Beneath, Between, Behind the Scenes: Everybody Has a Great Idea for a Movie!

M. Francis Enright
3 min readMar 24, 2024
Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

M. Francis Enright is a filmmaker. His first short film, HR, was accepted into zero of the 23 festivals to which it was submitted. His second short film, The Routine, was nominated for Best Dark Comedy at the Georgia Comedy Film Festival. His third short film, Say Your Name, won Best Drama and Best Director at the Top Shorts Films Festival and has been selected for the 2024 Boston International Film Festival.

Everybody has a great idea for a movie.

How many times have you heard someone say, “Man, you know what would make a great movie?”

The conversation usually looks like this:

Late night in a bar, a couple of bros. Late 20s. Many emptied and half emptied bottles and glasses on the table. They work boring, pointless jobs that pay pretty well (finance, marketing etc.)

Chris: You know what we oughtta do?

Greg: What?

Chris: I’m serious though.

Chris puts on his serious drunk face.

Chris: We oughtta make a movie.

Greg: About what?

Chris: About us, about like, our lives bro, about our friendship and sticking together and what we been through. Cuz I been through some shit, and you been through some shit and we all (unintelligible) and that would be a fuckin awesome movie, man. Like a real movie.

And that is about as far as they get. In the cold light of dawn interest fades. The years go by. They get married, move to the suburbs, sink into life.

The yearning remains…

People love to talk about movies and making a movie in the abstract but actually sitting down at the laptop after work or on the weekend is a different story.

And it might be a great idea. However, there is nothing without the script. That needs to be completed before any planning or discussions can take place. Someone needs to sit down and write it. And that can be a long and lonely process. But that is where you separate out the people who really want to make a movie from those who like talking about making a movie. There are plenty of the latter, not too many of the former.

If and when you do get a project going, I guarantee that you will have people tell you that they really want to get involved. People love movies and it all sounds very exciting. However, once you tell the person that you need them to be at a location at 7am on a freezing cold Sunday morning in March, you see who is really into it.

I have had more than one person say to me, “I’m an awesome actor.” These are people who have never acted in anything. They have the mentality that anyone can do it. They do not realize all the hard work that goes into creating a character, understanding the motivations of the character, etc. It never fails to amaze me that people watch a movie and think, “I can do that”, without ever putting in an ounce of effort.

Because it is work. And much of it is not what I would call “fun”. Many people, once they realize that, don’t want to do it. But that is the difference between something that is “fun” and something that is “fulfilling”.

Any endeavor that you undertake that is worth anything is hard. By definition it is difficult. Otherwise, it isn’t worth anything.

If making movies, or doing anything creative was easy everyone would do it.

But they don’t.

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M. Francis Enright

Co-creator and cohost of The Working Experience Podcast. We explore what people do for work, how they do it and how they feel about it. Twice a week!