Film and Family

Ep. 45 - How I Became a Feature Film Director

July 16, 2021
Film and Family
Ep. 45 - How I Became a Feature Film Director
Film and Family
Ep. 45 - How I Became a Feature Film Director
Jul 16, 2021

How do you become a film director? Or write any other role for yourself in the film industry for that matter? Today I share the specifics of my experience and how it applies to whatever role you are trying to achieve as well. 

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Show Notes Transcript

How do you become a film director? Or write any other role for yourself in the film industry for that matter? Today I share the specifics of my experience and how it applies to whatever role you are trying to achieve as well. 

Subscribe to our Email List Here

This podcast is owned and sponsored by Invisible Mansion Pictures. For more resources, visit us at:

Ep. 45 - How I Became Feature Film Director 

[00:00:00] Anna Thalman: [00:00:00] Hi, I'm Anna. And this is film and family, a podcast about feature filmmaking for professionals in the film industry with families hit subscribe to never miss an episode. Let's jump right in. All right. You guys, Kent is out of town, so it's just me today. If you don't like that, you don't have to listen.. Just kidding. It is more fun when he's here. 

[00:00:28]But yeah, he's doing some shoots, not related to the feature film, just some commercial work that we're doing. so it's just been me hanging out with the kids for a few weeks. It's been fun. And just as an update for those of you who keep asking about how our feature film is coming along, it's in post and it's looking great. I get very excited when I see the footage come together. And we should have the edit finished by the end of this year. So [00:01:00] then of course it has the festival route. That's going to take another year. So these things just take time eventually. Yes. You will be able to see it. So buckle up. It's a long journey, but it'll be there. And I am occasionally sharing stills on social media, so you can look for some little peaks added there. 

[00:01:17] And the other update is that We open our doors only occasionally for the film and family academy. And we just finished up our enrollment for this next group, this next term. So. Thanks to those of you who applied, you know, who you are. we've now processed all the applications. So fun to meet new people who are interested in this and who are going to move forward and we're going to get to know each other well. for those of you who did not get in, please apply again because it. Is so fun and I would love to take everyone. But since right now I'm doing private coaching. I can only take a certain number of people through at a time. [00:02:00] So keep applying and chances are, you'll get in one of these times and it'll be the perfect time for you. So give up hope you can even submit the same application and it's likely, That you'll get your shot.

[00:02:14] So super simple. If you want to be on the interest list for that film and family academy, you can go to, and enter your email there to get on our interest list. And you'll also get our weekly emails, which is pretty fun. 

[00:02:33]So let's jump into the podcast. Now today. Last week we talked about. How to overcome, to become, and basically this idea that goal setting can help you to become the person who has the result that you want and how to do that, as opposed to just getting that result. I would like to give a detailed example for you, and that's [00:03:00] what I'm going to do in this episode.

[00:03:01] So the example that I want to use is from my own life. And it's. Becoming a film director. I wish Kent were here to talk about this too. Cause I think it would be more interesting with both of us, but at least you'll get my side of this personal journey. 

[00:03:18] So first of all, for those of you who are new to us, to our podcast, you may not know what the model is, but this is something we talk about a lot. It's a model that we follow in the program to get this result. Kind of a diagram of what your brain, how your brain functions. So, first of all, I'll explain the model briefly. It's good reminder. If you do know what it is, so. The model is CTFAR and each letter stands for something. 

[00:03:47] So the first one is circumstances. there are circumstances in the world around us. They are often outside of our control and we choose how we respond to those circumstances with our [00:04:00] thoughts first. So we have a thought about the circumstance and our thoughts create our feelings. those are the next line C. T is thought F is feelings. What you think creates a feeling that you have and We know this because different people could respond to the same circumstance with a different belief or thought and have a completely different experience of it. So then the feeling is what drives our actions. And our actions create our results.

[00:04:32] So really what we focus on a lot is thoughts because they're at the root of all of this. But a lot of, people just want to give a result. And even we have a free checklist that we give out of how to make a feature film. And it's very much a step-by-step how to get this result. but If you learn the model with it, then you'll learn how to apply this more specifically to your unique circumstance [00:05:00] and how to become the person who is a feature film maker. Even more than just having a feature film that you've done. So there is a big difference if you missed the last podcast episode, go check that one out and it will help you understand this on an even deeper level. 

