We all know what courage is … I think. Yes, of course we do, maybe. Courage is one of those brazen concepts that initially we should all have some common agreement on. But actually, courage involves a whole lot, a very whole lot, for such an obviously simple concept.

Courage … still waters running deep. Seemingly clean, yet deeply complex. Something we all hope and wish we have enough of when we really need it. Something indie filmmakers need in spades, most of the time … if we want to survive and thrive in that crazy, stressful world.

To me courage is an attitude. A quiet, focused approach to dealing with the insecurities and uncertainties of life thrashing all around us. A way to take on the world, signaling to go ahead and bring it on. Because I will remain standing no matter what the hell you throw at me. I may be tired, scarred, and beaten, but I will never give in.

Some think that courage is the opposite of fear. Never. Courage and fear go hand in hand, odd step children in the momentum of action or the restraint of inertia. It is all in the perspective of each moment, as each moment ticks away into the garbage heap of the dead past. Forget how you reacted in the past. Grasp the now and prepare for the future.

For real courage must be found right now, in each fleeting, alive moment. Deep within, the fabric of who you are, who you have found, or who you have created, inside yourself. And sustained with an energy that may seem boundless to others not privy to what is going on inside you.

When a filmmaker develops a new project, courage must be a driving force. For there is way too much anxiety in what he or she is taking on. Ideas grow into synopses, then treatments, then rough drafts, then many final drafts, then many polishes, and finally still many rejections. Courage must see you through. Courage can see you through. Courage will see you through. For courage is, no must be, your fallback position.

And if that film project ever actually goes into production, another whole level of courage needs to kick into high gear. At this point, courage you didn’t think was there inside you must be mined, discovered, and put to good use. Courage can be a defining moment not just in the evolution and execution of your film project, but in your growth inside as a spiritual human being.  Finding courage means finding more freedom, and finding more freedom usually translates to happiness. Towards a level you may have never been to before.

Yes, courage is not something that can be taught. It must be learned by oneself through trial and error. It can be discussed as I am doing here, but each person must find it for themselves. Whether in the throes of intense fear, or in putting it together in pieces over time, or in mining it and nurturing it as a self-revelation, we each have our own path to our living reality of courage.

Finally, for you filmmakers, if you feel you are missing something and are not sure what it is, maybe courage is what you need. In fact, if anyone was to ask me what a new budding filmmaker (or any level of filmmaker) needed more than anything else, the answer is obvious. Courage.

Find Courage. Grow Courage. Live Courage.


Author: Jerry Alden Deal

Writer – Director – Producer of Way To Go Media, LLC.
Over the past thirty years Jerry has been hired numerous times to develop and write screenplays for other production companies. During that same period several of his spec scripts were also optioned. ‘Dreams Awake’ was Jerry’s feature directorial debut. He has several other projects in various stages of development. One of which, the feature documentary ‘The Inner Sonic Key’ is currently in post-production.

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