The Struggle of a Young Filmmaker

Encouragement From Me to You

I am just like any other novice screenwriter out there, but like many in this type of business, I feel like we never truly give up on our ridiculous ideas. There are never such things as stupid ideas when brainstorming. One of my biggest idols is Mr. Spielberg himself and he once said that he would prefer someone who is all about the story and make sure it is well rounded than someone who knows everything about working the camera. That holds true to this day for me. I always like to draw inspiration from my favorite filmmakers, but I always seek for originality and brand new things that the big screen has never seen. 

 I am young, yes. That has never stopped me from letting the creative juices flow and get my thoughts on paper. What has been on my mind recently is the idea of a western film like the classic Clint Eastwood flicks back in the day. Only this time with a fantasy twist. I really enjoy this platform because it lets me think about my film indirectly and somewhat rant. I truly believe that this world is not over in telling new stories to be brought onto the big screen. My words of encouragement to anyone in a similar boat is to keep writing, inspire yourself, and never let your story die out. Its conception lies with you, so don't let your originality be tainted by fears of failure.

 I often found myself on the verge of giving up on my stories and anyone falls under this category but I would like to focus on the college student. We often find ourselves stuck or limited in terms of making our dreams a reality. We don’t have the equipment, skills or proper motivation to pursue our goals. I think that we shouldn’t see it as a detriment, we should take the time and truly reflect on the stories we come up with.

One of the goals that I have set myself, is to come out with a written screenplay of one of my film ideas by the time I graduate. It doesn't need to be perfect but as long as the story makes sense and it is all there I will be more than satisfied. It is a scary thing to set myself to accomplish, but I have nothing but my own fears to hold me back. I enjoy the prospect and potential of my film and it isn’t on anyone's mind but my own. If I want to bring it to life it falls to me and me alone. If you are in the same boat, struggling to bring your story to life then take the time and consider your own heart and merit in the idea. 

I often remain in a stage of writer's block when it comes to brainstorming but when that switch is flipped I can write for days on end. Details of my characters, plot and story ideas as well as my own personal style as a filmmaker. Don’t let limitations set you back. Consider your project and see it through. Age is but a number so don’t let lack of experience and fear trouble your creative process. I just recently went and bought a notebook that solely holds my thoughts about my project. I carry it everywhere I go because I am the type to often daydream and come up with intriguing ideas I want to implement but tend to forget if I don’t write it down.

I urge all of you young filmmakers like myself to always keep thinking, write your ideas, and most importantly never give up on your projects. Learn from your mistakes, seek out constructive feedback, and venture outside your bubble and expose yourself to all types of film. It can only help you become a more educated film student and maker. Well, these are my words of encouragement, I hope they resonate and help someone with their own struggles. From one sleep-deprived student to another, keep moving forward.

Alan Castorena
Alan Castorena

A 2nd-year college student who feels like an outsider! Born during the wrong time period, old soul and major introvert. An aspiring director, screenwriter, and cinematographer. Rock and roll, indie and alternative music listener.  

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