Reader Question: How to pursue one’s creative aspirations with a non-supportive spouse?

I provide a response, but could really use your thoughts on this one.

A reader question from Kevin Goulet:

Scott, Thank you for re-posting this series as we approach the new year. Just after revisiting Pt. 2- while I was thinking it through, evaluating 2016 and making my plan(s) for ’17, I could not help thinking of a colleague with a very distinct issue and wondered how many other Screenwriters -on the road to making a career of it- are in a similar predicament: Little or no support from their spouse. I believe there are seismic gaps between three ‘ways’ someone might live with a creative being (one of us): tolerating, supporting and embracing your loved one’s dreams. These different vibes may not resonate as being so vastly different from the non-writer/loved one’s POV, but I believe they most certainly do from the screenwriter’s often lonely seat. And I also believe one of those ‘ways’ leads to a detrimental relationship that can end up destroyed. Maybe this is a previously discussed topic I’ve missed reading about? What say you and any other screenwriters on their way to making it? Thoughts…? Advice…?

In the 8+ years I’ve hosted this blog, I don’t think I’ve (A) gotten this question or (B) taken it up as a subject. That seems weird to me because I know not all of us are fortunate enough to have significant others who bless us with endless reserves of patience, understanding, and encouragement… with an occasional shoulder rub thrown in.

Let me confess: Rebecca, my wife of 31 years, has not only accompanied me on the labyrinthine contours of my creative journey, she has also joined in each new venture with a hearty ‘yes’. Both of my sons, too.

So up front, I’ll just say I hope members of the GITS community who DO have experience along the lines of Kevin’s colleague will post a RESPONSE with their observations and advice.

For my part, how about if I use your breakdown, Kevin? Three categories: Tolerating, Supporting, Embracing.

Embracing: We should all be so lucky.

Supporting: This suggests that while they may not understand our creative mindset and yearnings, and indeed may have some reservations about it, nonetheless out of love — and grasping how important writing is to us — make a conscious choice to provide us space to pursue our dreams.

That said, I would imagine this type of relationship would lead to occasional, maybe even fairly frequent disagreements about how we are spend our time. Until someone comes along who can add hours to our days — and when that person comes along, I will be first in line to procure their services! — the reality is every hour we devote to writing is an hour we are not hanging out with our families, our job, whatever other relationship or responsibility we have. And if marriage / romantic relationships aim to be (pretty much) a zero-sum game, that balance can get out of whack depending upon where we are in any writing project. “But I’ve just GOT to finish this third act!”

Now this IS something I have run into in my life. For instance, just now I am swamped with work, so my family knows I have to do what I do as I transition into my new position as a professor at the DePaul University School of Cinematic Arts. I’ve shifted work priorities and that continues to be an evolving dynamic. What that means practically is I have to be really intentional about everything I do including when and how I spend time with my family. For example, I am carving out several hours tomorrow to take my family to the Music Box Theater and watch It’s a Wonderful Life on the big screen, followed by steaming hot bowls of my pumpkin cider soup (which is simmering on the stove at this precise moment).

I doubt I’m saying anything new. All of us have to find how to balance work time and family time. But what about that third category…

Tolerating: Perhaps just barely. Our partner letting us know they do NOT get WHY we’re doing WHAT we’re doing. It all seems like a WASTE of time. But WHATEVER. You do what you think you HAVE to do. And I’ll just… put up with it as best I can…

However when we pass each other in the hall, we can expect surly stares… frustrated muttering… and more often than not, a chilling silence.

Not the type of environment to engender creativity and can become quite problematic if our writing creates a deeper divisions between the couple.

It could be worse, I suppose. They could absolutely loathe the very idea of us doing something so capricious as writing. Deride and belittle us. Join in the chorus of the Voices Of Negativity. Who do you think you’re fooling? You think you have a chance of becoming a successful writer? The whole thing is just ridiculous!

Whatever the level of negative energy directed toward our creative efforts, my general advice would be to try however you can to help them grasp why it is so important to you. Not necessarily understand the creative calling itself. But rather the passion you have for something real and meaningful.

Do THEY have something they are equally passionate about? A hobby. An avocation. If so, there’s your entry point. What YOU feel about THAT is how I feel about WRITING. What’s more if they devote time to whatever their personal passion is, then you have a basis for dialogue regarding how each of you portion out time to pursue your individual interests.

