Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Getting Unstuck

Bubba Murray

You grab your cell and check your emails. The display reads 2:30 AM. Seriously? It was just 10:00. It’s the end of the semester, you’re working on that final script, and you’re S-T-U-C-K—stuck. You think, “This is not how Columbia College Chicago is supposed to be! I must be the only one out there that’s stuck! I suck!”

Sound familiar? So how do you power through the self-pity of feeling stuck? Read on!

WHAT is the premise? What are you writing? Try to answer in one sentence. I will help you define your story. Just spit it out. Write. Don’t judge; just brain dump.

WHY make this movie? How does it reflect or connect with your own humanity? So then you write it down. Again, brain dump.

HOW can I make the story unique and compelling? Do some brainstorming.

When you’re stuck on a script of a project, ask yourself these questions:

WHO is the main character? Do you need to step back from the pages and do some character exercises? Do you really get the flaw of this character? Do you know how your character takes his coffee? In other words, revisit your mission for this script.

Being an artist is painful at times. That’s why most people don’t do it. Take a moment and appreciate how hard this is. This artist thing isn’t for wimps.

The moral of the story is to be kind to yourself. Don’t judge the process. If you need to take a break, take a break. But if you need to open a new document and brain dump about this script, do so. Whatever it takes. Nobody is going to judge you. Being stuck is part of the process.

Making movies gets dirty. It’s nowhere near pretty. It’s okay to have days when you absolutely hate your script. Trust me, every person out there has been stuck.

Getting Unstuck

“…I must be the only one out there that’s stuck! I suck!” Sound familiar? So how do you power through the self-pity of feeling stuck? Read on!

Film & Video - Cinema Directing MFA Bubba Murray, james.murray2@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

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