[00:05:18]So first of all what's interesting to me is I've seen the model work in very varied situations. It works for anything in any area of your life. And it's a great way to gain awareness of what's going on currently. And if you want to keep that model, or if you want to change it, you can learn how to do that. So, The other interesting thing is when you are trying to change into a new model, that is very different from where you are before, like a result that you have never achieved before. Maybe it's a big one, like a big goal for you, or it's kind of identity shifting. It's becoming. [00:06:00] A person that is different than you've always been before. Then this process takes some time and you can see each step lock into place one by one, because they literally are in order of how they occur. And so if you start in the wrong spot, it's probably not going to work.

[00:06:20] You need to start first of all, by looking at your current circumstance I mean, you can create the model. This is what we do with, my clients or students is we learn how to create our models. And then we implement them. So first of all, you have to work on the thought that is the root of everything is your thought or your belief. And you need to have a belief that is so strong. For it to lock into place. It needs to be so strong that you can believe that thought even in any circumstance. So that C line of your circumstance will change with time. But you can still believe that thought. [00:07:00] 

[00:06:59]So most people will find a thought that they believe in some circumstances, but they don't quite believe it yet in every circumstance, some things will come up or some situations will appear where they just are not quite sure yet. So for me, the thought that I wanted to believe was I am a feature film director. And when I first started working on that belief, I could. Believe thoughts that were similar. Like I want to be a feature film director, or I will be a feature film director someday where I'm on my way to be a feature film director, but I didn't believe yet that I was a feature film director.

[00:07:37] And this is where that last podcast episode we did. We'll explain how we get it backwards. A lot of times we think we need to first have the result to become the person. So I thought I need to have made a feature film to be a feature film director. But what's interesting about doing things we've never done before is that the opposite is true. You need to believe that you're a [00:08:00] feature film director in order to become one and to have that result of a feature film. So it's kind of a tricky thing to do. But it is possible. So. I first had to learn to believe that enough, that I could maintain it consistently. 

[00:08:15] And this is where you're going to want to start whatever it is that you're wanting to become. You start by believing it as much as you possibly can. So maybe you can't believe it in all situations, but wherever you can try to kind of cross that path as much as possible. It can be really helpful to meet new people and tell them I'm a film director.. For example or even just to say it to yourself or with your friends, like I'm a film director, it's going to be harder with your friends and with your family, because they already know you as someone who wants to be a film director, you know, even for my family and friends right now, I don't think they think of me and think Anna, the film director think they just think of. Me and all the other memories [00:09:00] they might have of me and the Anna who wanted to be a feature film director, which was me most of my life until recently. 

[00:09:08]And so it does help to associate with people in a new social circle where you can kind of embody this person that you're becoming and practice being that person. And so I started saying I'm a film director. And it was true. And I could believe it to a degree because I had directed short films and little projects. So I said, okay, I'm a film director. And then eventually it became, I am a feature film director. And I think that it helped me to know that I like any part of the process that you're working on is part of making a feature film.

[00:09:46] So for example, if you're writing a script, You are writing a feature film script. You are a feature film director, and you're working on the script phase of your feature film. And so people would say, oh, what [00:10:00] are you working on? Or what have you done? And I could say, well, right now I'm writing this feature film about this thing.

[00:10:06]And so that was a good starting place for me, but there was still some doubt in my mind, you know, if people ask too many questions, I would start to say, yeah, like I haven't actually finished one yet kind of I'm working on it. You know, I could see where that doubt came up, but really like who you are, has nothing to do with. What you've done and what you have accomplished. You can be a feature film director right now. And that can be part of who you are, where in any circumstance you're like, yeah. Even if I don't have a camera and I don't have anything and I'm on an island. I'm telling stories because that's what I do. I'm a director.

[00:10:48] So try to get that thought, being consistent. That is the hardest one. And that is where coaching is going to be really helpful because you'll be able to see where your doubts. areAnd [00:11:00] replace them and strengthen them and create a belief plan around what you're trying to become. 

