So the last few months have been a whirlwind of events. Life’s high and lows have certainly made itself felt.
I finished the Bachelor of Performing Arts Degree program at Capilano University at the end of January with a crazy interdisciplinary show that was part of The International PuSH Festival. It was an experience that was both difficult and valuable. I learned a lot about myself, and the creative process and by the end, knew that I had more in me and I could push myself further creatively.
February was a month of recovery from school and the hunt for work began.
March was the ecstasy of getting an interview (and flying down to LA) for the Masters of Directing Program at The American Film Institute followed by the agony of waiting for the word if I was accepted or not. When the answer finally came down on April 1st, I was as prepared as anyone could be. I was not accepted into the program this year. Although the news was disappointing, it also proved to me that I am on the right track and just need to keep working and improving my craft, which is exactly what I’m doing.
Since school let out, I’ve spent my time studying screenwriting, first with “Save the Cat” by Blake Snyder and now with “Screenplay” by Syd Field. Although I’ve been in the industry for over 10 years and have read hundreds of scripts, I have only been an intuitive writer up until now. I can now spot and name the points that drive the story forward. Understanding the way certain things work and why they do has shed a light on what used to be only a vague idea of what makes a story compelling to read and watch.
I have always believed that learning the different disciplines surrounding directing can only help to make me a better director. Understanding story structure through writing, the emotional depths that actors will go to in order to bring characters to life, the huge amount of work and coordination it takes to get to the finished product that producers undertake, composition of the frame through the study of art and photography, and more. All these components help to round out the overall image that I hope to create.
The month of May brings an expansion of an action short film written many years ago into a three part web-series that I hope to shoot in the fall. It will be my most challenging project yet but I’m going at it full tilt. It takes a lot to make a film of any sort, so fingers crossed that this will go off smoothly. I also start working as a 3rd Assistant Director on a kids show soon… It’s interesting that what was once my career has now turned into my day job, well, one of them anyway. ;)
Being an artist isn’t easy and if anyone tells you it is, they’re wrong. It may be one of the most difficult journeys a person can undertake. Why? Because it’s underappreciated, undervalued and it’s next to near impossible to make a living doing, but that being said, it’s NOT impossible if you’re willing to work hard and make sacrifices to get where you need to go. Anything worth doing is not going to be achieved without self-discipline and a solid investment of your blood, sweat and tears. Just watch WHIPLASH.
Even though time continues to move forward, it's our responsibility to do what is necessary in our own lives to move forward with it. If you do nothing, you'll get nothing, but if you take one small step every day, eventually you'll be able to look back at where you started and realize how far you've come.