Focus Focus Focus

A problem I run into all the time is that I spread myself too thin over many different projects. I find myself jumping back and forth between each project. In the end, I never finish any of them.

It is only when I take a step back; consider each of my projects, and then make one my top priority that I finish. In the last couple days I’ve come to realize that I’ve fallen into the same trap again. It is time to let go of projects.

I have a bunch of ideas I want to work on.

Feature Scripts and Novellas

I wrote four feature scripts and I’d like to rewrite all of them. I’ve also thought of rewriting them as prose. They’d all end up about novella length. Maybe some day I will get back to them, but right now, there is only one, Then the Phone Rang, that I can see I would ever make as a movie.

Transportation Planning

I want to do a movie about transportation planning. I worked as a transportation planner for 30 years and thought that background would help me write. I still feel strongly about many issues in transportation planning, which would help push me through to completion. A month ago I asked some transportation planners what they thought of my ideas. The feedback I got wasn’t quite what I expected. I think I need to take some time away from the project to absorb what I learnt before I pick it up again.

Articles and Stories

A little over three years ago I started to post my stories and articles on-line at sites like Triond and Bukisa. Generally I’ve noticed that my stories don’t do as well as articles. As a result I’ve done more articles. Right now I have quite a few ideas for articles. In fact I had a new idea this morning and wrote up some notes for it.

While it has been nice to have people read what I wrote, it doesn’t bring in much money. It also distracts me from my stories and movies. I’ve decided not to write anymore articles. I’ve decided that several times, but every so often I do one.

I have started to post my stories on my own website and no longer post them on Triond. I want to use them to build up my “brand” and I think that would be more effective on my own website. Several of the articles I wrote I’ve done as blog posts instead. Again, I think it is better to draw people to my own site, rather than some other site. So far it hasn’t made me much money either.


My blog does take time away from my other projects, but I plan to keep it up. It allows me to articulate some of the ideas I have and help me focus. In the long term I think it will help promote my work.

My Most Difficult Case

Long ago I started to refer to this project as “My Most Difficult Film.” The first draft of the script is dated March 6, 1991 and the film still isn’t finished. I really need to put this project to bed and move on.

Years ago I read a quote from François Truffaut. He said that when he started a film, he wanted to make the best film ever made. As the project progressed, he decided that he’d settle for the best film he ever made. By the end, he just wanted it finished.

I really need to make this project my top priority.

My $100 Film Festival Film

Next year will be the 20th annual $100 Film Festival. Melanie Wilmink at the CSIF would like to see all the film makers from the first festival submit new films. I’ve got a couple of irons in the fire.

Howard Horwitz, who also had a film in the first festival, and I have talked about collaboration. I did some test shots a couple weeks ago. I need to fill out that idea more. It needs to be ready to submit by December 1.

I have another idea I’ve considered for years. I think I can get it done fairly easily. It would be a very short film. Less than a minute long.

I really do want to get this project done this year.

The Crying Woman

This was originally an idea I had for a movie. It came from a suggestion that I do a film like Before Sunrise. I realized that it was very different from anything I’d done before. As a way to build up my skill, I decided to start with a short story.

I thought that not only would I develop my skills, it would also help me pitch the film. It has been a hard slog to get the story done. I made some good progress on a rewrite yesterday, so I feel much better about the project now.

While I feel good about the story, I do worry that people may not like the ending. It is so built into the structure of the story that if I wanted to change it, I would have to start over from scratch. I want to finish the story I have now, but I also think I will start on a new story in a similar vein.

My Short List

I plan to concentrate my efforts on just three projects for now.

  • My Most Difficult Case,
  • My $100 Film Festival Film, and
  • The Crying Woman

Ideally I should only have one top priority, but I think I can work on all three of these projects at the same time. Each of them will have periods where I have to wait for some one else to do something, which would allow me time to work on the other projects.

Note 2015 May 20: I fixed or removed some broken links.

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