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Manic Depression Is Normal

By Greg Pak
If today you feel like a moron, relax — tomorrow you’ll feel like a genius. And vice versa.
The nature of the filmmaking process forces most filmmakers into an only-sometimes-managable haze of manic-depression. Because there are so many factors depending on so many people which affect the success and failure of a film, at any given instant you may feel like Kurosawa’s reincarnation or a just another Ed Wood wannabe.
One example: You’re supposed to be shooting the big sunlit beach scene. It’s raining. You feel like a moron. Ten minutes later, the sun shines gloriously; you’re touched by God.
Another example: You’re making a documentary, shooting on film, and your rolls keep running out the instant your subjects reach those emotionally gripping parts of their stories. You feel like a failure. But two years later, when you’ve finished the piece, you see that the lack of picture forced you to find other photographs, footage, and images to use over the voiceover — which has resulted in a far subtler and more affecting film. You feel like a genius.
These ups and downs are normal. Get used to ’em.

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