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Advice, cancel my movie project?

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  • Advice, cancel my movie project?

    Director of feature film here. This will be my 2nd one. Aside from directing I am also, boom op, producer, casting agent, costume maker. Writer, editor, location scout. Cook. Shot list writer, editor, And lots more. I was the same with my first feature too. We are 3 weeks away from shooting, scheduled for June 1st and to film throughout the summer. This s a low budget movie and no money is being distributed to actors for their time, nor will I even be making money from this project. Hell, I'm losing money lol. Anyways. I am highy considering pulling the plug. Why? Well, for the past few years my mental state is not all that well. On a daily bases I am questioning reality. I expierence delusions of all sorts which has made even keeping a job hard. I had this problem when making the first film and yes, it was exhausting but some how I was able to keep going. That was 6 years ago. This current movie. I have everything lined up. Costumes are done, locations are locked, actors are committed and so on. But over th past couple weeks I have become exhausted mentally. Living life with these horrible feelings of parinoia and delusions is rough ( not trying to throw a pity party, just stating how it's like) it's rough with jobs and living in general. Add a film project, a full feature mind you and it makes things way harder. I want to continue, push through until this project is done. I'd hate to cancel now. Even though the actors aren't gettting paid, thy are all excited. I've talked such a big game for months and even bough new video and audio gear totaling around 1400 dollars. But with all that being said, I feel myself slipping. I've become very depressed with constant thoughts of suicide ( have not tried, just thoughts) this project is like lifting up a million pounds In my mind and I kinda wanna scrap it and seek treatment and work on writing books, as it's easier on me and another enjoyable way for me to tell stories. Any advice? Cancel project and seek treatment or film the movie and seek treatment after?

  • #2
    Also should note. No I'm not on any meds. Have tried before, they made me very sick. I am giving myself the week to think about this decision. If I cancel I will pay the actors with something for their time. Hard part is letting people know what I'm going through. Once you open that door, people look at you differently,


    • #3
      Wow. I'm almost afraid to comment because I don't want to say the wrong thing. But that seems cowardly, so I will try to give my 2 cents worth.

      As someone who has written & produced two features, I'll say to you the same thing I said when we kicked off production on both of them: it's only a movie. We all tend to get so vested in it that we lose track of that, but your health (both mental and physical) is far more important. If the movie has become simply one more overwhelming burden and weight on you, it simply isn't worth it and you should cancel it.

      If you decide to go forward anyway, I would strongly advise that you get treatment at the same time, even if that requires slowing production and screwing with your budget. Also, in that case I would encourage you to try to find someone who would work with you (for free) and shoulder a chunk of the burden - possibly a recent college grad who is interested in movies and would welcome the experience and credit.

      But the bottom line is - put your health and safety first. Movies and stories will always be there.

      Good luck!
      Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com