Then, the day after you've had said idea, reality delivers a harsh blow that you really should have seen coming: as it likes to do to all of us, no matter how many ideas we've accomplished and finished before, it makes us shake our head and question things.
Suddenly, that video idea you had which saw a series of squirrels leap over your actors' heads while looking down at the camera with a sort of human smile seems impossible.
Right. Because it is.
Welcome, my friend, to the downright soul-destroying world where ideas and dreams and logic collide. Also known as real life. Not that we give a monkey's about any of that while our ideas are busy growing and expanding in our own personal universe. There is no room for real life here.
So, today's blog is about not just starting a video idea, but finishing it.
I was chatting with a director about this the other day. Someone who knows an awful lot more than me about everything TV, video and film based. We were passing ideas back and forth and realising, as we were having these ideas, which ones were plausible and possible and which ones would be too much trouble or not financially or time viable.
Because what you need to understand is that when you've been having ideas long enough, you can get to the stage where you know fairly quickly if you are wasting your time. This is a crucial skill to have – without it, you'll let your ideas run away with you, and never learn to compromise with the other more sensible part of you that generally enables you to move through life.
I have found that when things work, it goes like this:
Get the ideas down, however you like. Sketch or write them up. It doesn't matter, but you absolutely must do this soon after the ideas first came. Ideas are like dreams. They evaporate if you wait too long to access their magic. Especially if you are no longer 7.
Then wait a bit, and ponder, and think, and be realistic. Even if it hurts. Even if it means a bit of compromise. If you know the logistics in making that idea happen, obviously, this will be infinitely easier to do.
Revise the ideas, hone them down. Be aggressive with what you cut out and be careful not to show those ideas to too many people in the early stages. This may not help. You still need time to let them breathe.
Now show them to people. See what they think. Take notice. If more than a few people thinks something needs work, you're out of luck: chances are it does need work. Accept it and do the work. Then feel better, because it takes guts and determination to finish ideas and actually go out to make them happen.