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You Be You

When I was growing up, I always heard "Just be yourself." I knew there was a caveat hidden in there, though. There had to be. For me, it was "Just be yourself, as long as "yourself" is not weird."

If you're weird, people will look at you weird. And they won't invite you places.

Whenever someone is described as "marching to their own drummer," it's rarely a compliment. It's usually a really nice way of saying they're different. Or weird.

But we're all a little "weird," aren't we? Some of us more so than others. It's just a matter of how much we let our freak flag fly.

When it comes to being in middle school, I can understand why some kids would be afraid to be weird. But when it comes to filmmaking, serve them your weirdness on a silver platter.


"Weird" is defined as strange; odd; bizarre. So I looked into the definitions of "strange," "odd," and "bizarre," and came up with this definition of "weird:" unusual in appearance, style, or general character, differing in nature from what is ordinary, often involving incongruous, or unexpected elements, and outrageously or whimsically unusual, extraordinary, or curious. Sounds pretty good to me. Especially when it comes to filmmaking.


Whether you're creating your story line, plotting your shoot, or just finding your tone, follow your weird side. Show your colors.


Why do you need to be the one writing this story?


Remember the 1996 Romeo and Juliet film with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Daines?

What if instead of Baz Luhrmann writing and directing it, it was done by James Cameron?


What if instead of Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David creating Seinfeld, it was done by Aaron Spelling?



But don't try to be weird for the sake of being weird. Don't attempt to emulate Tarantino. Smart readers can sniff out posers. Find your voice, and follow it.

If you feel compelled to make your World War II movie a musical, go for it. If you want to write the story of your father's childhood, but you keep feeling like it would be even better as a zombie movie, do it. If you're writing a sitcom about three friends and a boundary-less neighbor named Kramer, and there's an excited part of you that really wants them all to be selfish assholes who talk about nothing, go there.


As an artist, you don't have to fit into a box like you may have wanted to back in middle school. Don't just create a story- create a story your way. There will be people who don't like it; they'll say it's "not for them." But you know what? There are a lot of people out there. And some of them prefer a different kind of drummer.

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