Most Valuable Lessons For Artists Come When They Are Knocked Down – R. Ellis Frazier

R. Ellis Frazier, Director, Producer, CEO at BADHOUSE StudiosThree weeks later we’re going to be on some red carpet somewhere and William Morris is going to call someone to sign us. None of that happened.

Film Courage: You’ve mentioned that a beautiful lesson for creative people is getting knocked down. Why is that? It sounds troubling. Why would that be good?

Frazier: It’s been said a lot You don’t know who you are until you’ve been knocked down and figure out who you are. Who you are is always in how you get up and how gracefully you can get up without retaining too much anger and resentment for things. You’re going to get knocked down in the film business. I don’t care if you’re how high up you are, there’s going to be issues. When you’ve been down, then you can get up.

Image from R. Ellis Frazier’s IMDB

“When you get knocked down, that’s where the lessons are.”

We had a film that we were going to do that was going to be this bigger film. It was going to be the one that goes up and up. It got all the way to location scouting (everything), we had production offices (everything). Something happened and the bottom just dropped out of it. We literally were in the production office, they said Movie’s off. We’re like What are we going to do now? A lot of people just went their separate ways and everything else. I still remember how low that felt and then it wasn’t like you try to save it Oh maybe we can go over here and somebody will do it. That didn’t work so we just had nothing. We had to start over from scratch. I thought Wow, what a great lesson that is. What a great, humbling experience. I know now that it’s not just going to go just like I want it. We need to be able to figure out how to bring yourself back up from that. That is where you learn the most valuable lessons in life and in film. In life obviously it’s how you test your strength and ability to stay focused. In film you learn how to do things that you were going to hire three guys to do. Now you can hire one guy to do something and you learn that you can do it with the one guy if you help. You learn how these things all work and how they all kind of work together and you become a better filmmaker that way.

When you get knocked down, that’s where the lessons are. I had said before the first film we were kind of on cloud nine. We didn’t know what was going on. We just knew three weeks later we’re going to be on some red carpet somewhere and William Morris is going to call someone to sign us. None of that happened. The real lessons were learned after we had that thing fought from under us and say Okay, now we can rebuild with something solid where we know what we’re doing…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

Image from R. Ellis Frazier’s IMDB

BIO:

R. Ellis Frazier is a producer and director, known for Across the Line: The Exodus of Charlie Wright (2010), The Line (2009) and Misfire (2014) and many more. Frazier is the CEO of Badhouse Studios Mexico.

 

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