My Films

Friday, July 25, 2008

July: Personal Update

Oh what a month July has been. I remember graduating from undergrad some six years ago, ready to start working in the real world and living the grown-up life. It took me a whole two months that summer before I landed a job. In hind-sight, two months seems like such an insignificant amount of time in waiting to start one's career, but I remember those two months to be excruciatingly painful from my 22year-old perspective.
Now here I am, graduated from graduate school, and I have arrived in that same space of uncertainty. Luckily, as it's my second time around, I'm a little less panicked, a little more trusting that my experiences and polished skills have only made me more employable and that it is just a matter of time. Yet every now and then, a goblin called impatience climbs on my back and annoys the hell out of me. I swat him off, and he disappears for a few days or even a week at time and I enjoy the present moment. However, recently he has been making more frequent calls.

So many things have fallen away and come to be in the past months since I turned in my thesis. The Power of Peace forum to be held at the University of Waterloo has been canceled. My proposal to make a film about the Rotary Peace Fellow's Applied Field Experience this summer was dropped. While obviously, this is something to be sad about, I'm taking things in stride and trusting that there is something more waiting for me.
I have been keeping myself busy. One aspect of my career that I really want to grow is to start a production company that produces videos for non-profit and non-governmental orgs. I am in the process of building a website for this, but I fret a lot over what exactly I want to say. I know this won't be a money making business, but I see it as a much needed service. How can I use my video skills to help organizations make a difference, communicate better, create awareness, promote their cause? by producing videos for them.
So for the past month I have been making two videos. One for the Institute of Culture Affairs Japan and their upcoming conference in November. The other project is for my friend Emilie and her org Parties 4 Peace. While there's still work to do on the video, here's the first cut of what I have assembled.

Now on to my next step. I have been offered a four month gig on a national cable tv drama in the US starting next week. Yes, nothing to do with peace or documentaries but it is something to get my started back into the industry. It's also paying! After the past two years of what seems like a million volunteer jobs, it will be nice to see the dollar amount in my bank account increase instead of its opposite.
But most importantly this is what I have learnt over the past two years: that there is yet so much I have to learn. If I really want to make a difference, if I really want my media to have an impact, create awareness, and reach as many people as possible then I have a lot of work to do. I have for the past several years focused on improving my production value- working as a one woman production team. Each production, I feel I have produced better and better videos, learning from my mistakes and pushing my boundaries. However, production is only half of the equation of using media for impact. Without distribution, without connections, if the video is only seen by a few hundred or thousands of people (and most likely many of those who are already in the "choir") I have not done enough, I have not really been of service. There is so much professional experience and contacts that I need to make in the industry. So much groundwork to lay down, but I know that I am capable of doing it. I also am more committed than ever.
Some how over the years I have turned my nose up at mainstream media (maybe this was a result of not getting hired at a major network straight out of college.) I realize now that this is foolish. These issues, these causes, these solutions must reach level of mainstream media to have the impact, that's at least what I want to see happen. And so here begins the next leg of my journey: straddling the path between the alternative issues and mainstream outlets. I don't know exactly what it will look like, but don't worry, I won't get lost.

1 comment:

Jay said...

I like this post a lot!
I agree with all of your points!