I've been banned from the family video camera since I was eleven.
I deserved it, I did break it. Not intentionally, mind you, but my actions absolutely resulted in the big hunk of glass and plastic that was our VHS-C camera to go into the shop for some costly repairs. But really, who would have known that dropping a camera to the ground (on to pillows!) could result in such a problem? I remind you again I was eleven at the time, so no, I didn't know any better.
From eleven to nineteen, my life took a different path, one that involved a lot of science and math. I was going to be an engineer like the majority of my family, have a solid career, and live a normal life for the rest of my days. That was the plan, at least, until college.
Like most kids, I feel like I discovered myself when I went away to school. And it wasn't just the dismal grades in Calc 2 and Physics that did it; rather, I found my calling.
It was the spring of 2001 when I took my first semi-production class. We were separated into groups and given the task of creating a non-linear, story-based website that had to do with the themes of the class and yours truly was put behind the wheel to make it happen.
The site, which has since disappeared from the interwebs, was a smashing success in terms of both our grades and my personal growth. I learned how to communicate and guide a project; how to rally the troops and get shit done; and most importantly, found my passion.
Those days of late nights in the lab or hours long meetings were nothing when compared to things like Physics homework. I wasn't beaten down and tired from all the things I had to do, but instead found vast new pockets of energy within. The harder I worked on this thing, the more energy I had to focus on it, and the end result was something I've always been proud of. It was very much a defining moment that got me where I am today.
It was the moment I knew that this is what I had to do with my life.
Since then, I've done my share of traditional production work and found that, depending on the position, that vast energy reserve still exists. Over these past few weeks I've been very swamped at my day job, but somehow still have an abundance of energy and enthusiasm for Love in the Time of Monsters during my free time. And somehow, even with the super late nights, early mornings, epic weekend meetings, and a swamped email box, I'm not tired in the least. And that, my friends, is how you know you're doing what you should be doing.
Now, if I can just convince my Dad that I'm responsible enough to handle the family camera...
That's my story, how about you? How did you know you wanted to be a filmmaker?