Post-Film Depression

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I’m sure that you think that I’m being glib or funny, but I’m speaking about a very real thing, at least for me.

Post-Film Depression has happened to me three times since I’ve actually started making films. It’s one of those things, were the old me, before I had actually make anything, would think of as “first-world problems”. So, I’m not trying to say that this is like diagnosing some new form of depression. But for me, this is very real. It’s different from the anger, frustration, and just sheer devastation that I sometimes feel when a project that I’ve put my heart and soul into, and really believed in, just doesn’t happen. The amount of times before my first break into the industry happened that I got this close, and then *poof* my chance was gone.

Post-Film Depression for me is the feeling when you have just done something wonderful, that you are incredibly proud of, and the project has come to end. For me as a writer/producer, my involvement in a project is at it’s highest during pre-production. During production the producer part of my job kicks in and I begin to go about crisis-management and putting out fires and pulling rabbits out of hats. But then when the film goes into post-production, my job is basically over. I might give some feedback over edits, but my job won’t begin again until the final cut is done, and we go into promotion mode. I worry about so many things during post. Is what we got enough? Is it as amazing as I think it is? Will anyone ever see it? But the biggest one… the one that really does my head in, is:

Will we get to do it again?

Followed closely by; if we get the chance to do it again, will it top the last one? Will it meet the bar set by the last one? Will “they” find out that I’m really just a fraud who doesn’t know what I’m doing? If it’s successful, will I get left behind?

Is this the last thing that I will ever do? Can I pull it off again? Can I live up to this? Is this going to be the “one hit” that will have everyone saying, “that was a fluke”. Am I actually going to be able to pull this dream off, and have a career, where I make real money?

But hey, I should pull myself together. I helped make something wonderful. And somebody somewhere, will ask us to do it again. While my collaborations with other artists, have been very rocky… Paul and I are now over two years, and countless collaborations in to our creative partnership. While the fact that he’s so talented means that he doesn’t really need me… there really is something special that happens when we work together. And finally, with “An American Piano”, everyone will finally be able to see what we can do together with a bit of time and money.

And so now, after a two month break, I return to my feature script “A Place Like Home” with a new determination. I think I finally know what I have to do to make this script into something that people will give us money to make.

Fingers crossed. Another step on the journey. Come walk with me if you like.

@hcharlesdownie

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6 thoughts on “Post-Film Depression

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  1. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I understand that sense of sadness when you’ve finished something that really meant something to you, and more than that, something you know deep in your heart was good, your best effort.

    1. Thanks 🙂 It’s all in the editing room now. So, hopefully something wonderful will come out of that process. It’s just that this whole “post-film depression” thing has happened a few times now, I’m beginning to realise that it is just part of the process. I hope that everything is going well with you 🙂

  2. I have found a similar crash after large creativie projects that I have put time and courage into.
    having something booked like a show/concert gave me something to look forward to after such a all consuming passion with a festivillie I help run. I also spent alot of time in nature and meditation. which for me is waiting for the internal noise to stop and actually be present there in it, after the book was out ( it took a while). If this is your life’s work maybe need to program it in to the experience and be somewhat prepared for it and book a bali holi/ whatever it is that takes care of you.
    now really I am a job whore and not doing much art. I need reg breaks to reconnect to all the other parts to me that arent work. There are lots of others aspects of you to remember as well.
    Self compassion- you have earned your place there from all the drawings you sent as a child for car designs to scripts and exhibitions from 14 of your art and nominated for artexpress at 16yrs and nominated for CONDA award 20ish for set design and countless scripts you wrote after uni and the potentials and the let downs and the drive to find creativities communities. you have paid your dues and have earnt your place in the sun. love again your sister.

    1. I’m so proud of you Naomi. You’ve really found something with this job that uses all of your skills. You are right that it is important to take time every now and then for yourself 🙂 All the best xxoo

  3. Don’t get so worried. You’re only at the base of what your career will bring. There’s a wholepuntain of axing projects that you’ll be integral to.

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