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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Buggs

7 Habits and Indie Filmmaking - 7. Sharpen the Saw

In this series, we consider how the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey relates to indie filmmakers. In this post, we discuss the "Sharpen the Saw" habit.


When we first started out our journey into helping independent filmmakers, we did our best to build a library of filmmaking resources to give our audience the best of the best at the click of a button. What we soon came to realize is that, though these resources were indeed valuable, they weren't the critical resources that were missing from filmmaker's lives.


There's no doubt that the teachings of Mamet, Goldman, Biskind, Obst, Kazan, and Lumet are timeless and truly valuable. There is so much that filmmakers can learn from D4Darius, Corridor Digital, and The Nerdwriter. The knowledge and insights shared by Director's Club, IndieFilmHustle, and the Go Creative Show provide a treasure trove of goodness. But indie filmmakers are people first.


"Sharpening the saw"is about becoming a better version of yourself as a human, as a friend, as a partner, as a collaborator, as a parent, as a listener, as a coach, as a student, and whatever else you may be so that you can become a better filmmaker. It is about creating opportunities for renewal through refinement.


As your filmmaking journey continues from one day to the next, it is important to carve out opportunities for renewal in a few key areas:


  • Physical

  • Spiritual

  • Mental

  • Social/Emotional


Each of these areas is important because continued renewal enables you to create balance in your life to maintain the resources (both tangible and intangible) to reach your goals.


Imagine being so physically exhausted that you can't make it through another day of filming. Now imagine how the disappointment of not getting that next shot will weigh on your spiritual health and mental state. To make matters worse, this negative mental state may cause you to lash out emotionally, hurting others around you in your social circle. That's imbalance and that's no good.


This is where we believe filmmakers tend to lose sight of their own personal development. They become so lost in the doing that they forget about the "being". They neglect routine physical, spiritual, mental, and social/emotional healing and renewal which eventually affects their ability to be great filmmakers.


So, without further ado, here are just a few resources we believe will help our filmmaking friends refresh and renew: