Sunday, September 8, 2013

On the wholly unsatisfactory, discomforting reality of a career in film

On the wholly unsatisfactory, discomforting reality of a career in film,


Recently exposed myself to a collection of blog entries about quitting the film industry. Some are rallying calls in disguise and that's cool. But the ones bordering on a real loss of faith are as unnerving as "White Lightning" or "Requiem for Dream."

There is a nightmare existence comprised of the details we often compile detailing our year-to-year experiences trying to make it. So much is sacrificed and it often appears to take an insane sensibility to weather the storm of uncertainty defining the pursuit of success.

We just want to survive on creating our content. Such a simple idea is responsible for torturous crusades and pained ideals and the emergence of cold cynical behavior that betrays the love and generosity of spirit it often takes to create something worthwhile. Dealing with people is hard. But when we accomplish things together, it's a fantastic miracle. This is one of the good things about film-making. Each film is a proof of our compassion, even to a limited degree, for one another.

Still, lives are at stake. It's a compelling problem: finding stability and supporting one another.  So what do we do?

Maybe it's cell memory. Or maybe it's middle-school history lessons. But somehow I think we already know. Perhaps its more about not getting distracted, focusing on the attitude and the strategy, working smart as opposed to working hard. I think the times have changed and we need to sit back and read and think a little more. Then we need to go to work and limit our bets on unknown elements, all the while building relationships we can depend on when it really counts.

We have to make films, the smaller the better, that we care about. Presumably the more we care the more audiences like ourselves will care. Maybe that was the trick all along. I'm not sure. What I am sure of is that right now I can't quit. I've sacrificed a lot and I refuse to accept that a world created of man-made consequence has become so precarious as to prevent any degree of impassioned expression. I am a man and I'm in this and certainly I can be one of negative consequence, on in favor of equal opportunity and support of home life. A system that suffocates the lives of working filmmakers, thereby stifling their existence is a system that has to change. I'm not talking about handouts, but the culture is a bitter one and all that ire and frustration is at the bottom level, where most of us are, when in their place should be the most hope and excitement.

It makes me wonder about what we all think we want when we enter the field. I believe I was originally interested in fiction-writing and later this developed into a fascination with the product of film and the limitless potential of it to bring almost anything into being. 

What a trip...Yeah, I remember now. It's gold.  It's Don Quixote Gold.

Let's get what we came for,
C.M. Sanchez III