Chris Roberti: Better to be Done Than Good

Doug GoldringCommunity, Training

Hi! My name is Chris Roberti, longtime friend and fan of The Barrow Group. I don’t think I’ve written more than two blog posts in my entire life, including this one that I’m writing in 2023. Incredible.

I’m about to begin teaching a class very soon, and I hope you’ll consider joining. It’s called the “Short Film Creation Workshop,” and I really hate the name. It’s my own fault. You have to title these things like months in advance, and…whatever. But if I could rename it today, it would be called “At Hand,” or “Create!!!” Something like that.

I am someone who is lazy. But someone who also likes to make stuff. To make matters worse, I’ve found that I want what I make to be the best thing that’s ever been made. Not helpful.

So I’ve developed a mantra with the people I work with: Better to be done than good. We prioritize having finished work, rather than perfect or ideal or even good work.

And that, friends and folks, is what this class the “Short Film Creation Workshop” aka “At Hand” is about: Making stuff. It’s about getting ideas, and taking those ideas to completion without worrying about the outcome.

A very famous performance artist/influencer named Jesus Christ said, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” And a lot of people believe that this means, “The apocalypse is gonna happen any day and then we will be in heaven.” But I understand this to mean “This IS the kingdom of heaven. This is all there is. Right now. There’s nowhere to get to! What are you waiting for?”

Anyway, I’ve found the same is true for my work: I can make art right now, with the resources at hand. Anything I don’t have becomes a wonderful, clarifying restriction.

It doesn’t have to be good. It just has to be done. I need to be reminded of this all the time.

So that’s what this class will be. We will write manifestos. And do some drawing and handwriting. A lot of collaboration. A ton of play. And we’ll create short films, too.

I’m attempting to design this class, and a lot of my work, for someone who is ready, or stuck, or already riding waves of success, or who’s lost all hope. We will play. We will discover ideas. We will work with what is “At Hand.” We will directly engage with the experience of creating without the chatter and non-stop haranguing of the ego.

If this doesn’t sell you on this class I simply don’t know what will.

Come hang out with us, and most importantly, yourself.

The Short Film Creation Program begins on Monday, September 11 and meets twice a week from 6:30 to 9:30pm.