#40 – 2017

I’m not typically a fan of underlining or separating timeframes by the calendar and thinking tomorrow I will be any more focused purely because it’ll be a new year. Social media is rife with people openly promising to the world (but mostly themselves, because who is really listening?) about blah, blah, blah, and whilst this may seem like a good time to cleanse yourself of your apparent laziness you’ve suffered from this year, I think this is just setting yourself up for further disappointment. Having said that, I had a spare hour or so this morning, so thought I would just summarise this year for myself to read when I’m old and wrinkly. Don’t judge.

2017 has been a fantastic year for me. Granted, I still haven’t made that feature, and I do plan to make it in 2018 (but no promises!), but I have enjoyed the majority of it, and work-wise, I have made a huge leap in the right direction. Note: a considerably amount of boasting is about to come your way, so if you’re not into that sort of thing, I suggest fucking off somewhere miserable and wet. Around the beginning of this year, I decided that it was about time I started accumulating my wealth and start earning from my skills as a filmmaker. This is easier said than done, and I now realise that I was probably suffering from a lack of confidence that kept me from ever properly doing this in the past. Whilst producing your own work can be quite difficult, it was safe. It was me on my own, doing what I wanted to do. The more work I put in, the more I got out of it. Simple. I also told myself that working for yourself was more rewarding the seeking work elsewhere or working for someone else. However, this attitude only got me so far. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret it (I did it for all the right reasons), but after several years of always being the producer paying out, it gets a bit tiresome on the wallet and general moral of how you feel about your life choices. I also didn’t want to work in a restaurant anymore, so something had to change.

I had to evaluate what I was good at, but what was I going to be paid for doing? I’m not really a cameraman or cinematographer – granted, I can shoot, but I haven’t dedicated myself to it enough, so I’m never going to get the jobs. I can edit, but how many productions are looking for an editor? And if they are, not one based in Brighton. I can write, but again, very rarely are people looking for a writer, and if they are, they don’t really expect to pay – weird, considering how it’s probably the most creative and difficult part, and not many people can do it well. I can produce, but who wants to do that as a career? Not me. Obviously, at heart I am a director, but no one hires a director (or do they?). But anyway, what all this meant was that I was now evaluate my worth as to ploughing ahead with project after self-produced project, and started thinking about how I could forge a career in a industry that is extremely difficult to crack.

If you’ve kept in touch with this blog, you’ll know that I relaunched my showreel company (originally called Framed), which encompassed all those jobs I just mentioned. I am the first to accept that I’m not a master at any of those things, but I can do them all to a reasonable standard – which not many people can do. You might find a really cinematographer, but they won’t know how to edit or how to write a script. Therefore, the showreel thing really lends itself well to what I know and can do. I can modestly say that the first year has been a success, with over forty scenes shot, I can only hope and pray that 2018 will be just as busy!

Most of my other work this year has come from editing. I always thought it was the most difficult of jobs to find, but it just worked out really well for me this year. It also gave me the opportunity to collaborate with other filmmakers – something I’ve rarely done before.

So, something for the new year. I want to write, write and write! Loads of new ideas, and I want to create and do as much as possible. Still the end game eludes me, but that’s okay, right? I just want to create stuff even if I don’t have a financial outlet for them? Posting the stuff I do online is great, but as long as I am creating, I should be happy enough. I want to expand on the stuff I create, and give some more purpose to my ‘production company’. This would include viral campaigns with social messages that I am interested in sharing, music videos, corporate work, theatre promos and behind-the-scene docs. I also want to cut together 3 fucking amazing showreels (maybe a forth), one as a DP, sound recordist and then for my editorial work. But before I do any of that I need to buy some new equipment!

Don’t expect to hear from me much in 2018. I’m getting to the point where I don’t feel like I need to blog anymore. The more and more I think about social media, and what the point of all this is, the more I dislike being apart of it. I’ve always thought it was a necessary evil for me to share my work – but with everyone doing it, it’s almost pointless. So why not spend the time doing something creative? You could argue that writing a blog is creative, but a major part of me knows it is a vanity thing.

I am going to keep on creating, and hopefully that in return will reward me with some more paid jobs. See ya’ll on the other side.

Dan x

 

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