FIRST: How many people do you know that protest daily about the evils of humanity?
They go on about how they wish the big asteroid would strike, or how nature deserves to exterminate humans.
And all of this coming from the mouth of a human.
I used to think like this, too.
This idea also kept me on the road of social isolation.
Believing that the artistic qualities of a movie are more important than networking or distributing a movie, I kept myself maniacally studying, creating, and observing.
But never involving myself in the world of things.
It was all busy work.
Lots of activity, taking me nowhere.
Once I was honest, and noticed no improvement in my filmmaking journey, this “hating people” meme seemed more to do with me not liking myself.
After soul-searching (and with a bit of help from my hallucinogenic friends) my point of view today is the opposite:
Movies are monkey-centric.
They are made by people, for people.
Thus, in order for a movie to be successful, they must touch the lives of people.
And the more, the merrier.
People only open their souls to your artwork if you genuinely speak to them at their level.
Meaning you must love people.
The main reason you make art should be because you love people.
When you start at this point things get much, much, much easier.
SECOND: Making the movie is only the first step.
The most important part of filmmaking, interestingly, is the step after filmmaking: DISTRIBUTION.
And distribution is ran by people, for people.
Nobody is going to play your movie if you’re a grouch who hates people.
You will turn off many more than you turn on simply because of your personality.
People strike deals with people they know, like, and trust.
People network with people they enjoy being around.
Ever noticed those who succeed despite making inferior movies?
Well, let’s just put this on the record now:
You will be massively successful if people love being around you, but your movies aren’t good.
You will not be successful if you make excellent movies, but people don’t like being around you.
I’ve seen it happen over and over again.
THIRD: Artistic creation is inherently an optimistic process.
That means if you’re motivated enough to make something, that’s because you believe somewhere deep down inside this art-thing is worth making.
Even if what you’re making has a subject that’s revolting or filled with cynicism and depravity, the act of making the art alone is optimistic.
The expectation that people will come to your movie and get something out of it emotionally, is optimistic (even if the emotions you want the audience to feel are grotesque).
So the most harmonious position you can be in as a filmmaker is to create something that is optimistic both in subject matter and in your intent.
In middle school I had a teacher tell me she hates going to depressing movies because she works hard and the world is depressing already, the last thing she wants to do is waste time & money to be voluntarily subjected to a depressing experience.
Being a young rebel, I thought her idea was bullshit.
But it’s stuck with me over all these years.
And today, I think she’s right.
This is what people generally want from their movies.
Good feelings, entertainment, escapism.
This is the experience John Lennon, William Shakespeare, and Walt Disney gave.
And we love them for it.
They may have been skeptical or cynical to some degree as individuals, but overall their artistic output communicated optimism and joy.
"Hating people” is a toxic mindset for an artist.
Examine the meme closely and you too will discover (if you haven’t already) that it belongs nowhere near your work.
If you want to start improving your filmmaking game right now, become a people person.
Realize that you’re making movies, at the end of the day, for other people - not yourself.
Read books on communication & charisma.
Don’t make enemies (it’s so unnecessary).
Pro Tip: Try a low-dose of psychedelic mushrooms.