I used to want to be a film director and maybe I still do
I am going to start this by saying that this is not a pity post. This sort of personal post can attract comments reminding me I am young and that everything will work itself out. I know life has a way of working out but I am writing this to share where I am in my life right now and perhaps some filmmakers out there can relate.
I am deeply ambitious and at the age of 15 I knew wanted to be a film director. Shortly after I read Robert Rodriguez's book ‘Rebel without a crew’ I was convinced this was the life for me. I have navigated my entire life around film, I believed that if I just kept going forwards I would reach my dream. In many ways this is not a bad idea, doing something, going forwards is always better than standing still.
A lack of money
Having a financial safety net at the start of your creative career only makes life easier. I have noticed that most people who have successful careers in there twenties either lived with their parents so they did not have to worry about rent or had complete financial support. Its easier to work on your own creative projects when you don’t have to additionally allocate 40 hours week towards a day job.
I made a few mistakes I didn’t get the best education which left me with no real plan or knowledge on how the film industry worked. When I graduated I jumped straight in, I found work but I was still clueless on how to make directing a career.
I know people who have been lucky to find professional film trainee apprenticeships. They where just in the right place at the right time. I have no doubt my career would have gone a lot better if I had a mentor to guide me through the first years. Finding professional training is no guarantee in film and a lot of us will simple have to learn how to do our job on the job.
I have a terrible personality, OK it not that bad, I am head strong, ambitious, friendly and some what lack the social skills to work with people. I have got so much better now that I am older but as a 22 year working on film sets my social skills where not finely tuned, I was not mature enough for the work when I had it.
I found it hard to work with people , I thought I knew more than them and I was arrogant. With better social skills and a more humble attitude I would have not been fired from my first few jobs. This is something I was clueless about when I was starting out, and no doubt with better people skills you can improve faster and make more contracts and friends within the industry.
Arrogance is bad in the long run. However it was this boost of energy and confidence when I was young that got me hired on big projects. It is shame this original energy dried up.
What happens to you at the start of your career is sometimes down to luck. This can be bitter to learn when you believed at one point success was defined from hard work and enthusiasm. I could be working on major film sets right now but that route was not for me. I have not found success at the start of my career but there is still plenty of time left for me to find my way.