But if they don’t have something they’re passionate about and can’t grasp why you write, that’s a tough situation. It makes me wonder if their antipathy or hostility is really about feeling hurt. That you show more passion for your writing than them. Almost as if you’re having an affair.

And let’s face it, writing can be an all consuming experience, pulling us into a universe of our own imagining, characters who come to life, hours flying by as we immerse ourselves in a story of our own creation.

Doing taxes or raking the leaves with our mate just doesn’t measure up to that, does it? And maybe that is what lies at the heart of the problem: They are jealous of us having our passion… and feel hurt.

This is where our experience as a writer can come in handy. Their toleration may only be the TEXT of what is going on. See if you can dig deeper in honest conversations with your mate to get to the EMOTIONAL SUBTEXT.

Here’s the thing: Ultimately if you are called by the Creative… if writing truly is your Bliss — vocation or avocation — then if you want to have any chance of leading an Authentic Life, you have to make room to give expression to your Voice. That is just an existential reality. One person. One life. One rapture. To do anything LESS than pursue one’s bliss is a tragedy.

Hopefully you find lovers, friends, business associates, mentors, and other creatives to create a community of support. If not, then you try your best to help them understand your passion. If they can’t, you have a choice: Follow your bliss or turn away from it in order to make your mate happy.

But then, will YOU be happy?

This is a difficult question, Kevin. I’m glad you asked it on behalf of your colleague. And again, if any GITS reader has some thoughts on the matter, please take time to write a RESPONSE. I certainly don’t think my meager response adequately covers the possibilities of what to do.

Bottom line: My best to your colleague, Kevin, and to any of you who struggle with this situation.

Reader Question: How to pursue one’s creative aspirations with a non-supportive spouse? was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story — Medium

Review: ‘Assassin’s Creed’ is the Best Video Game Adaptation So Far

Assassin's Creed Review

Assassin’s Creed is the best film adaptation of a video game we’ve ever seen. Granted, that’s not exactly a huge wall to scale. The world of video games adapted to the big screen has had more valleys than peaks, and problematic films like Silent Hill and Resident Evil are considered the best this brand of movie making has to offer. Cult status has been kind to movies like Super Mario Bros. and Mortal Kombat in recent years, but even those fall into the category of fun rather than good. Leave it to a filmmaker like Justin Kurzel (of Snowtown and Macbeth) to show how it’s done. With breathtaking visuals, commendable performances, and an unconventional story Assassin’s Creed handily Parkours its way up through the ranks to come out ›››

Continue reading Review: ‘Assassin’s Creed’ is the Best Video Game Adaptation So Far

Enter to win an exclusive ‘Stargate Atlantis’ prize pack from COMET TV!

Stargate Atlantis is now on COMET and, to celebrate, we have a Stargate Atlantis prize pack to giveaway to one of our lucky readers! In addition to the Stargate series, COMET is now showing the best in fun cult classic films and television shows right now. COMET is the ultimate home for sci-fi and horror and, the best part is, it’s all totally free, no subscriptions needed, unlike most streaming networks. You can find COMET on television digi-networks and online at The prize pack contains: – One COMET/Stargate Atlantis Exclusive Shirt – One Comfy Alien Head Beanie – One Stargate Atlantis Necklace – Two Stargate Patches – One COMET Alien Head Stress Ball To enter, shoot us an email at an tell us what your favorite sci-fi movie or TV show is, and why. One entry per person, please. The contest ends Dec. 31, 2016 at 11:59 PM. Good luck!

The post Enter to win an exclusive ‘Stargate Atlantis’ prize pack from COMET TV! appeared first on On Location Vacations.

