When a Part of You Goes Missing, Where Do You Look?

January 18, 2007

Information OverloadOver the last few days I have been grappling with a rather disturbing problem. The scariest part of it is that the problem only exists within the confines of my own head. At the end of last week just after I shot a scene from the script I am writing to experiment with editing, I felt very yucky. After a lie down I felt a lot better but there was something wrong. I was unable to visualize anything in the way of shots or camera moves. Nothing. It was like some force just reached down and took my entire movie making section from my brain.

I have been thinking about the problem for days and it came to a serious head last night when I watched Independence Day, one of my favourite films. I wanted to watch the film and then take in the Special Material including discussions with the director, Roland Emmerich. Usually when I watch movies I am thinking about loads of things, the directing, acting, production design, scripting and most of all the editing. Last night while watching ID4 I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t thinking about camera positions or “I wonder how many takes it took to get that…” When I watched interviews that showed the director directing material that would usually excite me and make me want to direct, I felt nothing.

Becoming quite worried about what seemed to be a serious mental blockage to all creativity regarding film I started considering my options. I started to wonder if directing / producing / editing films was what I wanted to do. How can I do it if the skill has disappeared? I finally got myself together enough to discuss the problem with my brother and according to him, the solution is simple.

It seems that I have been over working my brain. The constant bombardment of studying film and production has left me weary and “running on empty.” My brother told me that what I need, and need badly is to take a break from my indulgence in the study of film and try and recoup some of my energy. He said this problem happens to him and is normal. I have never felt as useless as I have done in the last few days. Thank god my writing skills have not been totally disabled.

Following my brother’s advice I have made the following decision. I am not going to read about, engage in or view any films for study until next Monday. I am attempting a full restart of my brain and its creative properties and hopefully this time next week I will be able to look back on this situation and laugh.

So where am I looking for the part inside that has gone missing? The answer is that I am not looking for it but I believe it will come back to me on its own after I have recharged my batteries a little. I am most interested to hear what my readers think of this and if anyone else has experienced this phenomenon. How did you deal with it?

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