Saturday, January 29, 2005

Scratching the Itch

A lot of times, I think being aware of the situation is a good thing, even though it's depressing to acknowledge. There are some people, I assume, who go through life just doing what is in front of them, and just living and breathing and being a productive human being because that's just what other people do. A lot of times I try to be accepting of my current situation, and truthfully, it's really not that bad. Everyone's healthy, my job has a huge amount of freedom, and we're getting by. I should be estastic. But yet I'm not, because years of education and specifically, years of making movies have somehow made me uncomfortable with just being another person who goes to work, raises a family, and dies.

Even my wife is feeling it as well. A general blanket of dissatisfaction with life. We both love the kids very much, and we wouldn't give them up for anything in the world. And we're not asking for much either, not material things nor great big paychecks - but simply enough money so that we can put some money away, or even not worry about making bills. We'd like that very much. I've been looking for another job every now and then, and it depresses me sometimes to see all these job postings to which I'm underqualified for, or simply just not skilled at. For some time, I've even wondered if I picked the wrong degree to major in. They're not looking for filmmakers in Bellingham.

My wife doesn't even like her job anymore, because she no longer has any tangible responsibility. She does supervise, but she even thinks that her workplace isn't the same anymore. All her friends have moved on or quit, and now she's either working with people who don't talk to her, or college students who can't relate to her. I'm very much the same way, just because of my job title. Being an auditor incites suspicion from my co-workers, and I usually have more people justifying reasons to me than asking me how I was doing.

The other day at work, I was thinking about going back into videography yet again, even though I officially killed my business early this year, driving that last nail that's been sticking out for the last year. I hadn't done any business in 2004 at all. I thought about costs, starting capita, and all these other things that go along with starting a business - and I also reevaluated my stance toward wedding videography...

It's not something I really enjoy doing, but at least it's related to my field of experience.

And then I realized something simple - I could start a business again, but I could just start my own production company. Basically, it would be a shoe-string operation, and I would pay stipends to actors and crew, and the budget would hover around 5 to 7 thousand. I would wear as many hats as I could, and do a movie every year, and write off the losses as a business expense. I would do screenings at private theaters, and try to generate more revenue from DVD sales, or try out the home video market.

And that cheered me up.

It was never about the money, or the fame, or the ego. Okay, some of it definitely has to do with the ego. But it was about the process of storytelling. From conceptualizing my story, thinking of scenes and story outlines, putting it on paper, and the production of the film. Those experiences represent something amazing and pure to me, even though I'm only truly happy with 5% of what I do. Suddenly, everything didn't seem so bad, because I was thinking of how my story should end, instead of feeling sorry for myself.

Today, I thought about the ending, and the visuals that went with it, and I was so entranced in that emotional state that I started to tear up. I think it's got a great ending - not depressing, but uplifting and hopeful without sacrificing sincerety. I have the beginning, the ending, but I'm still a little foggy about the middle. Sure, I know the bulk of what needs to be said, but presenting it in a cohesive manner, without being too preachy and predictable is another thing. Keeping it engaging while most of it takes place in a house will be difficult, but certainly not impossible.

Well, hopefully sometime next week I'll begin writing.

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