Part 2 – Karen Worden Speaks With True Film Courage

If you enjoyed the first part of my Q&A with Karen Worden from Film Courage read on.  Karen continues to inspire in Part 2.

In terms of being filmmakers what have you learned the most from doing your radio show?

Jeff and Blaise visiting Film Courage

What I’ve gained from many of our guests’ stories is that the journey to do and be more is never smooth.  Set-backs are inevitable.  Things will get canceled, locations will fall through,  you’ll order more dvds then you will sell.  I believe it’s the ability to keep going regardless of the pitfalls that determines success.  It’s so easy to throw up your hands and say “what I’m doing doesn’t matter.”  I think that’s what the naysayers did once.  They saw it was too hard.  They felt their work wasn’t effective.  So they threw in the towel and now they sit around criticizing others’ work.  Consistency at anything is crucial, but it is so terribly hard, especially if you are not getting paid in monetary terms.  Because then you have to work another job for money and this extracts energy from you. If you can find some way to keep going and achieve balance, you might just break through. We’ve listened to our guests and people at our Film Courage Interactives speak about continuing despite setbacks.  Sometimes when things get stressful, David will remind me “this is why most people quit” and it puts things in perspective.

Since “Goodbye Promise” is such a personal project for you, where do you see yourselves going as filmmakers?

As filmmakers, we are moving into the selling and distribution phase.  Our immediate future will put to use our business skills.  Additionally, we’ve been jotting down ideas for a pure comedy piece that will be our third feature.  However, we can’t focus on it until we are selling “Goodbye Promise” and “Night Before The Wedding”.  “Goodbye Promise” is about an actor (Matt played by Gregor Collins), who comes to LA and feels the years tick by without success.  In saying “goodbye” to the people he’s close to, he sees his own life reflected back to him through pieces of their lives.  David and I hope that “Goodbye Promise” strikes a chord with the audience.  It’s a story close to our hearts as we’ve lived it and been surrounded by people who’ve embodied its characters.

“Goodbye Promise” is essentially a film that was shot for no money. It’s not going to wow you with its technical aspects.  But it’s a highly personal story that we believe we can all relate to.

Where would you like to see Film Courage be a year from now?

We’d like to continue gathering new fans and engaging the listeners we’ve already teamed up with. We’ve been so blessed with very supportive fans.  They have kept us going.  Maybe they listen to the show for what our guests bring.  We keep doing the show for them.  Sometimes when I’m in a creative slump I gain strength knowing Film Courage has inspired people whom we don’t even know personally.  Maybe one of our guests said something about overcoming a challenge that some listener just happened to hear and is experiencing the same thing.  And from that point on, that listener views their life differently.  That’s a great feeling to know we’ve provided a platform for an artist to be heard and for another artist to receive this message. We just want to keep communicating with our growing listener base and monthly Film Courage Interactive attendees, as well as develop interviews with older names in the business who can inspire younger listeners.  We have an emerging audience in the UK and Germany that we’d like to expand upon.  Along with Cinefist and Cinema Speakeasy, we want The Film Courage Interactive to be part of a developing core film culture in Los Angeles.

When  you think about all of the interesting guests on your show, has there been one person’s story that you’ve identified with that has offered new perspective on your own film projects?

Director Patrick Hoelck with David and Karen

All of our guests have had some nugget of wisdom that I’ve gained from.  I really resonated with Director Patrick Hoelck’s interview.  He directed “Mercy” with Scott and James Caan.  Patrick is a celebrity photographer and has directed music videos in addition to “Mercy”.  Hearing his story of being a kid on the streets for a short time, battling drug addiction inspired me because he didn’t give in.  It would have been so easy to.  Patrick’s spirit was alive.  He said he looked forward to waking up in the morning and greeting each day.  Just seeing that someone had an opportunity to quit where the odds were stacked against them, but didn’t, encourages me.  It’s hard to come up with excuses in life when you hear a story like this.

Aside from Tom Cruise, whom I know you have mentioned before, who else would you like to have on your show and why?

I would love to interview Jason Patric and Robin Wright.  Their work is amazing.  Both are so real in front of the camera.  I’d like to know their processes on becoming a character, if they are critical of themselves on screen, and how they pick their roles. Robin shows a great range of emotion.  Jason can be very stoic at times, but you can feel the fire brimming below the surface.  Neither one of them gets enough credit as artists.  I like people who are slightly off the beaten path.  I don’t think the mainstream audience can handle their depth.  That being said, I’d love to interview each of them.  I think actors like that are born, not made.

Taking everything you have learned from doing the show and the networking events you have been holding what is the best piece of advice you can think of to pass on to other filmmakers?

I think it goes back to being deliberate and consistent in your actions to promote your work, hone your talent, etc.  I think interviews where people mention spending their time wisely in working toward something stand out to me.  I’ve noticed that the successful ones guard their time as a precious resource.  When I’m frittering away my time, I look at what’s coming up for me, which is usually fear.  Dave and I have discussed that so many people are talkers and so few people are actual doers.  It’s scary to do things to be a doer because you might have to break away from the group and risk ridicule.  One of my favorite quotes is from writer Hugh MacLeod (of the book Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity).  MacLeod says, “The price of being a sheep is BOREDOM. The price of being a wolf is LONELINESS.  Choose one or the other with great care.”

You can email Karen and David at or find them through any of the websites listed below:

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