The answer is “yes”. Because when a story burns so fierce inside, you have to let it out, or it will burn you up. It’s what gets you out of bed in the morning, makes the blood pump through your veins, and fills your lungs with air. Storytelling is how I’ve chosen to spend my time here on earth. And I don’t give up on that.
Working on a film is more than sitting in a director’s chair calling “action”, and “everyone standing around a lot”. I wish it were that easy, but for one project you can spend years working. Patience and fortitude are your biggest tests – and you don’t give up.
- When it’s a high of 27 degrees (F) outside and you need to film in the river all day, you do it.
- When you lose your location two weeks before production start, you find another one and move it there.
- When a lead actor gets detained the night before your play closes, you spend all the next day doing whatever’s needed to make your final performance happen.
- When you’re losing light quickly on location, and you fall down a rock ledge opening a 4 inch gash on your leg, you pull yourself back up the ledge to where the DP is and you get the final shot.
- When your edit system crashes and you lose your entire film, you start over again from scratch.
- When no one else sees it – you do, and guide them toward the same inspiration.
- When no one else will help you, you keep going.
- When it seems impossible, you exhaust every way, path, and outlet you have – and keep going.
- When you lose everything: your apartment, your city, your boyfriend, your beloved cat – you still have your story and keep going.
- When it’s been six years and your friends and family and fans and coworkers and cast and crew have all stopped thinking about or asking you about your film, you sit alone in a dark, cavernous room, scribbling ideas under the light of one bulb – still going.
Because the end result is this:
And you get to share your beautiful story with others, because storytelling is important, and we’ve been telling each other stories longer than we’ve known how to build camp fires by which to tell them by.
Because you get invited to a festival and fill a theater with people who want to hear your story. And a woman approaches you in the lobby afterward with tears streaming down her face, because your film moved her as much as it moved you, and she’s been through what your character’s been through and she thanks you for that.
Because the morning after your cousin gets married, you get up at 4:00am, and hop on two different flights to go across country, to a convention and present your project to an actor who was in one of the most successful film franchises of all time, and you’ve admired them for years, in hopes that they will work on this project with you one day (stay tuned).
Because you made a promise to an angel that you’d never give up on this story. You keep going.
You don’t ever give up.
Whether or not someone reposts this, responds to it, reads it, comments on it, works with me, watches my film, helps me, likes my story, thinks I’m insane, thinks I don’t know what I’m doing, loves what I do, or supports my work – is not up to me. But I keep going.
Film is a collaborative art. I fight and pull and push and get others to believe in me, and go the extra mile, and most important come back, when after six years of not giving up, I’m ready to go again, and my film is in the best shape and place it’s ever been in. But I can’t do it alone.
I aim to burn bright, instead of burn out. Because in the end, this is everything to me. And I don’t give up. Instead I do THIS: Click Here