When you first state that you're going to take on a project, a small gravity builds around that statement. When you say "I'm going to do this" out loud, a little part of you believes yourself. Then you tell people about it. Those people might check in about the project, and suddenly you hold some responsibility to it. Maybe a friend expresses interest in helping out and that friend tells another friend about the project they're helping out with. You set a project start date. You explore what you'd need to do to be ready by that date. You start chipping away, putting one small foot in front of the other, reaching out to friends to see if they know illustrators, lawyers, etc. They connect you. You spend more time working on the project, and you must talk about it when people ask what you're up to. More people know about it. The core group of people working on the project has grown. The illustrators and lawyers are working on the project. They're talking about the project they're working on to friends and family. Others see a project in motion and hold greater confidence that it will happen. Their confidence feeds your own. The ball is rolling, and now it's bigger than you. If you were to pull out or drop dead it might even roll on without you.
Our feature film project Killer Whales started as a bullet point on a piece of lined paper, and now it's 1.5 months away from filming. Actors, producers, financiers, lawyers, accountants, and set designers are a part of it's gravity. Our fears and doubts are drowned out by the responsibility we hold to all others involved in the project. We are in the thick of it now; the ball is rolling faster with each day.
Of course, the ball gets heavier the bigger it gets, and a big challenge I'm dealing with is how to keep a light mood about the whole thing. Maybe that's impossible with film productions. Maybe it's best to embrace the insanity and surrender to being a hectic, frenzied freak for a couple months. One thing I'm finding helpful is to think of the production as a game. Could fail, but it's fun to play. It's true that there's money involved and the stakes are high for more people than myself, but we're lucky enough to know that we have a families and friends to turn to if all goes to hell on the project. That understanding is helping me let go of the outcome and have a little fun with the process-- the adventure of the whole thing. My mantra: Play.