories, sadness, anxiety... All at once. At the very end, he finds peace by letting go, and concentrating on the sound of his heartbeat.

Calling it "Im-pulse".

Guess the break that I took helped get here a little bit. Those two months away from Facebook really helped too.

But now that I am back.... I can feel the rabbit hole growing.... Haha.
 
I'm no longer making films... Those days are long gone but I still think of myself as a filmmaker -- being a screenwriter. I have two screenplays I need to finish within the next few months and then I'm taking a break to write books. I don't like what I'm SEEING on the entertainment horizon so I'll probably and eventually switch it up.
 
I'm no longer making films... Those days are long gone but I still think of myself as a filmmaker -- being a screenwriter. I have two screenplays I need to finish within the next few months and then I'm taking a break to write books. I don't like what I'm SEEING on the entertainment horizon so I'll probably and eventually switch it up.

Yeah, I think I know what you mean for the entertainment "business".

After all this COVID mess, I'm starting to care less about succeeding in the business (and all the shoulds that come with it), and more about finding ways to express ideas. My focus really needed a huge shift after my breakdown with my second short film. I can't approach it from a business mindset anymore.

Of course, I never made it as far as all that... Success was alluding me anyway. Maybe I'm just doomed to be the "artsy" indie filmmaker. Haha.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
I am still in the film biz by providing this community to all of you, and staying active on it. Engaging with you. However I have not made a film in many MANY years. Not sure how this information helps you. But I still feel connected, informed, and ready. I am also content.
 
I never WANTED to be a screenwriter. LOL. I picked up a Super8 camera decades ago and started making films but soon realized after making some fairly stupid films that I needed a screenplay. This was around 1979. LOL. There were no screenwriting books at my local library so I drove from San Diego (I was in the Navy) to Los Angeles and attended some horror film festival because back then, I was into horror.

I got some great advice while I was there... From Tobe Hooper of TEXAS CHAINSAW MASACRE fame. He told me to forget all about this business and DO SOMETHING ELSE. LOLOLOLOLOLOL.

He was RIGHT.

Not that I haven't enjoyed it but if I'm being honest here? As a professional screenwriter who's NOT A-LIST? Jobs are few and far between. Promises happen all the time and never fulfilled. What a producer LIKES today is NOT what they like tomorrow. If I had it to do all over again, I should have STUCK by my guns and just wrote and made my own films because I know I would be a lot happier TODAY.

Don't get me wrong... I've worked with some of the best and I've been RIGHT there where one bit of good luck might have me writing something completely different here and? I've definitely made a lot of money... I don't have to go out and get a job.

So back to the horror film festival...

I bought a copy of BLADERUNNER and THE THING for $25 apiece. I had recently picked up an IBM Manual Selectric typewriter at a yard sale for around $20. I took BLADERUNNER pages and measured all the formatting and set my margins and tabs and started writing.

I HATED EVERY MINUTE OF IT.

Today? I love writing but with Amazon and self-publishing? I've already experimented with fiction and non-fiction and quite frankly? I think there's a lot money to be made by switching over. Having said that? I'll always keep my hand in screenwriting as long as I can keep coming up with good high concepts but even so? I can see switching over as my retirement program.
 
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I am still in the film biz by providing this community to all of you, and staying active on it. Engaging with you. However I have not made a film in many MANY years. Not sure how this information helps you. But I still feel connected, informed, and ready. I am also content.

This forum has helped me out big time, even when people told me things I didn't necessarily want to hear... Haha. But I feel like I better understand why people do that. It's not to ruin you, its to improve you. Sucks that I was a knucklehead most of the time, but I learned from it anyway.

Many people seem to lose their soul in the business end... That's why I thought a break would be good for me. I was losing my mind, pushing my film out there like its sliced bread, pushing for the funding, marketing, festival status.... But knowing that I was just a beginner. I made mistakes, some amateur ones... And I think I tried to pretend like I wasn't an amateur for the sake of success.

I think during all of this craziness, a person really has to pause for a moment and think about things deeper than usual.

I don't know, maybe nothing will happen from it... Maybe something... But who cares? Only me....
 
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Today? I love writing but with Amazon and self-publishing? I've already experimented with fiction and non-fiction and quite frankly? I think there's a lot money to be made by switching over. Having said that? I'll always keep my hand in screenwriting as long as I can keep coming up with good high concepts but even so? I can see switching over as my retirement program.

Well, if they want to adapt your book to a screenplay... You can go two for two. Haha. That's a pretty good strategy to be honest.
 
I am still in the film biz by providing this community to all of you, and staying active on it. Engaging with you. However I have not made a film in many MANY years. Not sure how this information helps you. But I still feel connected, informed, and ready. I am also content.
I didn't have a chance yesterday but I do today...

As far as I'm concerned... IndieTalk has ALWAYS been the best film forum out there and I know we all APPRECIATE you providing this community.
 
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