Filmmaking To The Max: Why Carry On?


(Kyla) #1

Hi! I’m Kyla, teenage filmmaker & creator of the teen drama webseries To The Max. This column will serve both as a production diary and an ever-growing list of how I’ve found my way around every issue I’ve come across and every mistake I’ve made.

The universe is vexing. We’re all at the whim of the cosmos, if “we” are even real at all. Perhaps we are nothing. Perhaps everything is nothing. Perhaps we are something but will soon become nothing because the void will overtake us all. Do not fear the void. Succumb to it.

I feel like I have to say “Welcome to Night Vale” at this point.

Anyways, you know how it is! Existentialism! Do I matter? Does anything matter? Is matter even real? No, but the void sure is!

We all feel that way sometimes. Like nothing matters. Hopeless. Wondering why we’re even doing what we’re doing. Putting our heart and soul into our projects only to lose our minds in the process. Maybe your SD card became corrupted and you lost vital footage. Maybe you lost a primary filming location. Maybe you’re dealing with a flaky actor. Maybe you have scheduling issues and you feel that all is lost.

Whatever your issue may be-- you cannot let it consume you.

There is always another way out. Another option, another solution, another path, another answer, another another-synonym-for-way-or-answer. You’re never stuck between two choices-- there’s always a third. Without a doubt.

When things go south, people too often get caught up in negativity. It’s easier to hate, I think. It’s easier to stew in bitterness instead of actively seeking a solution. When you decide to let a bad situation control your entire existence, you’re digging yourself into a hole that’ll be really hard to climb out of.

I’m not saying to be optimistic with every situation ever. I’m not saying it’s easy to accept bad situations or just to be happy. What I’m saying is that you cannot give up on your creation if there’s a roadblock, and you absolutely cannot sit around and cry about it when there’s time to fix it.


An absolute mood of a photo and one of the only things I got off my SD card before it died a tragic and heart wrenching death. From left to right: Abby Nyamuzuwe, Harmony Dawn, Kendall Prior, Jacob Miller, and ya girl

Here are some things to do when something goes horribly wrong and you feel like everything is hopeless and you’re about to pull a @Bri_Castellini and scream “LIFE IS POINTLESS” at strangers:

Put things into perspective:

It’s not the end of the world, my dude. No one’s dead. Hopefully. I don’t know what your situations are like or how horribly wrong your webseries has gone, but I’d hope no one’s dead. Every problem that you run into could be like ten million times worse. Sure, it’s a hassle, but at least you don’t have to shut down your entire production. Probably.

Look to the future:

Sure! Things suck now and everything is awful and the universe is a messy bitch who lives for drama. But is it always going to be this way? No! At the end of this, you’ll work through it and have a finished project. You’ll get to point at it and say “Hey! Look at this thing! This is a thing that I have made!” And on the other hand when it comes to looking to the future-- you’re developing mad problem-solving skills. You’re gonna be like webseries MacGyver. It’s gonna be cool as hell.

Think about your collaborators and supporters:

How many hours have your cast and crew spent on this? How much effort have they put into making this happen? As much as you think it is, it’s probably a whole lot more. They’re not doing this just for you to whine and bitch when you run into a problem, no matter how big this problem. (That is to say: you’re allowed to complain when there’s an issue, but you shouldn’t stop being productive.) And what about your friends and family, who dutifully follow your social media and like all your posts and lowkey harass you about your release date? What about your mother who’s like, super proud of you but also has no idea how to work Youtube and will probably never see the series? They’re supporting you, because they know you can do this, because YOU CAN DO THIS.

Consider why you’re doing this:

Where something begins is equally as important as how it progresses and how it ends. Why’d you start? What drove you to this? Maybe it was to build a resume or a reel or a portfolio. Maybe it was to showcase diverse and underrepresented people. Maybe it was to express yourself. Maybe it was because you just wanted to create. Maybe it was for fun! No matter your reasons, you have at least one, and it must be pretty damn important to you if you decided to do all this. Keep it in the back of your mind. Let be a reminder to not give up.

The universe is a puzzle. We’ll never have all the pieces. Maybe we don’t matter. Maybe nothing ever does. But if you want something, you need to work towards it. If you have a dream, it’s up to you to fulfill it.

“Energy rightly applied and directed will accomplish anything.” - Nellie Bly


(Bri Castellini) #2

MY LEGACY


(Ghetto Nerd Girl) #3

Yes, girl! I needed this too!


(Mark Mainolfi) #4

These are some excellent words of wisdom! Persevering is so important, especially when a lot of people are counting on you. This is how you become a good producer.