Filmmaking & Miniatures: 5 Tips To Stay Motivated

Jason van Domburg

5/18/20233 min read

Staying motivated when working on a creative project, isn’t always as easy as it seems. You go through a lot of iterations that might not be exactly as you pictured it. And rather than redoing it all over again, you end up abandoning the project all together.

Sound familiar? Here are five tips that can help you stay on track and keep making films and miniatures (or any other creative project):

Don't limit yourself to making everything from scratch. Sometimes when solving complex problems, the best solution is an easy solution. Take the establishing shot of my brand film ‘Meet A Day Off!’: I knew I wanted to animate some windy bushes, but had no idea how to make them. Until I was shopping and walked past a couple of scrubbing brushes that were perfect for the job.
So keep an open mind!

1. Be resourceful

2. Trust the process

It’s easy to get discouraged when your creative project starts off looking like trash. In the case of miniatures or filmsets, chances are that it’s probably even made out of trash.

But just trust the process.

During our project ‘Efteling in Concert’ we had to tell ourselves this countless times. Every prop went through multiple ugly stages, until the holy paint-job brought everything together.

3. Prevent creative block

Ambition is a great thing, but it can also hold you back from finishing projects. Knowing when to shelve an idea and move on to something that gets things done is crucial. You can always revisit those currently over-ambitious ideas once the timing feels right.

When you’re drawing blanks, try something new! Learning a new skill or technique can provide fresh inspiration and keep your creativity flowing.

Last year I was starting to feel that my work was getting to a point where it didn’t always scratch my creative itch. So I tried something I’ve been scared of for years: electronics and practical lighting. I went into the rabbit hole and came out of it with tons of new ideas!

4. Aim high and act now

A huge inspiration of mine is Wes Anderson. In particular, his stop motion film ‘Isle of Dogs’. I would love to work on one of his films, though I know chances are slim. So I try to draw inspiration from his work and apply it to my own style.

So what’s the take-away here?
Make the work you want to be making.
Don’t wait around for it to magically happen.

5. Done is better than perfect

Of course, all of this is easier said than done. But just remember to stay curious and be willing to make sacrifices when needed.

Keep the creative juices flowing and don't let setbacks get the better of you.

➞ Meet A Day Off!
➞ Efteling in Concert
➞ 3 Important Aspects That Explain The Value of Handcrafted Miniatures.

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