I wasn’t a particularly active filmmaker from 2003 – 2006, as after meeting her, much of that time I devoted to wooing and winning the affections of my wonderful wife Allison. However, I did spend some of that time writing a campy screenplay called “Ninja Vampires From Mars,” parts of which may eventually see the light of day. Who knows? Anyway, in 2006 I found myself itching to get back into filmmaking. I started by buying a modern camera (for the time) and doing freelance shooter gigs with another local filmmaker, who ended up being a bit of a mentor figure to me. I shot several weddings and events with him over the summer, and by the end of the year I’d even shot a wedding solo. I had entered the “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day for the rest of your life” phase of my life, and I dove in to commercial videography.
I shot and edited dozens of weddings, commercials, corporate video presentations, business profile videos, and on and on and on and on… Interestingly enough, 2008 – 2010 were my peak years. Right as the global economy was grinding to a halt in 2008 I found myself busier than ever. Busy enough to reduce my day job hours to 24 a week, and eventually enough to quit my day job completely. But, ah, yes, a caveat – I believe I fell victim to my own success. Well, that’s a way of putting it. Busy enough that I no longer needed to chase business, I stopped chasing business. Eventually the work fell off, and then I wasn’t busy enough. I hit up my old job, and started up again part time. It was good for a lot of reasons, and there were a lot of reasons I think I self-sabotaged my videography business. While “Do what you love and never work again” was the mantra that inspired me, I came to learn that doing what I loved for a living turned my passion into a grind. Even that isn’t the complete picture. I loved and still love being on location and shooting video. I no longer loved spending time in front of the computer editing. My video production business became 10% shooting video, and 90% sitting/standing (I built a stand-up desk) in front of a computer. Whether it was editing, writing, marketing, DVD authoring, running a business, I spent so many hours in front of the computer that I gained weight, lost color, my social skills devolved, I got depressed, and it just flat out sucked. I believe I stopped chasing business because I wanted to fail. Going back to work at my old day job was amazing, because I was physically active, I was engaging with different humans every day. Engaging with humans, and being physically active – both elements I’ve discovered are essential to mental health. I kept doing video production on the side as jobs came to me, but I didn’t chase business anymore. Eventually I quit commercial videography entirely. Commercial video production was never fulfilling in a way that sustained my soul. I found that I needed to separate the part of my life I sold for money, and the part of my life that fed my soul. Ah, the classic dilemma – “Time v. Money.”