Caleb Minear Films
Filmmaking and Graphic Design based in Battle Creek, Michigan

Blog

Vision vs. Reality

I think any person, beyond even artists, struggles with executing their vision and having it not match up when it is fleshed out in front of you. Especially for me I find it difficult. Many times I have a clear vision for a project, something I am super excited about, but when I try to execute it, it just doesn't seem to work. This can get really frustrating, even upsetting. I think I always fall into this trap because I get these grand ideas, but during execution and editing I realise it is not matching up to what I have in my head. Sometimes you can adjust, but sometimes you have to realise that the vision was unrealistic to begin with. Whenever you get an idea, you really need to evaluate its practicality. Is it doable? That doesn't mean it is easy, but is it possible for you? I think the most valuable realisation I have had is that you can have an idea, but not neccesarily be doable right now. You might have to wait for a different time with different circumstances. Make sure to right that idea down though! I just started a notebook that I'm calling the "Big Idea Notebook". I have reserved a notebook specifically for those ideas that I can't do right now but want to come back to at a later time. Nothing else goes in that notebook, and it will sit on my desk forever.

 
My Field Notes pocket book transformed into my Big Idea Notebook

My Field Notes pocket book transformed into my Big Idea Notebook

 

Fighting the battle of making your vision a reality will be a life-long ordeal. It is very frustrating for me to have a great idea, but have it not turn out the way I want. I think the key thing I've learned, and something you should take into account and ask yourself is: Is the outcome good, even if it doesn't exactly match what I originally invisioned in my head. I tend to fall into the trap that if it's not exactly what I invisioned in my head, then it failed. Most of the time that is not true. We tend to put too much stress on an idea, and it takes good discernment to decide if the idea in all actuality failed, or if it just didn't stand up to your expectations. With me it is usually the second option. I tend to be extremely critical of my work and abandon it too quickly when it isn't as good as I expect it to be. This can be dangerous when working in a team environment when your idea may be good to the audience, but not good to yourself. You always have to think about how the audience will perceive it, and stop obsessing over it being perfect from your perspective. The general audience will probably not notice the failures you notice during editing. Just remember that when creating for an audience, you are serving them. It is easy to serve yourself instead which can hurt you and the audience you are trying to reach. 

There have been a lot of ideas that I have had to abandon because of their inpracticality. It takes a while as an artist to realise that not every idea you have will end up seeing the light of day and it takes a lot of experience to be able to judge when to abandon an idea and when to persevere and try again. The important thing is not to get discouraged when your idea fails. The fact of the matter is, they will. Ideas fail. I don't have a solution to the problem. I'm not sure anyone does. If you do want a good book to help with your ideas, I am currently finishing "Making Ideas Happen" by Scott Belsky, the creator of Behance. There are a lot of good tips in taking your ideas and making them happen succesfully. It is a book I would suggest most people to own, even beyond the artistic community. You can buy it below. 

Caleb Minear