People Will Try To Discourage You – Especially Other Animators Pt. 2

Continuing from Part 1.

You’ll likely face derision, disapproval, opposition or even disbelief when you tell people you plan to create a feature animation by yourself. I guess a key question to ask yourself when facing this kind of response is, “Why is this their response? What is going on with them to form these opinions?”.

There are many reason that the regular person might disapprove of you or what you’re doing. Perhaps they don’t value the arts, or maybe they’re a family member who thinks your time is better spent becoming a breeder or earning money for your family. There are many many reasons why someone who doesn’t have similar values may disapprove and you’ll learn pretty quickly to ignore or reject these opinions as they don’t really have firm basis. They can’t know really know anything about your goals/ambitions, what you really want to achieve or how you want to live your life. As you’ve probably already found out the best bet is to ignore them, live your life how you want to and do it for yourself.

Disapproval from regular people is understandable as it’s expected and could be from a long list of reasons, but why would another animator or ‘creative’ try and dissuade you from trying your hardest and fulfilling your dreams as a filmmaker? One reason is that not all animators or ‘creatives’ are the same, or have even remotely the same values. To be an ‘animator’ you need to animate, that is all. It’s a term that covers from people who work for a company whose sole job making hair move in commercials, to people who want to craft their own films and stories with synthetic moving image. I use animation to create films and narratives that resonate with me, another animator might be perfectly content working as a cog in a studio system modelling rocks. We both do very different things even if we use similar tools. You shouldn’t expect other animators to really understand just because they’re an animator. Perhaps something I should consider is not labeling myself as an animator, even though I do animate. Perhaps filmmaker would be a better description of me even though I am a fan and addict of good animation.

Another thing that will really help you on your journey as a filmmaker is to take advice with a grain of salt unless the person giving it is where you want to be. After all how could your brother know the first thing achieving your goals as a filmmaker if he never did? How could a friend know the best way to become a great filmmaker if all they’ve ever done is motion-graphics for advertising? The only answer is that they can’t really know and their advice is likely more harm than good. Perhaps they are genuinely trying to help you or perhaps they are subconsciously trying to sabotage you, their intentions don’t matter either way if the advice they give comes from a bad source. I’m not saying you should dismiss all advice altogether unless it comes from your favorite filmmaker, but be hypercritical of it if it’s from someone who probably doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

You’ll have to take a lot of shit from people if you follow your dreams, especially if your goals are ambitious or push boundaries. That’s ok! You can’t appease these people and you wouldn’t want to. One thing I find really useful is to channel people’s challenges, doubts and disapproval of me into motivation. If someone says “I don’t think your film will be any good. One person can’t do all that!”, I’ll use it to feed the fire in my belly and think “Just you wait motherfucker! I’m going to make a great film!” and it’ll allow me to work even harder. Don’t let the haters make you doubt yourself, and don’t let people (even if they have good intentions) sway you from your path. You’ve got a fire in your belly making you push forward, don’t let them put a dampener on it.

Keep creating!

-Hamish .S

One comment

  1. Pingback: People Will Try to Discourage You – Especially Other Animators Pt. 1 |

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