There's nothing quite like the feeling of succeeding on a project. However, as acclaimed director Christopher Nolan suggests, if you really want to get ahead in your career, don't just have a vague idea for your next project. Have a plan ready.
Photo by Becky Stern
As Nolan explains, having one success is great. It gives you confidence and you start to make a name for yourself. In those moments, the eyes of people who can boost your career are on you. If you're not ready with another idea, you can miss that opportunity entirely.
"The thing that happens to a lot of people is that you get that opportunity, somebody says I really loved your film, what else do you have. And if you don't have anything, or if you've just got vague ideas, it's very difficult to take advantage of that moment, and that moment doesn't come around again," he said. "You've got to jump on it."
Obviously, you don't have to have completed your next project as soon as you get attention for your current one (that's not how the flow of time works). But having an idea of where you want to go next can give you a leg up when opportunities arise. Don't just rely on vague notions of what might be cool. Start writing ideas down, put a little work into them in your idle time, and have them ready when a potential employer or collaborator comes asking around.
Christopher Nolan Talks "Devastating" Career Knocks [The Hollywood Reporter]