How to Become an Emotionally Resilient Filmmaker

Stage32.com
7 min readMar 15, 2023

The film industry is a unique business. Writers, producers, directors, and performers can truly focus and dedicate their time and resources to their passion.

However, at the same time, filmmakers often experience frustration, stress, anxiety, anger, failure, overwhelm, burnout, and resentment as they deal with the daily challenges and complexities that characterize filmmaking. The film industry, for most people, is a high-demanding, labor-intensive, financially unstable, prestige-driven, and hard-to-reward business!

Every stage of filmmaking has its level of unpredictability. Full of action and drama, the process of filmmaking can at times be overwhelming. It requires a great deal of energy and assertiveness for the filmmaker to remain calm in such a dynamic context.

In this piece, we will discuss how to become a resilient filmmaker. We will assess the uncertainty and arduous emotional endurance that is required at the several stages of filmmaking and eventually, how emotional resilience and intuitive intelligence, harmonious relationships, and conscious choice can help the filmmaker to succeed.

Filmmaking consists of several stages. We will briefly look at some of them: development, financing, principal photography, theatrical release, and distribution and recoupment, and highlight the challenges that come with each stage.

Challenges during the development stage

At the development stage, writing a script can take years, and constant changes to the script will need to be made before producers are finally available to read it. Then selling the script is the next challenge. The reality of the film industry is that most scripts will never find their way to the screen. Rejection is common ground. Writers are often creatives with limited access to the business side of film, which is dominated by the studios and platforms, or in the independent space, talent agents, producers, lawyers, sales agents, and distributors, who eventually decide which scripts will get made, and who will have access to A-list talent and financing.

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