I got a handful of emails and messages looking for creative advice. This sort of thing happens now and then when news breaks or some new project comes out. I do it too with other creators, in fact I reached out to a creator last week about some stuff. It’s one of the things creators do, we reach out to other creators for tips, tricks, and advice.
I’m not in Hollywood and I don’t make movies. I know close to nothing about the process outside of the small part I’ve had in a few productions. I make comic books and sometimes Hollywood takes an interest in the things I do. I do a bit of concept art and storyboarding for films, but I consider myself well on the outside of that industry. So I can’t really give advice on making movies with any real credibility.
Still, seeking advice is a healthy thing. The untalented slackers out there (you know who you are) rarely make any effort at all. So if you’re looking for advice, you’ve got a fire in your belly and you want to make something happen. You’re in a good place. The bad news is there is no secret solution and there’s no path I could describe that would lead you anywhere.
More importantly, there’s nothing I could ever say that would make someone complete a unfinished screenplay, and there’s nothing I could say that would ever stop someone who’s determined to finish one. You either find that drive on your own, or you don’t. No one can give it to you. I know that from experience. There’s nothing anyone could have ever said to me that would have stopped me from getting into comics.
When aspiring comic creators ask me for advice on breaking into comics, I always give the same advice. MAKE A COMIC. Then, show that comic to other people who make comics. Don’t show scripts, penciled pages, or photocopies. Show them a comic. The logic here is simple: If you create a comic, congratulations! You are now a comic book creator. If you think you’re capable of completing a comic someday, you are not a comic book creator you are an aspiring comic comic creator. Big difference. Crossing the finish line and actually holding a completed comic book in your hand is not easy and everyone that works in comics knows it.
Whatever your project is, I know you believe with every fiber of your being you’re capable of doing it.
So do it.
I know, finding the time to do it without getting paid is impossible. Exactly. That’s why you have to prove you can do it. No one has time to do it, that’s why it’s so damn hard. Still, if it was easy everyone would do it then imagine how much competition you’d have. The fact that it’s difficult to do eliminates about 99.99% of the human population and that gives you an advantage. Talent is far more common than you might think. Take a break and go read all those clichés about hard work, sacrifice, work ethic, etc. Back already? Good. They’re all true.
The answer to the time problem is you steal the time. J. K. Rowling was a single mom, yet she figured out how to steal enough time to write Harry Potter. The dirty little secret is that most of you do have the time, you just don’t use it wisely. Are you a talented artists that spends 4 hours a night playing video games after work? Netflix? Facebook? Candy Crush? Gardening? I get it, you’re tired, you want to relax, and a little shoot-em-up, True Blood, or shoveling is a great way to end a crazy day. I do it myself now and then. Still, if you have a goal and you’re committed to achieving it, use your time wisely. Time is a limited resource and it’s got to be managed with great care and respect.
In summary, I can’t help you. No one can really help you. Having done it is the only proof that you can do it, and that’s the most important thing there is. Work hard, respect the clock, and look for solutions instead of problems. You’ll get there, and when you do, hand me your finished comic. I’d love to read it.