I Lost the Magic

Creative failure is hard to own up to. Some directors have famously (and magnanimously) done so, from Spielberg to Soderbergh. But even they have a hard time pinning down exactly what led to the failure. So does this video essay on that very subject.


Andrew Saladino of The Royal Ocean Film Society takes a long look at creative failure in films… and in video essays. A long look, because this video runs over nine minutes even though Saladino himself concludes halfway through that he really doesn’t have anything more revelatory to say than “sometimes things get away from you”. But what is most interesting, apart from some good examples of feature films gone awry, is the way he deals with this creative insecurity. This video essay comments on itself, offering a (tongue-in-cheek) running commentary on its own shortcomings. It’s a meta-turn of events, and even though he plays the self-criticism for laughs, it still is something more video essay makers should dare to do publicly.