Throughout my twenties I have had this thought in my head that I must prove my worth as a filmmaker and that I must do this before the age of thirty. I feel as if there is a literal sand timer, if the age thirty comes and I have not achieved success in my career will I be too old to keep dreaming.
I know some people reading this will scream no and you're never too old to make films. The struggle is real, and I hope some of you reading this will understand where I am coming from. I know you can not be too old to make films but when considerable time has passed and you have had no real results then how do you keep convincing yourself that feature films, budgets and awards are just around the corner.
By choosing a creative life you have took the hard path and I find in a sense I must prove it to myself and others that it was a good decision. As the years go by the Pressure starts setting in, people around you seem to be doing a better job at life which has become a competition of who moves forwards the fastest. People are constantly asking me what my job is, it is as though I am made to feel inferior if my job role isn’t impressive enough.
I know when I worked in a bar last year I would often be asked if I was a student and if not what am I going to do with my life, because working in a bar is seen as a fail. You are looked down upon for having a service job, despite there only being service jobs available. It has become a problem in England that service based jobs are looked down upon and not seen as a career but a stop off point to something better.
I don’t know why thirty feels like a cut off point, and I know from talking to other creative people that the age thirty feels like the age you should be where you want to be. You are expected to be settled by then career, married, house, kids. A creative career brings uncertainty, a film job requires a lot of time and perhaps a lot of travel that conflicts with a normal life.
Throughout the media you see people who appear have it all sorted in their twenties and you begin to wonder what did you do wrong. Maybe I lack the intelligence for success. In the past I have found it hard to get a basic job, what hope do I have of climbing ladders if I can't even get a minimum wage job, this makes you depressed and you start to doubt yourself.
I am nearly 27 years old, in my earlier twenties I worried very much about keeping up with others. I have been telling people that I will be film director since the age of 15, it is hard to convince people you are trying when there is no proof. I used to compare myself unknowingly to others who had more money, the right kind of luck and connections to be successful when they are young. The biggest lesson of my twenties so far has been that life is unfair.
When thirty comes I know there will be pressure from those around me to give up and I feel it already. Yet I know I will always regret it if I live someone else’s life. And the past years of the creative road have been hard but I wouldn’t of had it any other way, my brain is hardwired to be ambitious and creative.
I get emails from people still teenagers asking me if they are too old to make films and I get emails from those middle aged trying to forge a new career. Of course none of us is too old, we are never too old but that doesn’t make it any less hard. Every step I have made in my life since the age of 15 has in someway been defined by filmmaking.
All I know is that if you have that longing for something you just keep doing it regardless of what is in your way, you cant stop. It is like you have no free will, with strong ambition there is no other way to live.