Feeling Like A Filmmaking Failure | Candor


I decided to write this because I wondered if I am the only one. Quite often, I feel like a filmmaking failure. I feel as though I haven't made it to where I wanted to be by now. I am turning 30 this year and by now I expected to at least have made one short film that had a well-known award behind it. I haven't. Nor have I yet made a short film that I am truly, truly proud of. I can't work out if this is because they never quite turn out as I want them to, as I see them in  my head, or whether I am always making short films to test my writing, or give myself a challenge and I have never actually made the short film story I want to tell. I fear it is the former. My biggest fear of all, is that I am just a bad filmmaker. That I don't actually have the talent to do what it is that I really want to do. There. I said it.

It's not so bad once it's out there.

Now that I've been a little bit honest, why don't I go the whole hog. Starting with this film, Harlot:


I like it, but I don't love it. Why didn't it work for me? Probably because I first wrote it as a feature film. I didn't have the funds to make it as a feature (and also I was too scared) so I rewrote it as a short which meant that some of my favourite parts, the scenes of dialogue between the two characters disappeared. At the time I was also having to use English-speaking actors for a production that would broadcast in Turkey. So I had to write it without dialogue so that it would work internationally. I think compiling all these factors meant that I lost something. The heart of the film. It was still a wonderful learning curve and it's a nice little film. But it's not quite there.

And what about this one, my university graduate film, 51 Percent


Well for a start, this is a film about a girl struggling with her Turkish-English culture split identity. The largest failing of this film is that, again I had no Turkish cast, so I had to use Greeks. That's fine but I know it's not true and it kind of loses the genuine nature of the whole story. Also, without the Turkish community, the story loses that loud, happy, vibrant side it had when I wrote it. It became cold, dark and lonely. It got me a first. It's beautifully shot. The acting is great. But again, the heart isn't there.

So some days I feel like a filmmaking failure. Like I haven't succeeded in what I set out to do. But others I feel like I'm just getting started.

I wanted to write this stuff because I want to be honest. I feel like it means I can move on but also because one day I may get it right. And then someone can read this and say to themselves, "Oh wow. She felt like I do now and she made a good film in the end." If I don't go on to make a good or even a great film one day then this little post can still sit here and say "Hey. It's ok. I am here and I exist and she had great fun making films and writing stuff and being creative. She couldn't do anything else. It just flowed out of her. And sometimes she felt like this and that's ok. So, you readers, go and create and be merry and forget about success. Just create."

Do what you love. Stop thinking about whether you're good or not. Try to be better than you have been.

"So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?"  - Ecclesiastes 3:22