7 Steps to Inspire Creative Writing

A politely crazed fan secretly intervenes in the life of her new favorite novelist. Her clandestine actions yield unintended consequences driving the author to the brink of madness.

  • Zebulon Griffin
    The Chair, The Third Conflict, Best Format Ever Made
  • Zebulon Griffin
    The Chair
  • Zebulon Griffin
    The Chair
  • Cory Messer
    The Chair
  • Chaysen Beacham
    The Outsider
  • Rachel Keaton
    Key Cast
    "Claire Collins"
  • Mathew Weitz
    Key Cast
    "Marshall Matheson"
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes
  • Production Budget:
    4,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Zebulon Griffin

Zebulon Griffin is an Addy Award-winning and Emmy nominated Director with experience across commercials, marketing promos, documentaries, music videos, and short films. He has written and directed multiple award-winning short films including The Chair, 7 Steps To Inspire Creative Writing, and Habanos.

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Director Statement

7 Steps to Inspire Creative Writing is a dark comedy that explores themes of celebrity idolization, voyeurism, paranoia, and self-actualization.

I began writing this film in early 2019, inspired by a real-life jumpscare I experienced thinking an intruder had entered my home (It was literally just the wind) and a story from an old boss about how he secretly lived in someone’s garage for six months undetected.

At the time, I worked alone at home a lot and thought how paranoid I would become if evidence of someone co-opting my living space suddenly appeared. This seedling grew into the character Marshall, a somewhat known novelist who lives alone and is working on his second book. With the Claire character, I wanted to dive into the relationship between creator and fan. As fans, we tend to put artists and creators on a pedestal and (for the great ones at least) regard them as gods amongst mortals. I think this severely undermines the craft and effort that goes into the making of the thing. Claire starts off with this type of blind fanaticism of Marshall’s work but comes to realize that she herself possesses the talent and experience to write the book she would want to read.

I really wanted to plant a flag in the current zeitgeist. Viral videos, bird scooters, metal straws and all. A society caught somewhere between eco and ego. Stylistically and structurally, I chose to bookend the film with a Complex News style YouTube series about literature, and used a Buzzfeed-like step-by-step article to drive the narrative. These elements set the tone and help shape the world our characters live in. A world that idolizes celebrity but moves on quickly.

Zebulon Griffin