The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Out a’ Control

To tell the story… There is this sweet young lady who had taken a couple of my courses on filmmaking—we had communicated a lot about filmmaking and she was set to go up on her first full-length feature. She invited me to come and watch her film this project and I was impressed, it was all so Zen (Zen Filmmaking) and free flowing. She totally got it. Like she said to me on the set, “Just like you said, Scott, I’m grabbing the shadows and the energy.”

Maybe a week later, I go back to her set. The change was scary. She had a couple of young female child actors, several crew members and she was doing the same shot over and over—time after time after time. Totally non-Zen Filmmaking style. It was really shocking to witness the difference just a few days had made. She was throwing orders, trying to get the kids to do the scene exactly the way she (the director) saw it in her mind. It was going on and on and on and on.

They took a break. A break she obviously didn’t want to take. She was hyped. I walked over to her, to kind of give her some friendly advice—to hopefully push her back in the right direction, if you will. But, all she wanted to do was kiss me. Maybe better put, make out with me. She even suggested that we go somewhere private where she could have her way with me. Wow! Now, as agreeable as I normally would have been to any of those suggestions, I could tell she was just running on pure adrenaline and I would have just become another part of the drug regimen she was currently ingesting. I mean, she was on! So, I said thanks but no thanks. I went my way that day. She continued to film. …Though I cannot truly say that I wished that I had not taken her up on her offer. Happy

It’s been a couple of months now and though we spoke during that time frame, I never did a real sit down with her until now. What went on is that she lost it. She got all obsessional crazy about her film. She spent all her money trying to make it the way she wanted; spending on cast, and crew, and locations. When her money was gone she hit up her credit cards and, I guess, even got a couple of new ones; which she maxed out. Now, the movie is still not complete and she had to go and get some crappy job she really hates just to stay a float.

Whenever I see or hear about situations like these, it reminds me of this great song by one of the seminal bands that helped to orchestrate the Paisley Underground era of L.A. music in the ’80, The Three O’clock and their song, “Wild,” with the central lyric, "When I go wild." Though the lyrical subject matter of that song is a bit different, the title alone, describes what so many people have the potential to do in and with their life if they allow themselves to be unchecked—if they lose control.

You know, at the root of Zen Filmmaking is freedom. It’s about no structure. It’s about taking hold of the moment and seizing it. …Tuning into it and expressing its perfection. Allowing all things to be as all things are—not attempting to control them but becoming a part of them and utilizing them as an expression of your art.

Now, take this to the level of All Life. Think how much better your life would be/could be if you just followed the pathway of what is. …If you did not try to take control over it and try to force it to your whims.

Think of all of the life complications you have found yourself encountering as you have passed through your life; weren’t they all created by you trying to take and/or maintain control? Most probably were. But, if all you do is let life be… If all you do is exist within it’s perfection… If all you do is not try to control what you really can’t really control then doesn’t everything just become that much simpler?

As for my filmmaking friend, I have watched this process in so many people—so many indie filmmakers who lose their path and their project, and, in some cases, their financial standing due to trying to crate and film the perfection that exists in their mind but can never be brought to life. I’ve also seen this in the life-actions of people who are doing nothing more than trying to live their life the way they wanted it to be live—the life they see in their mind but cannot bring to reality.

So, think about this the next time you have that Mind Vision that you wish to make a reality. Is the reality that is your reality really that much worse than that movie projecting on the image screen of your mind? And, what will it do to your film project, your life movie, your life reality, if you chase that mental vision and fail? Then what are you left with? Will all you be left with is no completed movie and maybe a lot of life debt?