The Beginning

Thanks for joining me! Welcome to my shiny new blog. The idea for this has been floating around in my head for about six months now, so I’m beyond excited to see it come to life – well, see it on a screen – fully formed, just as I pictured it.

I want to talk about beginnings. Sometimes they are the easiest thing to do, and sometimes they’re the hardest. If it’s easy starting, you’ll more than likely struggle to keep at it. If it’s hard to start, well, you probably haven’t even started. And you can’t do anything if you haven’t started.

Generally I’m the former. I’ll come up with an idea, launch into it and then flounder about when I realise I don’t quite know what I’m doing or what to do next. That’s why I really took my time with this, and let it develop in my head until I knew I was certain of what I was going to do. Which is why this had to exist in my head and not the world for six whole months.

It’s the way if the world now for things to happen almost instantly. Internet speeds are faster, shipping times are faster, and you can post something online and receive likes or comments from people anywhere in the world, instantly. I know the mainstream news likes to label this as a millennial phenomenon, but I don’t think it is. I think it’s a 21st century culture phenomenon. It’s not just millennials that are used to instant gratification in all its forms, it is all generations. I could go on about how millennials don’t live in a little bubble and exist just to annoy the baby boomers, but I’d be going off on a tangent because that’s not the point of this post.

The point is that beginnings can be all kinds of things, and they are rarely straightforward. Sometimes you don’t even realise it’s a beginning, it just seems like a twisty turn of events and before you know it you’ve started something brand new or you’re in a place you’ve never been before.

I think this is especially true with filmmaking. Everybody will tell you that you have to work yourself to death to get a foot in the door, but I don’t think that’s actually the case. For me, and for a number of other filmmakers I know, it wasn’t just a case of dogged determination (although that will help with the numerous rejections, ‘no thank you’s and ‘please stop asking me for a job’s you’ll have to deal with). Most of the time, it’ll be the out-of-the-blue phone calls, the ‘I got your number from…’ and the bizarre and numerous paths that develop from one job or even one contact.

While I was on the BFI Academy, I signed up to a job site. I got an email from a director saying, ‘I saw your profile. I need a producer for a two minute, self-funded short film. Would you do it?’ I accepted, not even knowing what a release form was at that point, and dived in at the deep end. I was off! That was my beginning.

I’ve always found that the hard work and dogged determination that people will so often go on about comes after you’ve gotten the job. No matter how small, strange or impossible the job might seem, you’ve got it. It’s your beginning. So it’s up to you to work yourself to death (don’t really do that) like I did on my first short film. It’s true I didn’t know what a release form was, so my hard work involved researching and studying until I knew the job inside out, and then I produced the film as best I possibly could.

And that was all I really needed. After that, I knew the job and I had one producing credit to my name, so I produced the film for the BFI Academy by myself, and then started applying for other producing roles on short films. And here we are.

So, welcome to my website! Here’s to new beginnings (regardless of whether they are easy or hard).

 

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