5 LOA Lessons from The Amateurs
Well, not actually a porn movie – just a movie about making porn movies.
Still, I even surprised myself with all the deliberate creator tips in this 2005 gem starring Jeff Bridges.
Here are some of my favorite takeaways from The Amateurs, a fun little movie about regular guys making their first adult film:
1. Honor the Big Dream
No experience, no funding, no connections … just a wild hair to make his mark on the world by producing a porn movie. That’s what Andy Sargentee’s dream was.
Your ultimate desire doesn’t have to make sense or seem reasonable. In fact, the best dreams defy sensibility and feasibility. And anyone who has breathed life into their big dream knows that courage and commitment come in handy, too.
2. Do It Your Way
The movie creators did something in their research for production that warrants caution, though. They rented out the entire adult movie section from their local video store to make notes about what their movie should include – basing it on what others have already done.
I made this mistake at one of my first jobs. I was hired to write analyses of market research studies, and made a point of reviewing my predecessor’s work extensively to make sure my reports matched her style perfectly. While one supervisor was relieved that his former employee was so easily replaced, another was disappointed because she’d hoped a new writer would bring change and fresh perspective.
In hindsight (and with Seth’s encouragement), I’d do it differently today.
3. Ignore the Naysaysers
I would have been one in Andy’s world. A naysayer, that is. I found myself thinking “Really? Your big dream is a porn movie?” (As in: With all your resources and talents, you can’t do better than that? Like the world needs another adult movie. But it was Jeff Bridges and he rarely disappoints so I stuck with it – and glad I did!)
Point being: it’s crucial to ignore people who don’t get it when you’re dreaming your big dream. What anyone else thinks doesn’t matter. Unless they’re super supportive, and in that case they’re right, of course. 😉
4. Use What You’ve Got
I read an article that said lots of folks get a great idea and then are immediately stopped when they try to figure out how to get funding for it. Instead of using that tired old “no money” excuse, honor your dream by using what DO have. Ideas, relationships, and other resources that may give you a chance to show your creativity and commitment.
There are lots of paths to your dream come true that don’t require big bucks to get started.
5. It’s Always Working Out
My favorite inspiration from the show was this: Even when it seems things aren’t working out, they really are. Often, even better than you could have imagined!
When Andy’s only copy of his completed film went up flames, it seemed disastrous and dream-ending. But it didn’t take long before an idea struck that steered him toward the kind of success his little adult movie never could have delivered.
If you haven’t seen the show yet, and don’t mind a few scenes with some eyebrow raising language, you’ll find inspiration in this fun flick. And if you have seen it and care to share any other LOA tips you picked up from it, please do!