Lessons Learned: Sometimes Failure is Good


Two years ago I threw caution into the wind and decided to write/produce my own short film. Although I had worked on many projects, I hadn’t worked on my own project since college. This was my first time putting together a production in the real world, with out the backing of a film department in a University.

I had get the actors, crew, equipment, waivers, food, locations, and money all on my own. It was a daunting task. I prepared for over two months for a shoot that was to take place over two days, determined that things wouldn’t go wrong. But of course they did.

Things that went wrong:

  • The guy I got to direct it bailed one week before the shoot. I now had to direct my own film. I am not a fan of directing. That is why I had a director. But I had to suck it up and deal with it.
  • I was broke. Like seriously broke but some how I managed to pull it off and still feed everyone.
  • ALL of my production assistants flaked like baklava in the hands of a child. Now I had to do twice the work on set.
  • When trying to secure the first option for the location the contact decided not to communicate anymore. Plan B.
  • During the shoot the very expensive supposedly great camera we were using overheated broke down and thus needed to be rebooted via wifi at Mcdonalds.
  • The main actresses’ car broke down a few blocks from shoot pushing us back. Her boyfriend had to ride with the car back to their place. He happened to be my Assistant Director…
  • And then when it was all said and done the footage, we had bled and sweat over to get, turned out to be formatted incorrectly and so bad that it was unusable. So no film.

Needless to say, there was never a dull moment. Things weren’t all bad we did finish the days earlier than expected, everyone was happily fed each day, and we had a good time.

If I had to do it all again I definitely would have done some things differently. However it is only the fact that I had experienced it in the first place that would make me want to go back and change things. I had a lot of take aways from that that I can now apply to future projects.

I may not have ended up with a finished film but what I got instead was worth just as much. I realize now that no matter the outcome of the task, even if it is failure, I can still take something away from it that will help me in the future.