On Location Vacations

Official Trailer for ‘How to Be a Latin Lover’ Starring Eugenio Derbez

How to Be a Latin Lover Trailer

«I can’t believe what comes out of your mouth!» Pantelion Films has debuted a trailer for a comedy titled How to Be a Latin Lover, which features an impressive cast and is actually the feature directorial debut of actor Ken Marino (who has been directing episodes of «Childrens Hospital» and «Burning Love» before this). Eugenio Derbez stars as the titular «Latin lover» who spends most of his time wooing wealthy older women, but ends up dumped and is forced to move in with his sister — who just so happens to be played by Salma Hayek. While living with her, he bonds with her nerdy son, Hugo, played by Raphael Alejandro. The rest of the cast includes Kristen Bell, Raquel Welch, Mckenna Grace, Rob Lowe, Michael Cera, Michaela Watkins, Rob Corddry, Rob Riggle, Rob Huebel & Renée Taylor. This looks fun… maybe. ›››

Continue reading Official Trailer for ‘How to Be a Latin Lover’ Starring Eugenio Derbez

Free Stocking Stuffers For Filmmakers

Free Stocking Stuffers for Filmmakerts
I know what it’s like: Finally released from work. The streets are packed with shoppers. You blew the Christmas budget on others. And you still need a few little extras to pad up the gift pile under the tree [or for yourself].

Here’s the Raindance suggestions of cool gifts you can give filmmakers. None of these will cost you a penny.


Have a great holiday.
Let’s make movies!

Elliot Grove
Founder, Raindance Film Festival & British Independent Film Awards

Chris Nolan Script Suite
How about this? Eight Chris Nolan scripts on PDF. Everything from his very first £5,000 featuere The Following to Batman Begins. Print them out and wrap them in sparkly paper, or shove them all onto a pen drive and drop it into a stocking.Get your FREE DOWNLOADS >HERE<
Forward to a friend
Zero Budget Software GuideZero budget software guide
Whether you are writing a script, creating production paperwork, shooting, editing or creating a sound track you’ll need expensive software to do the job. Right? Not if you have the free and legal software we have assembled. Download and present this as a great surprise Christmas gift to that film crazy friend of yours.Get $ 15,000/£12,000 of FREE FILM SOFTWARE >HERE<

Raindance is offering a special one-day 360/VR class on Saturday 21st January

360/VR eBook
VR is hotter than hot right now. Why sit this out when you can download our brand new VR eBook?Get your free VR eBook >HERE<

Give the gift of Raindance

Take the guesswork out of Christmas. Let your film-loving friends and family choose from our 35 mouth-watering film training courses with a gift voucher.


The post Free Stocking Stuffers For Filmmakers appeared first on Raindance.


Writing Goals: 2017 [Part 9] — The Only Way Out Is Through

10 part series for writers to consider what we did in 2016 and will do in 2017.

We pick up from last week with our year-end attempt to help GITS readers set and achieve their writing goals for 2017. To revisit the process of self-reflection from last week, here are the links:

Part 1: Looking Back

Part 2: Assessing Where You Are

Part 3: Where Do You Want To Go As A Writer?

Part 4: Practical Matters

Part 5: Going Public

This week we shift the focus to a more pragmatic part of the discussion, considering a variety of tips about how to manage time and projects more efficiently. Here is what we have thus far:

Part 6: Schedule

Part 7: Time Management

Part 8: First Draft

Today: The Only Way Out Is Through

Imagine the process of writing a story as being a journey. Perhaps as you embark on your adventure, you have a map — an outline or beat sheet. Or maybe you don’t, plunging into your story in order to find it along the way. In either case, it’s almost certain that you will reach points in the writing process where you will feel lost. The plot isn’t working like you thought it would. Your characters feel remote and confusing. Your scenes don’t seem to be working. Your map or instincts become a labyrinth. Basically you are left to ponder, “What the hell was I thinking?”

That’s when you are tempted to give up.

Don’t. Giving up doesn’t get you out, rather it only allows you to avoid story — or so you think. It still exists. And by quitting, you create a shadow, your story as unfulfilled potential looming over you like a ghost.

No, the only way out is through.

You have to push yourself through your feelings of doubt. Push yourself through the ambiguities of your plot. Push yourself through the hard work of pounding out pages.

Rather than quitting, take the opposite approach: Go deeper into your story. To paraphrase “The X-Files,” the truth is in there!

If you go through the process, you will find your way out.

Every journey has its twists and turns. You may not be able to see where you’re heading around the next turn, but the fact is there is a path.

And the only way out is through.

This is one of the two most profound and powerful writing mantras I know. The other one I will reveal tomorrow in the final post in this series.

