Because, if anything needs to happen today, it's screaming and personal reflection! Click HERE to check out Throes of Rejection by Pantera on Spotify!
Social media is an amazing tool, right? I'll say that first. Now that I've gotten it out of the way, social media is also a great place to fall into a pit of despair about your accomplishments.
I guess life is made up of small victories. But, for me, I feel like I'm supposed to be on the biggest platform, the world's stage. And, yet, I feel defeated when reading a story about a friend who's making soap for the first time. It's their personal victory they hope to transition into a monetary through-line.
I'm left feeling deflated because I don't have anything to show for myself due to the film I made not being fully realized yet. It'll be another 4 months, at least, before the film sees the light of day as a fully realized concept.
I think part of my issues are a number of things. The biggest issue I have is post-filming depression. It's well-known that directors and filmmakers often take time off to personally detach from the films they make. We filmmakers make our movies at great personal cost, sometimes. It's a shame people think it doesn't take any time to shoot a film, and the medium is somehow lesser than that of painting.
"It shouldn't take but about an hour to shoot a 3-minute-long video..."
It didn't take Marcel DuChamp any time to buy a urinal for his idea, but it took a lot of conceptualizing how he'd execute his idea.
I swear I've heard that sentence two too many times in my life, and both people who said it couldn't even conceptualize how much time it takes to shoot a single ten-second parse of footage, let alone three minutes. I don't hold it against them. Maybe they've forgotten how filmmaking works. Maybe they'll never get it.
It takes about an hour to shoot a single ten-second portion of a scene, just so you know. And, even that can't be considered rule-of-thumb because the nature of the shot, setting, camera angle and movement, lighting, dialogue, actor's movement, etc., all comes into play.
That single shot could take two hours. So, shooting any three-minute video in an hour is a pipe dream unless you shoot the whole interaction as a single shot, which can be amazing and is totally doable. The nature of the interactions I was having when I heard that phrase was not a single-take styled shoot. They were both several scenes, both infinitely intricate due to the amount of moving parts comprising the image.
Filmmaking is a similar process to painting. An artist (a collective, in film) conceptualizes a work, goes through the process of preparing and then executing the project, with the intent to display that work for people to see. Actually displaying that painting, that can be just as difficult to process.
The process of building that painting is daunting. I am a fledgling painter, a kind of jack-of-all-trades in art, so long as you don't count drawing by hand. I am well versed in expressionistic art. I love painting whimsically or on a timeline. I love painting because it calms me down. Painting is calming as I enact the work. Film is calming after the film has been assembled.
But, this process of conceptualizing before painting, that's what I want to focus on. This is going to be a heady and "artsy" answer recollection. Bear with me. The pre-production side of filmmaking is hard. It's where we pick the paints and the paint brushes, the setting and the intended audience for our painting. The whole of a film comes from months of preparation.
So, when I receive a half-assed compliment about being driven and inspiring to others that's wrapped up in a person's perception of my talent level and whether or not they perceive me to be professional, I take that personal because every film I make, I dedicate all of my energy into the concept and execution.
I can and will let go of people whose perceptions aren't related to my best interest. But, that doesn't mean I'm not affected by someone saying "I love your work but you've got a long way to go before you're a professional".
A friend reached out on social media and paid me compliment, then let me know I had a long way to go. My first thought? I mean, dead-in-the-water, peering-into-the-coffin reaction? "Who made you the keeper of my level of professionalism" is my gut reaction. Actually, my gut reaction was "fuck off", but I'll just skip that part. I'm just kidding, I won't skip that part. I work for months on one film to reach a point professionally he feels I have not made to yet, in his mind.
The notion of paying someone a compliment by saying "I like what you're doing, but you've got a long way to go before you're really good at it" is lost entirely on me. OF COURSE, I'm getting use to all of the intricacies of filmmaking. I'm finding cheats and shortcuts in how to make something truly masterful out of lesser parts. I'm already someone to myself, who the fuck is he to me?
I love my friends deeply. And, there's a time when I tell them to shove off and get their own lives figured out. We all have things we need to work on. Top 5 things he should be working on from my perception?
Obviously, I've taken offense. And, in offense, you will find self-consciousness tied to feelings of inadequacy. Self-consciousness, let's not forget, means I'm "aware of self". We use that phrase often under the assumption it means something negative. It does not.
I am self-aware, meaning I know when I'm telling someone something that comes from my own jealousies over something about them. I don't believe he had any self-consciousness in saying I was good at filmmaking but I had a long way to go. He subconsciously acted out of jealousy, and in turn, spawned this article and my momentary wrath.
If he did, that's an even bigger problem. It means he willfully tried to plant a seed in me that I'm inadequate. But, a seed can only be planted in the same place once, geographically. I already drive my entire existence as a filmmaker with an engine built on self-inadequacy.
He can't add to that unless I allow him to. I choose to be angry enough to write this article. Tomorrow, I'll be determined enough to show him through silence and hard work just how much better I'm going to become.
I'm studying my ass off for a paycheck I've yet to receive and I'm on year four. But, by no means is my level of talent calibrated by a friend with a back-handed compliment. Fuck his feelings. Fuck the fake compliments.
My favorite artist, Tech N9ne, has a term for people who have a problem with what he does: Jellysickle(s). People spin their lives through a JEALOUS CYCLE(Jellysickle) of hate, constantly finding reasons to be jealous of your talents. Somebody can be a "Jellysickle", or be "Jellysickling", meaning they're a hater, or are not typically a hater but in the throes of acting like one.
Look here, see, Tech N9ne has almost too many catchphrases to keep up with. Jellysickle has always stuck with me. Peep the song Jellysickle HERE. It's my sister's favorite Tech N9ne song and features my second favorite emcee on the planet, Vallejo, California's own E-40.
I didn't perceive this moment with my friend to be anything more than a twinge of jealousy. I have nothing to base my feelings on, so take how I feel with a grain of salt. I use that phrase a lot "grain of salt".
A grain of salt is his opinion in a Utah flat bed, and my career is the wheels on a land-speed automobile... I guess. I'm not sure if that analogy works the way I want it to. I just mean his opinion is one of many and I'm above it making my own moves. Yeah, it works, I think.
So, for anyone to assume the complex relationship I have with filmmaking and every person who makes them with me isn't professional in it's construct, they can find their seat in the back of the room and choose to avoid being taught by me and my colleagues what professionalism looks like. They can doodle in their notebooks or sleep in class, but they'd better not interrupt the proceedings.