How do you consume your Creativity?

By Courtney James

Every great story you are going to write in your life begins with an idea that consumes you. Not everyone is going to understand your idea, and the passion you share to tell it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth pursuing. Storytelling is subjective and the biggest thing that needs to be recognized is the concepts you create are not bad (I feel you can pull a good story from any idea) but writing them to showcase requires practice. I’m a firm believer that you need to challenge yourself. Sometimes the best way to do this is to think outside the box… just start writing a concept and let your mind go. I feel it’s important not to put restraints on yourself because these can become handcuffs to your creativity.

I like to just sit in front of my lap top, clear my mind, and just started thinking and writing log lines for potential films and shows for the future. When is the last time you just sat in front of a computer and unloaded random ideas while blasting music? This to me is mandatory if you truly want to become a writer, a film maker, a playwright, or even a blogger. It doesn’t really begin until you get your ideas out of your head and for me — right now — I have a killer mix from DJ Tennis blasting in the background and it’s wonderful where it’s taking my state of mind. I just felt like writing today and this is how I do it. How about you? Nothing is stupid when it comes to the process of getting yourself to write other than NOT trying anything at all… When are you going to pull the trigger and just sit down and do it?

This is a spec commercial I created out of the urge to be creative

Where do we begin? For me, I like to create ‘out of the box’ concepts and try to make them relatable. I feel my style has some edge and I need to feed that beast sometimes. I still love my commercial comedies, romances, and dramas, we get exposed to from Hollywood; I can appreciate what they bring to the table and they are fun to write… It’s all about being adaptable if you truly want to make a living out of this.

What do you want out this? My answer to this question is I’ve made the decision to make this my career path, along with producing and directing. Writing is something I love doing but what really excites me is taking it off the page. For me — pulling the trigger — is a big under taking but really rewarding. I NEED to produce it no matter what… especially when you know it’s a tough sell. Obviously, you need to take into consideration the costs but a good rule of thumb is making sure that some of your projects can come to life in an affordable way. I’m always taking that into consideration when I write because the bigger budget films and television concepts usually have a waiting game attached to them. For me… it SUCKS waiting to shoot something but it’s the name of the game. The only way to get better is to just do it and learn your craft in the trenches… Recently I’ve been dealing with two concepts that fall under this scenario. The projects I’m talking about are two completely different storytelling mediums for me right now. The first one is a web series that we hope to develop one day into a cable or netflix comedy. This is something I’ve just moved forward and made on my own time with my creative colleagues… I’ve spoken about this series in the past — it’s called The Fursona Files. It’s a comedy about finding your identity and we follow the lives of cosplay characters who range from practicing Furries, Bronies, Plushies, Gamers, and Clowns… The first chapter of this series follows an elderly practicing furry who dresses like a dinosaur and calls himself T-Bone.

Check out the first episode (of four) of my ‘out of the box’ comedy web series

His life turns upside down when his long-lost love (the woman who introduced him to this furry culture) comes back to town after 25 years. This story is called ‘A Dinosaur’s Tale’ and the responses over the last year have been fantastic. I wasn’t sure what to expect but we have managed to find an audience that continues to grow. After doing several festivals and theatre screenings, we recently put the four-episode season on our YouTube channel. The second chapter “Clown Tales” we just finished producing and posted to our website this past January… We just started sending this new season out to festivals for 2017/18 but it’s available now to view along with all our other Fursona Files content here: www.thefursonafiles.com

The second chapter of my ‘out of the box’ web series

This project I would consider my ‘Out of the Box’ concept that consumed me for quite some time because of my fascination with what makes people want to be someone else? I felt there was a lot of interesting characters to explore as a writer and we could delve into some comedy and drama which I love making. Now the first response from a lot of people was a “shake of the head” until I finished the episodes and they saw the end result. Some people had a hard time wrapping their head around what these cultures and communities did when I talked about making this web series and that to me is when I knew I wanted to do it more. What do you want out of this? That was the question I would ask myself the more I thought about the project. You need to know what kind of writer you want to be and have goals to bring any of your ideas to life at some point. This project was all about following through and to be honest — it was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had as a writer, producer, and director. The talented people I got to meet making this, the problems I got to solve on set and in the editing room, gave me a confidence in my film making process that I can’t wait to apply to my future productions.

For my second project this year I managed to get some heat on a feature horror film I’m developing called Raveage. This is a genre movie that I can’t do with the resources I have but it’s been the gateway to meeting an incredible team of established producers, actors, and companies that want to help me make this movie a reality. The process is a lot slower but it’s rewarding in so many other ways. This feature comes from a passion I have for dance music culture and scary movies… The development process has been amazing and I’m really excited about the script and our marketing strategy. Here’s a little teaser to get you in the mood…

This has been the long game production assignment for me this year that will probably roll into 2018. What has kept me sane in developing a bigger budget concept like this is having my outlets like The Fursona Files to remind me how special it can be when we just go for it. The results can be amazing on this level and I feel ready to take on this immense pressure of big budget film making because of the trial and error situations you deal with in these smaller productions.

The life of a story teller is clear to me; we need to tell stories no matter what. I write these thoughts hoping to inspire people who might be looking for their creativity. Sometimes life gets in the way and there isn’t enough time to balance everything. My advice to you is make the time… let it consume you. I know your ready…

Until next time!