Writing Goals: 2017 [Part 9] — The Only Way Out Is Through was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story — Medium

New ‘Alien: Covenant’ Photos Go a Long Way to Confirming That R-Rating

alien covenant images

The steady stream of Alien: Covenant news over the past few days suggests that we’ll be seeing the first trailer for Ridley Scott‘s Prometheus sequel soon enough (perhaps as soon as this weekend, if rumors are true). In the meantime, we can just enjoy these new images, one that teases a familiar location and one that seems to make good on the early word that this will be an R-rated motion picture.

Like the most recent round of Alien Covenant photos, these pictures come our way via the Alien Anthology Twitter account. They also don’t appear to be stills from the film, but pictures taken on set. Still, there’s plenty to for the already initiated Alien fan to appreciate here, starting with this familiar corridor:

That inherently unsettling architecture is the work of the Engineers, the mysterious aliens that seemingly created the human race as well as the Xenomorphs themselves. We got our first look at their distinctive design work and technology back in 1979’s Alien, but we didn’t learn its actual origins until 2012’s Prometheus.

The second picture is more visceral, in the literal sense of the word:

After all, is it really an Alien movie if there isn’t blood and guts and bowels and brains splattering the walls and windows of spaceships and/or human facilities? If you exclude the first Alien vs. Predator movie (which would be a wise move beneficial to both your emotional and mental health), this entire series hasn’t been shy with the red stuff. How do you even consider making a movie about the universe’s perfect killing machine without tearing a cast of unsuspecting humans into tiny pieces?

Alien: Covenant opens on May 19, 2017. You can probably expect the first trailer to drop any time now. Here’s the official synopsis:

Set as the second chapter in a prequel trilogy that began with Prometheus, Alien: Covenant connects directly to Ridley Scott’s 1979 seminal work of science fiction. It begins with the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy. There, the crew discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world — whose sole inhabitant is the “synthetic” David, survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.

The post New ‘Alien: Covenant’ Photos Go a Long Way to Confirming That R-Rating appeared first on /Film.


8 Egregiously Underrated Indies from 2016 That You Need to See

These movies that you might have missed this year deserve your immediate attention. Here’s why.

Every year, small movies slip through the cracks. It’s easy to let them slide—after all, Rogue One is out now. And you have to catch up on your Oscar bait, right?

While we’re certainly fans of the big guns, the underdogs often prove to be the most thought-provoking, complex, and artistic films on offer. Here are eight that created an indelible impression on us this year.

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No Film School

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling will be honored at the Santa Barbara Film Fest in February

As LA LA Land hits theaters, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival has announced that the film’s stars, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, will be presented with the 2017 Outstanding Performers of the Year award on Friday, February 3, 2017 for their remarkable performances in Damien Chazelle’s dazzling movie. This marks the first time Stone has been honored by the festival and will be a return for Gosling who was the inaugural recipient of the Cinema Vanguard Award in 2008. The tribute, which will take place at Santa Barbara’s historic Arlington Theatre, will be moderated by SBIFF’s Executive Director Roger Durling. The 32nd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place from Wednesday, February 1 through Saturday, February 11. Durling stated, “Ryan and Emma’s luminous performances in La La Land remind us of the transformative and magical role of cinema. We are so proud to celebrate them and this incredible film and its nod to the classic love stories of Old Hollywood with a contemporary twist.” Gosling and Stone will join a recognized group of previous Outstanding Performer Award recipients, including Brie Larson and Saoirse Ronan, Steve Carell, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Viola Davis, James Franco, Colin Firth, Penelope..

The post Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling will be honored at the Santa Barbara Film Fest in February appeared first on On Location Vacations.

On Location Vacations

No Film School’s Top 10 Indie Films of the Year

The official list of 2016 favorites by No Film School writers and editors—a diverse group who really, really loves movies.

It’s safe to say that the No Film School team thinks about movies a lot. When we are not making them, we are watching them. When we are done watching them, we write about them. All year long, we are attending festivals, testing gear, and interviewing other filmmakers who we admire, but there’s one thing that we don’t usually do: film criticism. Our job is generally to learn and share how the movies were made, regardless of how they turned out. No matter how bad the film, we can always learn something from its production.

That’s why we’re especially excited to reveal the movies that we loved this year. And they all happen to have pretty interesting production stories, too. It was an exciting year for indies, and our list represents everything from Oscar-hopefuls to Cannes-winners to little-known outliers to farting corpses. Enjoy!

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No Film School

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