#1: Surround yourself with a diverse group of friends (i.e. not all in entertainment, not all the same cultural background or race) that you trust and love, and who trust and love you. There’s an important step where you actually do show your work to the brutal internet, but you can start with people who are really going to take care in viewing your work and giving you constructive criticism, not what they think you need to hear.
#2: Let’s say you want to make a short film. Once you’ve set your vision on what the final product could be, start to work backwards from there and identify every possible benchmark where you could conceivably stop and show someone the work in progress. You might end up with something like:
- Share the first outline of a script
- Share the rough draft of a script
- Have a table read with the near-final draft of a script
- Shoot a single scene from the script, give it complete edit as if it were a final cut, and share that with everyone on the team as well as trusted friends and advisors
The two approaches in play here are sharing increments of something that’s obviously not done, while also finishing something (one scene) from start to finish, but isn’t the entire product. You get lots of chances for feedback without spending a lot of valuable resources, and you get to make lots of mistakes by exercising the whole process but at a very small scale. I hope this makes sense, even coming from a documentary person!