Monday, October 11, 2010

What’s My Motivation?

Last night I saw the Social Network, a movie where the main character's chief motivation was gaining the attention of a former lover. In the movie this guy built a billion dollar empire all for a girl. It got me thinking about my own motivations for seeking a career in movies.

So why do I want to make movies for a living?

The simple answer is that I love them. Outside of family, friends, food and sex, movies are only thing that has consistently brought me pleasure in my life. Sure I’ve had other activities that I’ve enjoyed but nothing comes close to cinema. But why try and make them and make money at it. I like food. I can cook a bit. I could have went to culinary school, became a chef. At one time, I wanted to teach English. I like kids. But I’ve always come back to my “dream” to write and direct feature films. Why?

Money? Money isn’t that big a deal for me. Just like anyone else, sure I’d like to have plenty of it. But it’s not really a big motivator. If I have enough for my own place, car and a small nest egg, I’m fine. I don’t need or crave big fancy shit. I just don’t want to live paycheck to paycheck.

Fame? Maybe. I do have a narcissistic personality and I do crave attention and respect. That is probably a big part of it. I can’t say I’ve never rehearsed a future interview with a big magazine or award speech, but I don’t know that it’s the main thing either.

Artistic Expression? That is a big motivator. I’ve found recently, as my work becomes more personal that I have that need to get things out. I always heard filmmakers, writers; artists talk about a burning need to get a piece of work out. I never really understood that until very recently. Now it’s a major motivator. I have 3 or 4 scripts that I just “have” to make.

A Girl? Well…. There are one or two that might recognize themselves in my next couple of pieces. I’d be lying if I said some of it wasn’t out of a similar spite that the character in The Social Network felt. But while that might have originally motivated me, it’s now become more about working out those issues within myself.

When it comes down to it, at an early age, before I even considered or knew what making movies was all about, I knew that I was not meant for normalcy. I was never meant to work a regular 9 to 5. I was different. I fell in love with movies, first as a movie watcher then later as a moviemaker. Now I really don’t have any other choice. Sure I could take my degree and go get a job-type-job but I’d never be happy. I’d never find the joy in anything else that I find in making movies.

So making movies it is.


  1. it is important to realize that 9-5 is not normal if you are also not normal. i tried the corporate thing for about a minute and a half, and what nagged me is that i've wanted to own a bar since before i was old enough to drink, so i had to go do that. and i'm doing exactly that. and i'm broke, overworked, sleep-deprived, relatively lonely, and one million-percent thrilled with my life. jason, i met you over six years ago, and you impressed me then, and you impress me now.