I am not a filmmaker. Through the strange twists and turns of my life I have somehow ended up here, in Memphis, TN, spending the majority of my time with filmmakers. I like to think of myself as a pretty confident and competent person. Well…that was until I set foot on a film set. It was a set for a short-film and we were only in Dan Baker’s garage, but I’ve never felt more useless in my life.
Dan and his friends were all running around setting up the green screen, hanging lights from everything, and discussing camera angles and I’m just standing there trying to stay out of the way when Dan asks me to hand him the bucket of C-47’s. The what now? Oh, you mean this bucket of CLOTHES PINS? Not only are they doing things that make no sense to me, they are also speaking an entirely different language!
All of my confidence was completely drained. I didn’t think that I would ever be able to learn any of it and I would never belong in their world. I immediately wanted to run away and go back to my cubical where I belong. I’m a giant good for nothing on set with bad ideas and no discernible talent to speak of. I’m out!
With the help, encouragement, and everlasting patience of Dan and my new friends, I’m slowly starting to learn and be of use and actually have decent ideas. More importantly, I’m learning to believe that I can do this.
That I think is the key to becoming a first time filmmaker. Surround yourself with encouraging, patient people who are willing to teach and that will find a way to make you feel safe as you are being pushed and challenged to go way outside of your comfort zone.
Question: Am I alone in this, or have you ever felt the same?