…In the making.
On my blog, my tag line under my title Public Whispers reads “Actor, Writer and Filmmaker… in the making!”. Today marks my turning 21, and I will no doubt as a result be plunged into a deep and thoughtful (manic) consideration of my prospective career and life… after a night of heavy drinking and laughter of course. Yet looking forward isn’t too horrific because as my blog tagline suggests I still consider myself “…in the making.”. Chances are I will always be, in some ways, “…in the making” in some area of my life and of my career, but at this milestone age I realise that I am at a stage of knowledge and knowledge-to-be-gained and that is a refreshing place to be.
This past week I have been filming my dissertation film for the final year of my Bachelor of Arts in Film and Creative Writing at The University of Essex. Looking back on some of the films I made as a kid or in college it is too easy to cringe and want to cry inside at the pure embarrassment of certain parts, but more than anything it’s baffling. In what is still a short amount of time my belief in myself, in my passions and in the possibility of it as a career has changed so much along with my own ability. Having now finished what really was (and I don’t want to jinx it but I’ll say it anyway) a pretty smooth shoot, it means an incredible amount to me that I am able to walk away from it, even before editing, feeling proud. As much as the old films are embarrassing they’re a point of comparison and also a reminder that film and passions are always meant to be fun. Most of the time the things wrong with the films before were to do with either us just laughing too much and generally messing about or we just didn’t know enough at that time. Now, more knowledgeable (albeit with more to learn) I’m at a stage where I feel I can take film seriously and do well, while also still enjoying it and as said in the last paragraph thats a great feeling.
One of the biggest things stuck in my mind at this age now isn’t really the future, it’s more the past. Not just the bad, not just the good, but just the general essence of the past. I’ve always believed that your past, however bad or simple it has been, is a great influence on your later life. It’s just all about how you deal with that influence. From the small memories that flash in my mind from the early stages of my life, and remind me of just how different life can become, to the bigger memories of first crushes, dances, fights, exams, anxieties that all came from the tumultuous atmosphere of adolescence. All of it has contributed to my work as a writer/actor/filmmaker, some people say they completely separate their personality from their work but in truth its impossible. They go hand in hand, and whether you make a conscious decision to merge them together or not it is something that just inevitably happens. With this in mind it is amazing to look at poetry/prose/scripts, rereading them and seeing the truth behind them . Of course I approach my writing with an idea in my mind, but it’s not until you look back at it later on, forgetting whether it’s bad or good and just consider its origins that you understand the truthfully personal nature. That’s why so many people relate to each others work, because it comes directly from a well-known and shared place.
Away from the emotional and more personal related side of creating this eventual person and product, we have the literal education. University has been incredible, plain and simple. Yet again for my personality and development but of course also for my abilities. Taking the time (and admittedly the money) to learn things from other peoples perspectives, to be taken through the simple things (that in reality are less simple than they seem) is helpful. I have literally learnt so much more in the space of three years. While I’m not saying every single person should be obliged to go to University, I think it’s important to outline how it is another element of life which contributes to me being “in the making”.
Life will continue, I will get older, I may have kids, I may get married. All very standard elements of the world that I, at this stage, don’t relate to. All these elements of my life will change the way I see my writing, may often tweak and improve the approach I take. Having arguments with producers, being hit with the difficulties of lackluster sound and going through draft after draft of scripts.Just in the same way that these ability related lessons have contributed to who I am (and will become) as a filmmaker, the everyday situations that will face me in the future will do the same.
More than this, and this may be going a tiny bit off track here, but I think this relates to more than just our careers. It relates to the world. We are in a point in our history, which will be historically important no doubt, where there is revolution and anger, but very little change coming as a result. We are in a point where we have the possibility of being sent back decades in our moral outlook, and we have the possibility of going through some incredibly difficult times. But maybe that’s what we need. I hate what is happening to a lot of this world, but maybe (and I do believe its happening already) it will take strife and big mistakes to reinvigorate and educate our world. “In the making” is not just a phrase that applies to people and their careers, it applies to everything. There will always be odd and confusing times and they will not always feel positive. But, and this applies to the smallest things to the more wordly problems I’ve just mentioned, we will always have something new to learn and it is important to remember that and to be aware of it.