Thanks, dude (Seriously).

Admitting to live without

“Like, I have to make films, douknowhatImean?”

I’m sure he thought I was just another fan who saw his Staff Picks on Vimeo and thought I could squeeze a formula out of him. The conversation reeked of Let-me-tell-ya-something-kid and was thick with parting words of advice for an aspiring young filmmaker.

We’re both 25, mind you, so his frustrated tone — though sprinkled with genuine exhaustion — made me feel like I was huddling under the wing of my 4-minutes-older brother.

Alas, I had set this whole thing up, so I scribbled down notes. Three freakin’ pages worth, front and back. I honestly felt like a bit of an idiot. I mean, I loved this dude’s work — love* I still do — but the more questions he answered and the more advice he gave me, the less I understood why I had tracked him down in the first place.

I know that the size of your crew doesn’t dictate the quality of your product and, yes, I understand that everybody’s process is different.

I spent much of the phone call stumbling over my own clarifications of understanding, which I guess didn’t aid in my defense, but I felt like I was gasping for air — for something — huddled in my just-bigger-than-a-closet studio on my employer’s time.

I figured I should call it — though at this point I wasn’t sure if it was for his or my own sake — so I began to wrap things up. I excused the shitty reception of cell service. “This studio is barely big enough for the brooms, ya know?” He didn’t, but I knew that.

Then, he closed with, “There’s one piece of advice that I’ve never given anyone before.”

Oh, good

“Ask yourself, ‘Would it be okay if I never made another film ever again?’”

He followed up:

“Like, I have to make films, douknowhatImean?”

Most people I know would be shocked to learn that if I never touched a camera ever again, I wouldn’t be all that upset. I’d find something else, because filmmaking is just a vehicle. Marketing and business, too. Virtually everything I am passionate about doing is such because they are vehicles for something greater.

Despite being taught that winners are the ones who were born to do This or have That in their blood, Why you do what you do is what guides everything. I had lost sight of that.

I spent two hours on the phone with a filmmaker who I idolize, running through a laundry list of questions, thinking that I was there to learn about filmmaking, when all I really wanted was to be let in; to be given something that I could then give back to others.

I don’t pick up a camera every day because I can’t imagine my life without one. I do it out of a growing desire to become more empathetic. To put myself in a position to better understand people. To inform others. It’s why I do nearly everything I do, and there are a million ways for me to fulfill that calling.

So, here I am, writing to you not because I have to write, but because I want you to let me in; writing so I can learn, through reactions and discussions and feedback and banter, to be more empathetic, to better understand people and to inform others.

I’m excited to be here.

If you made it this far: I love you.

If you enjoyed, loved, hated, despised or just didn’t really care for this post, let me know. It’s why I’m here.