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December 09, 2008

You have to believe to see...

Many people have heard the phrase "I'll believe it when I see it." Yet often the exact opposite is true. You only start to see things when you believe in them. What you'll expect, what you believe is possible creates a context by which you'll filter the world.

Lately I've been writing with a screenwriter from Delaware who placed in the Nicholl competition, just like I did. He's kind of my strange "what I might be." He has two kids and a wife and is very hesitant to move from Delaware to CA. He said the main reason was that "he didn't know if he was good enough." And if he "knew he was good enough, he'd move in a heartbeat."

He wants to see something, and then he'll believe. So much so that he's kind of ignored things that are right in front of his face - placing in the Nicholl competition should be a pretty good hint that you're a good writer! - and still not really believing. I told him that what he wants is some kind of guarantee against failure, and that faith rarely gets such things. What faith will give you, though, is the ability to accomplish and see things that you DEFINITELY wouldn't get to do or see without it. I doesn't make things a 100% sure bet, but It opens up the possibilities in such a beautiful and dramatic way.

Here are UCLA some of the new screenwriting students are not having a very good time of things. It's odd, this class in particular just seems to be disappointed by the experience. By and large, my year did not feel this way. The teacher that we thought was a complete and total genius, a treasure to filmmakers, and worth his weight in gold they consider a prattering old fool. The teacher that I know to be an incredible inspiration they think to be bossy and arrogant. The teacher I believe to be a true professional and a dispenser of decades of hard fought insider tips and wisdom they've labeled a loud blowhard.

And guess what? I get the geniuses, the inspiration, and the wisdom. They get the boring old fools, bossy and arrogant. Because you have to believe to see. You tell me, whose getting the better deal here in school?

Posted by jason on December 9, 2008 12:34 AM


People in my family get sick of hearing me say it, but one of my favorite expressions is "What harm can come from being positive?"

If nothing else, my life is a lot better for the fact that I'm not miserable all the time, even if everything doesn't always turn out the way I would prefer. I usually find something useful in every experience, good or bad.

There is more than one way to measure success. You are already there.

Posted by: Anonymous on December 9, 2008 01:06 AM

exactly. your perspective has so much to do with your life, and it is what got you where you already are. This is a good post. Inspirational. It might have to do with the fact that right before I read it, I decided to finally stop thinking of you as a loud blowhard...

And I actually liked the post. Yeah, I can see the connection; I think you're onto something, Jase;-)

Posted by: jessica on December 9, 2008 01:23 AM

Great post...and great outlook, too, Jase!

Posted by: kathiek on December 9, 2008 11:39 PM

I loved this post! I so much agree with your outlook on life! Why can't people define others by their most wonderful moments rather than their worst moments? We humans love to label people--how about labeling them according to their best traits? It wouldn't do any harm and it would cause amazing transformation and positive things to happen! Like that man of La Mancha!

Posted by: Mom on December 10, 2008 07:55 AM

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