Saturday, November 29, 2008

Speaking of your career...

I came across this article titled, "Why Are So Many People Interested in Pursuing a Film Career?" on the Film-and-TV Career blog. In the article, Darren Alff addresses a good point: what exactly is your OWN motivation for pursuing such a competitive and stressful career?

Alff asked film students nationwide why they wanted in. The answers varied, but he pointed out it was rarely for the sake of art itself. Just like I wrote in a previous blog, money and fame can cloud the mind when choosing this career--or any career for that matter.

I have a friend who graduated with me who wants to be an actor-producer. He's really good and even made a short that his folks help fund. He apparently feels like a failure right now, since the reality of post-college life has sunk in. I reminded him that he just needs to be patient; it will come. Maybe he had visions of fame and fortune, like many film students. Once he gets past this, I think he will be more successful.

I even had those thoughts myself, knowing I should know better. I want to be a writer-director, and it is fun to imagine myself having dinner at a country club with Oprah and the Smiths, or collaborating with P.T. Anderson. Taking my mother shopping for a Hermes bag (and getting on that list in one week), or going on a shoot in Europe. And just like every other film student, I have imagined giving my acceptance speech at BAFTA, SAG, and the Oscars, in a beautiful Oscar de la Renta red dress. But I do not allow these fantasies to distract me from my ultimate goal, which is to make something meaningful and memorable. You could argue that in itself is a fantasy, but I believe it's a far more reachable one than an invitation to the White House to showcase your film.

The article is worth a read. And use it to reflect on yourself. Where are your ambitions taking you?

Happy filmmaking!

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