When I was at the Slash Film Festival in Vienna I met one of the directors whose film was being screened. We talked about his movie and his next projects and then he asked me what I was about. I told him about the stuff I do and suddenly he asked:
Are you are filmmaker?
Not really. I have shot some short films, one of which you can see online. And I´m preparing my next short…
I answered, showing him my sketchbook with the preparatory sketches for The Ballerina.
The guy instantly lost his interest in my person. Why? I just had broken one of my holy rules, which is:
Never talk about what you are going to do. Get things done, deliver and talk about them.
When I was a teacher (this was another life) I stepped in front of my class on my very last day. I told them that school is temporary. The quarrels with the fellow students, the learning pain is temporary. I told them to take out of school (intellectually wise) as much as they can and work on their portfolio in their spare time. I wanted them to hone their craft. I wanted them to go into a job interview and not to rely on their certificates. When it comes to (creative) jobs, my idea is that certificates are just some kind of promise: The students’ promise that they will be good and creative employees. Instead, I wanted them to show what they are capable of, what they are made of. I wanted them to get into this job interview and show the projects they have finished. That way they would be taken serious.
I think that the same holds true for every other aspect in life.
If you want to be taken serious you don’t want to talk about all the cool stuff that is in your head, future projects you will be doing one day that is yet to come. This is what everybody else does.
Instead you do the projects. And more importantly: You deliver.
If you are a recurring reader of my blog, you might think now: “That sounds nice, John, but you have also some unfinished stuff in your cellar.” And you are totally right. The thing is, I stand for my mistakes, I take the blame, I learn from the failed projects (and there are lots of them), and I don’t repeat them. I move on. And at the end, I deliver. So can you. 🙂