Like the majority of people looking for an innocent little time-passer, I got sucked into Candy Crush. Not like some people got sucked up into it. I only played on my iPod, never asked for or bought more lives, or longer play. I appreciated the 5 lives limit. After that, it was time to get back to work.
I had certain rules about Candy Crush. I wouldn’t let myself go on to the next “adventure” until I got 3 stars on all levels. Only then could I proceed. Then, a “tooth fairy” started gifting me levels. Bless her for that. Not one to pass an opportunity, I would go off on the new adventure, then go back and do my best to conquer those single- and double-star levels. But, another gift would soon appear. Thus, there are a few two-star levels still on my game.
You need distraction as a screenwriter/filmmaker. It greatly helps the creative process, and soothes the soul during the talent- and funds-seeking process. I often play while writing to clear my head between scene. I play when I want to numb myself after a bad day, and am too lazy to get up and make a cocktail. Sometimes, though, I play just to play it. Right now, I’m stuck on level 288. That one’s a brat. But, I won’t give up. I’m not going to cheat it. I don’t even bother to get frustrated by it. Because I’ve learned something from playing this silly-game-that-makes-you-angry-at-chocolate and, funnily enough, it directly applies to filmmaking:
You just gotta be patient and keep on playing.
The thing about Candy Crush is that skill and strategy only take you so far. They help but, at the end of the day, it’s just about the dumb luck that comes from staying in the game. That might be hard to admit, but it’s true.
There’s always that point in the game when you’re on an annoying level with one move left; it all seems impossible so you think, “What the hell?” and just make a random move…then BOOM! Shit goes berserk. Everything lights up and blows up and, the next thing you know: 3 stars and a high score.
Or, you just play without thinking too much about it, knowing it’s a challenging level (I hate the timed games; I tense when I know the clock is ticking), and do better than you ever would have imagined with barely any effort. I scored 3,669,720 on level 252. That was a true, “What the hell/How did that happen?” moment, and it gave me pause.
That’s filmmaking in a nutshell.
You might have talent, a fantastic project, you might be skilled beyond measure, have connections, a plan, a meticulously crafted strategy — but, at the end of the day, it comes down to that stroke of luck, that come out of nowhere and blows you away. And you can only have that luck if you stay in the game.
I’m staying in the game.
And, the truth is, you might only get lucky once. Filmmaking is a much harder game. Then you can do is start again and play the best game you can. You never know when that luck might strike again.