Within the unparalleled world of motion pictures, regardless of what role you play or want to play, everyone has that one moment where they just know they had to work in film – failure, not an option – even at the expense of being served really bad lukewarm coffee.
After all – who doesn’t envy the allure of working in cinema? – What other industry besides film, do we have the option to; change bosses, change co-workers, reinvent ourselves, do our own stunts and start with a clean career slate as often as we want – all while dancing with the possibility of becoming rich and famous, alongside the rich and famous?
However, In Michael Ellsberg’s book: The Education of Millionaires; it states that; art, music and film are the three most difficult industries in the world in which to find success. The good news is, if you fail at film – then you definitely have better chances at being a neurosurgeon. (I hear they make good money).
So which is it? Is our unexplainable, unquenchable passion for working in film lucky or unlucky?
A wise man said “the pathway to a successful film career will depend on your goals”.
So what are your goals? (besides a cold one and a five meat pizza).
Do you want to be rich and famous in California? Do you want fame and fortune in the same town as your mediocre prom? Do you just want to make some cheap, easy movies with your friends and whatever neighbors happen to be hanging out on your lawn? Do you dream of attending the worlds most expensive film school? What if other school systems have failed you and you’re hoping to embark on a career without film school?
I’d like to compare the film industry to those choose your own adventure books. (tell me you’ve read a choose your own adventure book). When reading those, even at age eight, I would feel like a total bad ass if I dare choose the foreboding cave that lead to something awesome – (like a chance meeting with a well intended half animal spirit guide that spoke perfect English). On the other hand I’d be so disappointed in my lack of foresight if I chose to walk along a sunny bridge, only to be blindfolded, tricked and robbed by a band of warty trolls.
If you haven’t experienced it yet for yourself, both scenarios are very similar to how your film career will unfold. (no, seriously). Every day you will be making choices that can and will, literally change the very course of your life. It’s not like getting a job at a big brand name company and being safe and bored there for nine years. (oh… you’ve noticed).
Obtaining rewarding work within the film industry does not follow the same business model as obtaining success with more traditional lines of work. (oh… you’ve noticed that too). In fact, each new film set you are on can mildly be compared to boot camp. New rules, new challenges, new scary stuff, new things to learn at blazing speed and bad lukewarm coffee from a new part of the world.
So whether your goal is above the line or below the line – to be famous or just have fun, let this blog be your very own choose your own adventure guide. Follow in the footsteps of those who have been there, done that, are doing it and loving it – and I promise you will be blindfolded, tricked and robbed way less.
Shanti Goth: Casting, Screenwriter, Assistant Director, Extra