The idea
Written by Kelanie Aragon

In my first writing class in college, my professor assigned us a short article called, “Shitty First Drafts” by Anne Lammot. Lammot explained that all first drafts are, well, shitty. But, unless you start, you won’t get anywhere.

This idea stayed with me for a long time, but I didn’t know what to do with it. Lammot is talking about writing narrative essays, short stories, and novels, but my passion lies in filmmaking and cinematography. So, where was I supposed to start? I knew I had potential, but I didn’t know where to begin.

An opportunity arose this past summer. Alyssa, Ryan, and I were talking about our career goals. We were discouraged that we still hadn’t done much along the lines of filmmaking–we weren’t good enough. Then I remembered: shitty first drafts. “How about we do ten bad short films,” I said. We had nothing to lose.

So, we set a goal to make ten short films from scratch to learn and master pre-production, production, post-production and distribution. We decided to be okay with making a few shitty first films, and The Sharpen Experiment was born.

whatSo, how does it work?

First, we aren’t trying to make bad films on purpose. However, we are okay with starting with what we have: one location, two actors, a three-page script. Then, with each short film, we will assess and improve in our problem areas. Our goal is that by our tenth short film, we will have mastered the process of short filmmaking.

On this blog, we will share our successes, our failures, and the things we learn while making each short film.

“Almost all good filmmaking begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something — anything — down on paper/camera.


21 thoughts on “

    1. sharpencinema says:

      Yes! We have! Thank you!

      We would love you to use the same idea/phrase, as long as you can give us credit and maybe add the blog’s name? The whole point of this blog is to encourage others to do this experiment/project!

      Happy to have you joins us here, please come back!


  1. Nancy says:

    I really love your blog. I’m so glad you are sharing your experiment, it’s kinda overwhelming to want to do something like this so badly yet feel so unsure as to how to start or so afraid of failure. So…thanks!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. sharpencinema says:

      Hi Nancy, thank you for your kind words! We are happy you joined our little space on the web, and hope you keep coming back!

      What we love about this experiment is that there is no pressure, you’re allowing yourself 10 tries. 10 drafts where you’ll work hard to get better! Fear of failure is only going to keep you from sharpening your skill.

      Stay Sharp! We love having you here!


  2. sue says:

    This sounds like a wonderful idea and I totally agree with the professor about first drafts. I find that the hardest sentence is the first, is that a cliche? sorry, but you know what I mean. I also think it helps to noodle on your work after completing the first draft as usually other, and often better ideas come through. Best of luck with this project, it will be fun to see your progress.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. positivelystacey says:

    Great concept! We all have to start somewhere and we all learn so much along the way. With every project a little bit more knowledge comes from it.

    Liked by 1 person

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