[00:11:06] So that was the first thing that locked into the model for me. And I would say that when probably for me, it was about, I don't know, I want to say a year and a half before I actually made. Our first feature film or my first feature film was when I really started to believe I'm a feature filmmaker and I didn't have any hesitation telling that to other people. At that point, I had been hired to write feature film scripts, and I had been selected to direct a feature film for someone else. And I was working on my own projects. And so I was starting to see, like, this is going to happen. This is kind of becoming inevitable. So I'd say, yeah, it was still like a year and a half before I made one that I started to believe that thought. And you kind of know when you believe it because it. [00:12:00] Creates the feeling.

[00:12:01] So that's the next step in the model? once you believe that thought the feeling that accompanies, it changes. I could say those words, I'm a feature film director and feel anxious or impatient or doubt. And that's because I don't quite believe them yet all the way. I might feel kind of unsure.

[00:12:22]it's a good gauge. When you tell people to see how you feel, as you tell them, do you feel confident, peaceful, then you probably believe that thought, you know, like saying, yeah, I'm a brunette or yeah, I have blue eyes or whatever. I can say something about me. That is part of who I am and. Not question it because it's been something I've believed for so long. So you'll get to that point with your belief.

[00:12:50] Another example that I'll go back to the filmmaking example, but just another side example, that's kind of interesting of how you can be something before you really [00:13:00] are. That thing is pregnancy. For those of you who don't know. I am pregnant Right now we are expecting a baby either very end of December or beginning of January this next year. And it's a boy. So we're very excited. This will be our fourth kid. We have a boy and two girls, so now we'll have another boy kind of a sandwich. So anyway, been thinking about pregnancy. It's been on my mind, but I remember when I first. Got pregnant with our son. Who's now five years old and it was mother's day and I was pregnant and people started saying happy mother's day to me, you're a mother. I didn't feel like I was actually a mother yet because my baby was not born yet, but I was in the process of becoming. A mother and I was a mother, that was inevitable that this baby was going to be born and that the [00:14:00] baby already existed, even though it was in utero and like a tiny, you know, little apple size baby. I had a baby. And so you can think the same thing about your, feature film, even if it's still a baby film and it's not completed yet, you are a filmmaker. You are making a film. You're in that process. And if you keep going, then you're going to have a film at the end. It doesn't take much, you just keep doing it. Just like having a baby. It doesn't take that much. You just keep going now. That's not true for everyone, but you know, if everything's working correctly and there's no complications then yeah. You just become a mom like that. 

[00:14:41] So, That's just another example of how this can work or what it can look like when you really believe the thought. It's kind of interesting because it sort of loses its magic. I remember as a kid, when people asked me what I wanted [00:15:00] to do, when I grew up. And I said, I want to be a feature filmmaker. I want to make movies. And that felt so magical and kind of imaginary like this, dream that I didn't know if it was possible or if I could do it, but it sounded fun. And eventually when you actually believe it, yeah, that's just me. I'm a feature film director. It kind of loses that magic because it's so concrete and factual, and that gives you this quiet confidence. We love the movie. Babette's feast. If you guys haven't seen it, it's a great one. Watched it like five times, but we watched it recently and this character Babette, who is. Well, you find out at the end that she's a professional chef. She's this renowned chef. She worked at this fantastic restaurant that had amazing food. That was very expensive. But she lost her family in a war and she came as a refugee [00:16:00] to what was the place, the place that this movie takes place in? I can't remember. Exactly where it was. I want to say it's like Sweden or something, but I could be wrong there. So anyway, but that comes and she has this quiet confidence. She, lost everything, but she comes and does not tell anyone that she's a professional chef. She just starts working as a cook at this house so that she can have somewhere to live. She says, I'll stay with you. You don't have to pay me, but I'll work for you as a cook to earn my stay. And so they take her in and she starts cooking and you can kind of start to see that she knows what she's doing. she can tell if the fish is fresh or not. And she can tell if it's a good deal or not. She starts to save money. She starts to add some spice into the life of these sisters that she works for, who kind of ate the same old, every day. And eventually at the end puts on this giant feast that, [00:17:00] you know, would've cost tons of money. And it did actually cost tons of money. She won the lottery and she uses her money that way. And it's this really generous thing that she does for these townspeople. And they have no idea still that she's this famous chef at the very end. She confides in the sisters and tells them. And it's so interesting that she didn't feel the need to prove herself to anyone. To say, well, I know how to cook. Okay. I was an amazing chef and they like, come in and they're teaching her. This is how we make bread. This is how we make fish. And she just watches and you know, okay. All right. That's what you do. 

