My film school
With a desktop folder full of ideas and half-finished screenplays, I figured that the only way I was going to get anything accomplished was by making films. I wanted to direct as well as write and knew both skills would come from the hard graft of creating something rather than talking about it. I was very good at talking about it.
With a family to support and a job as a freelance journalist and copywriter I wasn't going to get to film school. I needed a plan. Fortunately, this was around 2010, when the digital filmmaking revolution was sparked by increasingly affordable cameras and easy-to-use editing software.
First with film students and then with seasoned professionals, I began making shorts and honing my craft – directing and editing as well as writing. This turned out to be time well spent because I discovered I loved every part of the process, from scouting locations and rehearsing actors to editing the footage and mixing the sound.
A simultaneous career has emerged, making corporate videos for some of the very same companies I have been copywriting for. But there's no escaping the reality – what I really want to do is make a full-length feature film.
I'm going to keep feeding this website with what has been my film school, the short films I've made to teach myself. For each project I deliberately picked a different genre, not just to learn techniques but to find out what kind of films I want to write and direct, something that's changed dramatically since I started.
When I'm not working or making shorts I spend my time watching movies, reading scripts and books about filmmaking, listening to podcasts, soaking up whatever I can to get a little better.
I think I'm getting there, thanks in large part to the people I work with, often the same actors and crew who are as enthusiastic as me in the pursuit of making something good. Be warned, we're going to keep trying.