Posted by: michellemuldoon | November 2, 2015

Why Should I Care?

… or more specifically,” Why should anyone care?” I find myself asking that a lot this last day or two.

Always questioning.

Yesterday I received a Film Festival rejection for Chaos Management. I know, you’re shocked I’m admitting to this, but as a friend so politely told me last night, even the most successful short films have a long line of rejection notices insulating their walls over the winter. We’re only at the beginning or our festival run, and this part of the journey is the nature of the beast.

So, why the question? Because as I ponder my next project, I’m finally asking a question I should have asked a long time ago, “Why should anyone care?” or more specifically, “Why should anyone care about this project?”

I’ve always made projects because I liked the story, and thought it would be fun to do, but like the screenwriter that thinks their mother is the best guide to the future success of a script, I should consider first whether or not I’m the right arbiter of that decision.

Who knows, I might be, but I might not be. More and more, I’m turning to other sources for that guidance. I want to know:

  • Is this a character or script an actor would want to do? Is this something they can run with, and therefore bring layers to a story that can only be achieved in their hands?
  • Does the premise make people’s eyes light up, or is that the reflection from their cell phone as they check for texts?
  • Am I flogging a dead horse with this or is there a twist to it that springs renewed interest in a familiar premise?
  • Does this story ring true to something deep inside us all. Yes, I’m talking about a universal theme, and no, I don’t mean the universe of Michelle.

To be clear, I’m not saying write and make film to meet the needs of the market. I’m not saying choose your project by a popularity vote. What I am saying is, know who you want to talk to with your story and your film. I might make something that I know only speaks to a few people, and I might make something that speaks to a wider segment of the population, but either way, I should manage those goals and expectations clearly.

Yes, this is all angsty stuff, but it’s fall in Vancouver. It’s raining. And it’s what we do right before we pop the Vitamin D3.

Bear with me, it’s an El Nino year, after all.

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