[00:17:37]And I think that that's the kind of confidence that you start to gain when you really believe that you are this person that you're trying to become you don't need to prove it to anyone. You don't have to show off. It's not this magical thing. It's just who you are and you know it, and it doesn't matter who else knows it. 

[00:17:54]So, anyway, that is the hardest step. And that was the first one. And you can tell it by that [00:18:00] belief, that feeling that it creates, and you aren't asking what to do. If you fully believe it's who you are. Because again, this is how the model works. Your thoughts create your feelings and your feelings drive your actions. So what you do when you really believe that you're a feature filmmaker is you make feature films, you know what to do. it's obvious, I'm a feature filmmaker. So I make feature films. I know that sounds dumb, but there just aren't any doubts about that or like, how do I do that? How do I get there? Because I've become a person who knows how to do it, or is committed enough. That I'm just going to keep trying until I figure it out. No film director ever makes a film in the exact same way. Every single film is interesting and unique. They're all gonna have their own unique challenges. So there's always going to be questions of how are we going to do this part. And even in interviews with the best directors, they're always asking each other, how did you do that? [00:19:00] And learning from each other, because there's never a point where you just know everything, but you just know. I'm going to do it because it's part of who I am and I can figure this out and I'm going to stick with it until I do. So once you gain that quiet confidence, you know what to do, or you know, how to problem solve, to figure out what to do. And it's really just the next step, the next step. And I remember going on a run with Kent and he probably remembers this too, but we run every morning except now because I'm pregnant. And I do have some complications. So I've been told to be on bed rest, which is hard to do with some little kids running around, but basically I'm very tired. And so I'm resting a lot and not running. So normally we run every morning and that's a good time for us to talk and catch up with each other and we push the kids in the strollers. So there was this time when I was [00:20:00] running. And I just remember feeling this change had happened for me. The shift had happened where I just suddenly believed, I won't say suddenly it took time, but I could kind of feel that that shift had occurred and I knew what to do and I was doing it. And every single part of the model had locked in except for the very last line of the model, which is the result line. And I told this to Ken, I said, look, I'm a feature film director. I've no doubts about that. I believe that in every circumstance it's not exciting anymore. It's just factual. And again, I still had not made a feature film yet, but we had one in the works and it was getting made and it still wasn't even funded. But it would be, I knew it would be, we kind of knew what we were doing to try to get that money in place. And so I just believed it and I felt confident in that in a quiet way. And I was moving [00:21:00] forward and I told him, Kent, the result is inevitable. every single line of the model has locked into place. I've seen this work enough times that I just know. That result is going to happen next. I don't know how long it's going to take, but it's just going to lock into place one day and I'll have a feature film. And it's the result that I've been trying to do all along. And then when it happened, you know, we did make our feature film, I guess, technically it's still in post. So it's possible that someone could say you haven't finished it yet, but again, it's that confidence that like, it's gonna get finished. Like we are finishing it, it's done. It's as good as done. Nothing's going to stop us at this point from finishing the movie. And so we shot our feature film and it was true. It just happened. And a lot of things could have happened that could have made it more complicated. A lot of things did happen. You know, even the film that I was selected to direct that I mentioned. That happened a year and a half before [00:22:00] we made the feature film we just made didn't work out. it's still happening, but I'm not directing it. And so I could have taken in that and said, oh, I guess I'm not a feature film director. That was my one chance. And I lost it, whatever, but no, We made this other thing and there's always another thing, you know, or you just keep going and find a way around the obstacles that you're facing.

[00:22:22] anyway, I kind of wanted to give that to you guys as an example, this will probably be a fairly short episode, but I want you to see how you have to become the person who has the results. In order to obtain it. And most of us think we need to have the result to become that person it's backwards. Okay. So if you have that mixed up, you're going to have a really hard time. You're going to be waiting around for that result to just happen to you or someone to offer you an opportunity instead of moving forward and making that happen, because you just believe that it will and that you can, and that's who you are.

[00:22:58]So [00:23:00] hopefully that example is helpful. If you have questions, email us and let us know. Maybe we'll make a podcast around it. And I think that is everything for today. Yep. If you like what you're hearing on the podcast, you'll love our weekly email click subscribe in the show notes to stay up to date on the latest opportunities and resources we have available.

[00:23:23] And we'll see you next time. Bye.