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Monday, June 10, 2013

FLASHBACK: Inside Out

This was one the very first blogs I wrote three years back when I was I writing Monsters in the Woods.

Coming out of college, a lot of aspiring filmmakers got to work right away in the industry. They usually start as a production assistant in whatever department will have them and work there until they can worm their way into their department of choice. Then they work towards advancing in that department in hopes of becoming “the” production designer, casting director, key grip, ect…ect. Along the way, most settle into a position somewhere in between P.A and department head. For the unfortunate few of us that just have to pursue a career as a writer, director or DP, the final goal is, more often then not, never reached. You could work the whole rest of your life on studio features, diligently working towards becoming a director and never make it. In fact, the odds are more likely that you won’t.

This was my train of thought five years ago when I decided to work outside of the industry and make movies independently. My rationale was that a full time industry job wouldn’t leave me with the time or energy I needed to develop and produce my own work. If I started in the industry and did slowly advance, as the money became better and I my lifestyle became more comfortable, I was afraid I lose my hunger to be a writer/director, making it easier to give up. Instead, I chose a job-type-job outside of the industry. A job that would pay my rent and bills, but would leave me ultimately unfulfilled. This way I would stay hungry and pursue my dream with even more conviction.

Six years later, I’m directing my forth feature. My first three were all distributed and my last actually made a little bit of money. I am still working that same day job. I shoot, edit and write on my time off. I live pay check to paycheck and project to project, the very embodiment of a starving artist (or pop artist.) This life style was kinda cool when I was fresh out of college and in my mid 20’s, but now well into my 30’s, I sometimes question the path I’ve taken.

But then, time and time again, a thought occurs to me: “I wouldn’t have it any other way!” I might live paycheck to paycheck, not own a nice car, or know exactly where I’ll be or how I’ll be doing a year from now, but I am (RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW) living my dream. I make movies, movies people actually see, hate, love, talk and/or write about. How many folks in this world can truthfully say that they are living and pursuing their dreams? And for me, that dream is growing and evolving. Here’s to the next five years of struggle!

****three years later and I'm outta my day job, just making flicks. Still don't have a nice car and am living month to month, but the opportunities are growing and the projects are getting bigger.

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