About the project

What made you go with this concept for FAIL?
Amy and I started kicking around ideas and we realized our own self doubt is a natural part of the creative process. What’s interesting is we weren’t doubting how the audience would receive the ideas, we were doubting the ideas themselves based on our own personal expectations and the high standards we set for ourselves. My film and Mike’s character shows how far self-doubt can take us from seeing the value of our work. You don’t even know what the character created. All you know is that he’s tormented by the fact that it might be hated by someone, ultimately proving that his work sucks. In my mind, every idea is just a starting point. It needs feedback and development to become bulletproof. And even then there are always ways to enhance it even more. I hope people can laugh with us if they see parts of themselves in this film.

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Do you really think you suck?
Ha, no! I hope not.  Like all or most of us in this creative business I do question my interpretation of my client’s creative requests at times, but in terms of knowing my craft and letting my intuition drive what I do, I don’t suck.  But I do suck at playing guitar; way too many strings for me to deal with at once. I can play Smoke On The Water on the bass. It has fewer strings.

This film points to the insecurities all creatives share. Why do we doubt ourselves so much?
I think self doubt has to do with being a creative thinker and the creative process itself. Mathematical questions tend to have one answer and it’s either right or wrong.  If it’s wrong you can go back and find the flaw in the equation and correct it.  As we explore a creative thought we look at it from many angles. We work from the heart and the mind, not a calculator.  We want to make our creative decisions bulletproof because they will be judged by clients and ultimately consumers. Self-doubt is our way of questioning the validity of our work. Embrace judgment and feedback. Be willing to change your approach to satisfy the creative challenge.

Is Mike Koldan your evil twin?
Mike Koldan is everyone’s evil twin, and I know a lot about genetics and family; just ask me.

Anything else you’d like to add?
I suck.

About the Filmmaker

Tim Wainwright, Producer, Director,
Director of Iphoneography

Amy Bown, Writer
Michael Koldan, Actor


It’s been called “the coolest mug shot ever.” Rock icon David Bowie, who was born on January 8, 1947, was arrested in Rochester on marijuana possession charges in 1976, after a concert appearance. Bowie later plead innocent to the charges and said he was “flattered and honored” by the hundreds of local fans who turned out for his arraignment. Bowie’s mug shot was discovered in 2007 among the estate of a retired Rochester police officer.

Illustration via @dellarious