March (and April) Madness: An Update for Anyone Interested in My Budding Film Career
Above: Me acting as art director for my friend’s short film.
My goal at the beginning of the year was to blog twice a week. And as much as I’ve tried to keep my Sunday and Wednesday blog schedule, that has not always been possible with my increasingly busy schedule.
Anyway, someone keeps nagging at me to write a post, so I thought I would just give an update for anyone who is interested. 🙂
I have had so many exciting opportunities the past couple of months. In March, I got to help as a production assistant with a full-length movie written and directed by a local filmmaker. It was a great learning opportunity for me. He taught me how to record audio, hold a boom mic, and I even got to help with script supervising and continuity (which is one of my dream jobs on set). The last day we filmed at a space museum, and it occurred to me just how many awesome places I’m already getting to see from working in film. Places I would probably never go to on my own (or be able to see if we weren’t filming there).
Also in March, I got a call out of nowhere for a one-day production assistant gig. The production company had found my profile on Staff Me Up (a great website to find film gigs, if you are looking. You can set up an account for free.). They had filmed a reality show called “Unexpected” in a nearby small town last year and needed someone to clear out their storage unit for them. Since I was the closest PA they could find, they called me! I even got to take a friend with me to help, and I gotta tell you, I’ve never been so excited about cleaning out a storage unit. I actually really enjoyed the opportunity. I got to get some experience driving a big cargo van and spend the day with my best friend. Wins all around!
I have also been working as an art director and location manager for a short film written by a friend of mine. I have also been considering working in the art department eventually, so this has been a fantastic experience for me. I’ve also been helping the wardrobe department (who just happens to be my best friend 🙂 ). It has been so much fun and showed me that I absolutely want to keep doing this for a living.
A couple weeks ago I was notified that I was accepted for an upcoming film workshop that I applied for. I get to learn script supervising during this workshop! I am especially excited for this opportunity because there are no local classes on script supervising and it seems to be a position that is a little more difficult to learn just being on set as a PA (like you can with other departments).
I stepped out of my comfort zone a whole bunch and volunteered to be an actor for a film festival table reading. I was sent my script and role yesterday, and I gotta tell you, I am incredibly nervous. But, I am trying to do more of the things I want to do even if they scare me. When I first saw the post calling for volunteers, I thought to myself how much fun that would be and how I wished I were brave enough to do it. Then I told myself that’s exactly the kind of experiences I should try for, because they are things I really want to do. So, anyway, long story short, I’m doing it.
This past Sunday, I was feeling really depressed by my lack of upcoming gigs. But it’s because I hadn’t really been applying for any more, an obvious epiphany told me. So I looked for upcoming shoots online and found one that I had seen before but avoided applying for because it’s 3 hours away. This time I applied. I got a response later that evening asking about my experience and such and then had a sort-of phone interview the next night. The guy told me they’d had a PA just drop out and he was about to call some other PAs that had been recommended to him when he got my email. This is a paid gig and he’s putting me in a hotel room for the weekend. What an opportunity I almost missed out on! And the timing! If I hadn’t listened to my gut and instead had waited a day or two to apply, I would not have what sounds like a really fun shoot to gain some experience on. (Lesson here is to listen to your intuition and don’t let dumb excuses keep you from doing it.)
I have three more potential gigs pending. I don’t know the dates yet but they told me they would add me to their crew list. 🙂
When I’m not on set, I have been working on finishing a play I started last year. (Another reason for not blogging. I figured some of my blog time could be spent finishing projects I started and would love to finish.)
I love this career so much. I’ve met some really awesome people and have gotten to travel and see new places. I cannot stress enough just how perfect the film world is for me. I feel right at home on sets. I have been searching for so long for my dream career and I have finally found it. It’s a great feeling.
One thing I told my friend recently (who told me they feel like they’ve just wasted their life so far) is that nothing you pursue is a waste. I started out going to school to be a band director. I tried all the different things I thought I might enjoy/want to do for a living (music, theatre, creative writing) and they all helped lead me to film. I think if you just try the things you dream of or are interested in they’ll guide you to where you’re meant to be. You’re given those dreams and interests for a reason.