3 Things I wish I had known early on

abstract analog art camera


Your mindset is everything


I had the wrong mindset starting out: planned on first film being a huge critical and financial success. (Cinderella story)

Wanted to prove that I  had what it takes to be successful.

It doesn’t happen that way.


Fixed Mindset

It says that your intelligence and abilities are all pre-determined.

You’re either born with raw talent or you’re not.

You can’t change anything:

    • If you are successful, it proves that you always had the talent.
    • And if you are not successful, it proves that you didn’t.

It’s an all or nothing mentality.

It’s very binary; and I was stuck in this mindset for years, trying to make everything perfect.


And then I realized something:

All the filmmakers I looked up to had a passion for learning the craft of filmmaking.


They were successful, because they loved learning, not because they were trying to be successful.  They had a growth mindset.


Growth Mindset


Whatever talents you have are just the starting point in your development.

You can cultivate new skills and abilities through practice and experience.

Unlocking your true potential over time with training and education

Fixed Mindset -> Hunger for approval

Growth mindset -> hunger for learning

So if I want to be successful, I can’t chase success, I have to chase self-improvement-

And then success will find me-

I’ve got to be hungry for:

    • New skills
    • Knowledge
    • Learning

Put those 10,000 hours in! (of practice)

Stopped doing projects to prove myself and started doing more projects to improve myself.

Enjoy the process of learning.

Careers are built on crafts and skills, you really need to collect those tools to unlock your potential.

What people usually think you need to do:

    • Have a great idea
    • Find a sponsor

Perpetuates the toxic idea that you are just one cool idea away from all the success in the world. = Lottery ticket mentality

Ideas are a dime a dozen, everybody has them.

Ideas mean nothing without

    • a solid script
    • a writer who can turn it into a great screenplay
    • a director who knows how to tell that story
    • execution

There is this invisible thing between your good idea and a good movie and that thing is called “craftsmanship”(praktisches Können).

It’s invisible, because, if it’s done well, people don’t even know it’s there.

All you see is the finished product, you have no idea how much expertise went into it.

Hone your craft. (Schleife deine Werkzeuge.)

There are no shortcuts, work for it put those 10,000 hours in.

With craft you can take a simple story and tell it exceptionally well.

It’s your execution that will set you apart from everything that has come before you.


Then, when you get the occasional cool idea later, awesome.

You’ll know how to tell that story.

You can build your craft on small, cheap micro-projects.

Put in the work.

Study other films.

It’s hard to get people to give you money without a track record.




You will fail.

The trick is to make inexpensive failures; inexpensive in terms of time and money.

If you’re not failing, you’re not trying.

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