Who am I as a Filmmaker
Filmmaking, to me, is more than just storytelling. It's an escape from my own Type-A personality. From the moment I first picked up a video camera, I found a place of solace that still comforts me today. That incredible feeling of being able to capture moments and create emotion brings me the passion and motivation that keeps me striving forward.
My first assignment in film school was to create an autobiographical film entitled 'Who I am as a Filmmaker'. In that moment, I went from feeling as though I had it all figured out to complete and utter chaos in my head. Who Am I? It's hard to pinpoint. I had thought I was just a film student, looking to sharpen my skills of composition, lighting, and editing. But was that genuinely who I am? The journey of discovery for that assignment led me to my true understanding: I am not just a filmmaker, I am a traveler on the journey of filmmaking.
Steven Spielberg is famously quoted in saying, "When I grow up, I still want to be a director". I think that resonates with most filmmakers. Because for the true believers in the craft, there is no finish line in the education and growth process. There are no experts in the field: just those with more experience. Filmmaking is not just shooting and capturing images, it's creating stories that suspend disbelief.
I wanted to be a filmmaker because I wanted to escape from reality. I wanted to quit worrying about the rigidity of the world and relax my shoulders for a moment. But make no mistake, filmmaking is not for the faint of hearts. Everything is a challenge. Everything is an obstacle that you must overcome. You're constantly dealt situations that are less than ideal for what you're aiming for, and you've got to find a way to make it work. You have to, as Martin Scorsese best put it, "have the time to fail".
Being a filmmaker is like every other job: some parts of it you love and others you absolutely hate. Waking up early, working late into the night (or even the early morning hours) are things that every filmmaker does; it's the part of the job that nobody gets to see. And, despite what tabloids lead you to believe, filmmakers are genuinely humble people. The hard work, grueling hours, and incredible sacrifices they make are never known. Only the polished results of all that effort are what people see. And it's for that reason they work so hard.
And so, when I answer the question of 'Who I am as a Filmmaker', my response is always this: I'm am the best possible version of myself.