Things can get ugly in the filmmaking business. Competition drives some people to pettiness and instead of focusing on the craft of storytelling, the focus is on beating your fellow filmmakers.
But does that really make you better?
There are a lot of distractions that keep you from sharpening your skills. When ego creeps in and insecurities take over, this can lead to a lack of clear and effective storytelling. Competition can keep you from reaching your full potential.
So, when competition begins to cloud your thoughts, how can you channel that competitive feeling into something healthy? Here are a few things to remember.
1. We are all at different stages of our careers, and must respect that we all had to start somewhere. Being competitive with someone who has more experience and resources than you will only exhaust you. If you admire their work, it’s better to study and learn from them so that you can apply these lessons to your own projects.
2. When it comes to competition within your own group, understand your job and understand the job of your crew members. Remember, making a film is a team effort.
3. Run your own race. If you are making a film, but spend all your time worrying about someone’s project happening simultaneously to yours, you become distracted by something that is out of your control. It’s okay to want to produce the best work you can, but if you are doing it to prove you are better than someone else, you have lost the love for the craft. Remember, let others motivate you, not depress you.
4. You’ve heard it before: don’t compete with anyone but yourself. Is your first film a letdown? Well, put in the work and make the next one better. If you always strive to be better than your past mistakes, you will always grow in your craft. That is when competition is healthy, when you set out to become better than you were yesterday.