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5 Reasons Why I Haven’t Made It In Film (Yet)

I get asked all the time, “Why haven’t I made it yet?” and of course the answer can vary, person to person … **But** at foundation level, it’s basically down to wanting something enough in order to do whatever it takes. It’s as simple – and as difficult! – as that. Here’s Glyn with some realisations of his own … If you like his post, make sure you check out his Kickstarter and/or share it on your social media profiles. Over to you, Glyn!

1. I didn’t write enough

I wrote quite a bit. Five feature scripts, 12 shorts, half a novel. Nothing to be ashamed of, what with the job and the family and the myriad distractions life offers. But… I didn’t write that killer piece that wowed the right person. I don’t know which piece it is, but it’s still in my head. I don’t know which person, but without material, I go naked into the filmic world.

To paraphrase Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross: … always be writing! MORE: How Do I Become A Professional Scriptwriter?

2. I didn’t make my own films enough

Having realised that for whatever reason, no-one was rushing to turn my Courier 12-point into pixels, I decided to make one or two films myself. But a short film every two years did nothing: I didn’t build on the steep learning curve, I didn’t improve my film-making skills, I didn’t have product to boast of, and, on reflection, they were vanity projects, not part of a strategy. It wasn’t that I shouldn’t have done them. I should have done more.

Back to Alec: … always be filming! MORE: 10 Lessons Of A Microbudget Movie

3. I wasn’t talented enough

Well, look. Who knows how talented they are? Who doesn’t have self-doubt? Who wants to be the arrogant shit who appears to have no self-doubt? What I try to remember is that 90% of all film work is about craft, and craft can be learned. It has to be learned on a basic foundation of talent, for sure, but I do have that basis. Don’t we all? If not, we probably wouldn’t be passionate enough to care in the first place.

You know what’s coming: … always be learning! MORE: Talent is the Tip of The Iceberg

4. I didn’t network enough

It’s no good having the screenplays and the films if no-one’s reading or watching them. And you don’t learn doodly squat from books. We need other people, because in the film world, no-one can open doors alone. We need other people to learn from, to get work, to find collaborators, to find investors. Networking is how we are recognised. Not being in London is a disadvantage, but with social media, London isn’t essential (look at Lucy).

All together now: … always be networking! MORE: 4 Indispensable Social Media Platforms For Writers 

5. I didn’t want it enough

You know, I thought I did. But to get ahead of the people who are getting ahead, you have to be single minded and blinkered. You not only have to want it, you have to behave as if you want it. You have to be not just focussed but obsessive. You have to make sacrifices. I left the day job to do this full-time. I put up my life savings, such as they are. That’s how much I want it.

Once more with feeling: … always be hungry! (that was me, not Alec). MORE: Why You Need Self Belief And A “Can Do” Attitude

Thanks Glyn!!


BIO: Glyn Carter recently set up Stories into Light as a film production company. The first short film being made is a romcom called A CHANGED MAN and SiL is trying to raise £2,500 through crowdfunding. This will ensure cast and crew can be paid, and create high-quality short film. Please check out the Kickstarter campaign and share it on your social media profiles.

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19 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why I Haven’t Made It In Film (Yet)”

  1. This is very interesting and refreshing to see that I am not alone. Writing has always been a dream, but as “Denzel Washington” said “Dreams without goals are just dreams. They ultimately fuel disappointment. Dreams on the road to achievement, require discipline and consistency”. I am a family man with two kids, hold a part time job and pursuing a career in Acting and Screenwriting. It’s not been easy juggling all of the above including subs and all. However; with two short film scripts and three features in queue, there is hope. I recently and ambitiously optioned a novel to adapt to screen from novelist Jenny Hobbs (South Africa). Gladly, she is so much on board with the project and is supporting me throughout. I say well done to you for sharing this, we are never alone. Thank you for giving me the hope and realism I needed to push on. Thanks Lucy.

    1. Hi Alexander, best of luck with everything – like you say, we are NOT alone and we have to set ourselves goals, but there is always hope! 😀 Keep on keeping on xx

  2. Why I am unsubscribing from this blog … INSULTING headlines like: Why YOU haven’t made it as a writer yet. What hubris! Speak for yourself. How much money did you make in royalties last year? And the year before that. And the year before that.

    1. Hey there’s no shame in it, writing is hard work, the odds are against you and you have to REALLY want it. Good luck in your other endeavours!

  3. Wise words and advantageous advice as always Lucy. Thank you and Glyn Carter.

    I wish to say that there is so much hope in the last word of the blog title. “Yet.”
    “Yet” is such a warm and fuzzy word, in this context. I want to grab it up and give it a huge hug and surround myself with all the potential it holds. I had a short film, (micro-short really) made at the end of 2013 and this year I have finally found a local film-maker, so we are working on my latest short film idea, script in progress, hoping to film in July. So the part in this blog, section 2. about momentum has really, especially made me think, that I am not writing enough, that I’m not doing enough, YET … I KNow I can do this. I Will do this. My future is mine. Thank you.

  4. Not sure if you meant, “and as difficult” when you wrote, “as as difficult” but I mentally stumbled when reading this. I’m not a guru in correct writing by any stretch of the imagination. I’m awful at times, yet, appreciate it when it’s pointed out to me. Love the article and links too. Cheers!

  5. “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge

    I’d like to add that whichever way you cut it, LUCK plays an enormous part too. And yes, sometimes we can make our luck, but often it’s just luck, pure and simple. And the longer I live the more random the universe seems. 🙂

    1. Yep luck plays its part; “right time, right place” can figure in whether a writer gets somewhere, or a project takes off etc – BUT it is no substitute for hard work, persistence and sheer bloody-mindedness.

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