Some people do not have a problem with starting new things. They can just dive right into it. I admire those people. Me on the other I have to contemplate the pros and cons. I have to think if I will truly benefit and if it will benefit others. My very first job as a telemarketer seemed like it was for a good cause but in order to get ahead, I had to lie to people. I couldn’t do well because it didn’t sit right with me that I had to be dishonest with people to get their money. I didn’t last long there. I quickly got a new job at an optometrist office where I knew the manager. When she interviewed me she basically asked me what hours can I work and that was it. She already knew my work ethic. This was my experience I later used to get my job at My Eye Dr, which I wrote about here. This was also before I worked at Disney, which I wrote about here. But helping others is important to me.
Before I brought together a team to do the 48 Hour Film Festival, I participated in one already as a camera operator. I already attempted to produce another short film, I worked as a camera operator at my church for years, and I was a production assistant for a couple of White House shows while Barak Obama was President. The closest I got to seeing him or Michelle Obama was on the screen in the production office, however, I did get to meet other celebrities. As with the other stories I have told about my early twenties, I was full of hope and aspiration. Actually, when I put together the team, I wanted to let someone else take control and I was going to be a camera operator. I joined the Dallas Film Crew, a meet up that worked on short film projects and had discussions about all aspects of production. When the 48 Hour Film Festival came up, I recruited a team of people that were interested and was made the producer because it was my idea. For those who have no idea what the 48 Hour Film Festival is about, it is a film festival where you are given 48 hours to write, produce, and edit a short film. The film you produced can not consist of published content and you are given three objects and one line you have to use in the short film. These objects did not have to be the main focus it just has to be used. We also had to pick a genre out of a hat.
Everything leading up to production fell into place nicely. I had people who were going to lend their equipment, I scouted places I could shoot the film, I had a list of jobs for everybody, I look on some website (I can’t remember the name) for actors. The night before everything was promising. When it was time to start everybody was enthused and ready to start, but we didn’t have actors. It was my job to find the actors and it gave me so much anxiety that I didn’t find enough. The night we started we had about 2 for sure actors. The writers were going to spend all night writing and shooting was going to start the next day. Besides what we didn’t have, we had my apartment where we were shooting, which was a fancy high rise in Dallas, The Mosaic. The Mosaic, it was really nice and had a lot of nice spots to shoot. So we had the location, we had the writers, the production crew, background music for the film, and snacks. One thing I learned from being a production assistant is that you have to have snacks for your crew and I went all out because I wanted to make sure no one got hangry.
“Why men great ’til they gotta be great?”
I feel this song on a personal level, but replace men with just things. While you don’t need things to go smoothly they work out, but when you need them to go they don’t. We ran into several other problems besides not having enough actors. The biggest issue was the fight between one of the actors and one of the crew members. Both were entitled to know it alls who could not see eye to eye. The fight wasn’t physical but it was too much for me to handle. How the hell am I suppose to break up a yelling match between two grown people.? I don’t have the personality for those type of situations. I took this incident personally and I really felt like I let my team down. At one point we ended up rewriting the script at the last minute and that took hours that we didn’t have. That really put us back for editing. The only problem was we didn’t finish the editing to turn the film in on time. We still submit regardless. Part of the reason why things were late was that I was not a pushy person and I wanted to give everybody room to do what they could. In retrospect, I could have pushed the writers more and tried to put out the fire between the two people before it even began. There were so many things that went wrong, but here is what went right. We got it done. We still had the opportunity to showcase our film, we just couldn’t compete with the people who submitted on time. After this, I really questioned if film was right for me. If I really had what it took to do it.
This situation really shook me because I wanted everybody to like me and I didn’t want to be judged. Am I a perfectionist? Yes! It is hard for me to do things I’m not good at. So your next question may be how do you do things? I practice in private until I know it, then I can do it in public. But you know what it is time to change. Sometimes when you decide to do something, you just have to put yourself out there even if you fail. Sometimes you have to look the fool and be the fool so you don’t take yourself so seriously. I don’t think I am ever going to be that person who jumps into opportunities, but I can push myself a little harder at trying new things. At the end of the day even though my brain tells me news situations are danger – my palms sweat, my heart races, I shut down and can’t think – afterward I realize I am still here. That, nor any other new situation did not kill me. So I wasn’t in any real life-threatening situations to begin with.
Lately, I have been posting some sob stories of things that had me shook in the past. I am still kind of shook by these situations, but like I said I am still here. Next week I’ll talk about how I got here today. I’m going to tell you the story of how a person who didn’t want to be a teacher at first ended up being a teacher.