Everyone loves the start of something; a new idea, a new relationship, a new journey. There's so much hope. The dream is fresh and vibrant. We have nothing to fear!
....but only because we've just gotten started.
Someone once said, "The worst thing you write, is better than the best thing you didn't write." As a filmmaker, the start to an idea is like love at first sight. It's my addiction. Only because the thrill is so cheap. It costs me nothing to sit and spin a thought into a web of intrigue. Once I had the chance to meet my favorite composer, Howard Shore, and during a panel I eventually worked up the courage to ask him the final question of the night.
Voice trembling. I said, "Mr. Shore, as a creative, I know there are times you have to dig a little deeper to persevere through a project. In those moments, what keeps you going?"
His answer: "The dream. The thought that if I can see this through, I will discover something even greater than I first imagined."
It takes a determined heart to finish what we've started. But there's a crucial choice to be made if we are fortunate enough to write "The End" on our ambition. That means we found what it takes to motivate us to finish what we started. So now we can choose to be satisfied. Or we can choose to start again.
Our country was once at risk of being forever split in two, all because people no longer wanted to fight for what started the Civil War in the first place. People were in fear that this war was for nothing, and that spirit of fear put our country in jeopardy. Overcoming fear is a major theme in Jonah's story, and one that everyone can relate to:
You're a coward. Always looking back cuz you're too afraid to look ahead. You know what's happening in the North? Husbands, brothers and sons are all dying to free you. But their wives, sisters, and daughters can't stand the war pains. So everyone's yelling and voting for a democrat to bring the easiest end to this war-- abolition or not. Lincoln's staring down the barrel of a rifle he loaded. All cuz the 'righteous' no longer want to fight as long as it takes.
I don't care for your politics.
Then let me say it another way. Cuz you should care as long as you call this country home. Your brother's gone, and he's got the only freedom there really is. But you've got the only life there really is. And I'm damn sure you ain't supposed to spend it trying to make up for what you failed to do. Or keep runnin' cuz you're too afraid to fight for life as you want it. But if you are going to live it in fear, then the South has you to thank after-all. Because it's men like you that'll make the South victorious, by the grace of God.
And where does grace stand? North or South?
"There are no great writers, only great rewriters." -Justice Brandeis
Jonah has been an idea for a film for quite some time. And now I finally sit with a finished draft in my lap, eager to share it with the world. But, it can be better. So I barre the door, close the blinds and start again. Knowing the time to start production is quickly approaching, and without the greatest story possible, we will never have the greatest film possible.
Everyone loves to start... but not everyone will start again.
Coming up: The Countdown to Kickstarter. Finding Our Battlefield. And a Country Divided.