Procrastination can be a good thing

“The Way of the Samurai is in desperateness… Common sense will not accomplish great things. Simply become insane and desperate.” – Hagakure: The Book of The Samurai

For the past two days, two of my friends and I have been desperately trying to get as much of our movie done for the TriMedia Film Festival. We worked for 12 hours on Monday, and 8 hours on Tuesday. We also went to bed at 3am on Monday and woke up four hours later to keep working. Needless to say, it’s been really hectic and very time-consuming.

One of the funny things about participating in this particular film festival is that we’ll be competing against movies with substantial budgets (up to $2 million dollars), experienced crew members, expensive cameras and software, and story lines written by professionals. For the most part, it’s just been me and three of my friends working on this thing. We’ve spent less than $60 total, we have very little experience, my camera sucks, I use iMovie to edit (compared to the industry standard Final Cut), and the script was written in just a few hours.

All of us are really busy and our schedules conflict. We rarely have time to sit down and work on this project together because we have jobs and other commitments. So when we all can work at the same time, it’s a mad rush to get as much done as possible in a few hours. This creates a huge sense of urgency, and that’s what makes us great. If we started working on this months ago, we’d feel that time cushion and never work hard. The project more than likely would have been abandoned because we’d spend our time talking about things instead of doing them. Since we only have 10 days left to slap this movie together, we work our asses off and come up with the best work that we can.

I’ve really learned the importance of time constraints in the last few months, especially when you’re working with a group. In my last semester of college, I never once wrote an essay earlier than the night before it was due, whether it was two pages or 12 pages. Waiting until the last minute would force me to get everything done all at once. In spite of working all night non-stop, my grades didn’t suffer at all. They actually improved. It’s hard to find ways to keep a group on task, but having that imminent deadline does the trick.

Procrastination gets a bad rep. Force yourself to work in desperation.

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