You’re probably going to be hearing a lot about a wild absurdist comedy movie called “Sorry to Bother You.”
It rocked the Sundance Film Festival.
Lo and behold, the screenwriter and director, Boots Riley, is the brother of a friend of mine, Denise James (a former 6abc reporter).
Anyway, my friends and I helped pack a movie theater last night to see the movie and then see Boots.
Now, the reason I’m telling you all of this is that when asked how he got this movie made..well, it was a long and winding tale.
Seven years. Seven years he worked on the script!
Seven years begging people to look at it, invest in it, critique it, change it. Seven years and now it’s opening in movie theaters all over the country.
Boots used the connections he’d made as a rapper and lead vocalist for The Coup to get his script seen by some Hollywood friends. Some never bothered to read it. Bet they wish they had now. The thing is, he’d gone to film school. He’s always wanted to make a movie and he never quit on that dream.
The ability to stick with something, to work on a project for a long time, is something that is considered a hallmark of “grit”. (See Angela Duckworth’s book on GRIT)
Think about it.
The people who put rockets in space, work on documentaries, books, build bridges and buildings, medical research….anything that takes months or years to see to the end, that takes grit. Working through setbacks, difficult problems…all of that is part of the process but the most successful people in the world can do it.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently since I’m on year 9 of working on my master’s degree and all I want to do is cross the finish line with this thesis I’m working on. It’s crazy hard to stick with it and some days it is just one foot in front of the other.
I tell my students it’s important to work on something difficult, something that challenges you, makes you struggle to figure it out and I’m right there with them.
Pressing the easy button? It usually doesn’t teach you much or yield much that’s groundbreaking or interesting.
Anyway, I was heartened to hear about Boot’s gritty journey that finally got his movie made. (I loved the movie. Go see it.) It just gave me a little inspiration to keep going.
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