Buying my first camera was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. It was a big step, and half of the people I know just sort of shook their heads at me.
"There goes Patrick again."
First, I was pretty scared I would never use the camera. What if this was just a one-time thing and I suddenly lose my love for it all? What if the camera was too confusing to use? What if I didn't find enough time between my day job and going on shoots? What if my videos sucked?The funny thing is, my camera sat in my room unopened for two weeks. I was too afraid to open it and too afraid to read the manual. Basically, I was just afraid to fail.
So, what did I do? I compensated by making excuses.
"I'll open it when I have time."
"I just have to sit down and read the manual. I'll open it, eventually."
"Who even wants to see any of my videos?"
This list could go on forever. Then, one day, I was watching David Lynch's Blue Velvet, a mind f*$@ of a feature film, and I had the craziest bout of motivation overcome my entire body. I said to myself,
You know what? Screw this. I'm getting that camera out and I'm going to film something. And, you know what? It was the best decision I've ever made.
What did I shoot? Well, my room sits up in the attic, so I have a pretty cool view of our street from the third floor, and I decided to give it a go. I also set up my iPhone 7 for a little timelapse of the sunset and the crazy clouds that night. I then put my Canon Rebel T6 on some of the trees, cars driving by our house, the sunset and more. While Blue Velvet rolled along, I checked on my camera and my footage as I laid on my bed and watched David Lynch create his magic.
A lot of the scenes in Lynch's film involved the juxtaposition of happy dialogue and shots mixed in with deep psychological layers and elements of darkness. I remember thinking,
"This is so brilliant. I can do some of these shots!"
I mean, obviously not quite like these Hollywood cameramen do it or how Lynch nods the film along, but still, I can do something like this, while adding my own flavor and creativity to it.
So, I did.
And, now, as I progress (I have a long, long way to go), I can at least say I did something. I filmed this. Or, I wrote this script and put it to film. Or, I created a video for my Instagram page, a client's page, or, I even helped create a documentary. It feels even better because each project is so scary. I can't imagine the pressures some of these filmmakers face with millions of dollars on the line. I really can't. Maybe I'll feel those some day, but for now, I'm going to continue doing what I love, and I urge you to do the same.
Quit worrying so much about time (even though we're all racing against it), and start following some things you're passionate about. Even though it will be daunting at times and extremely difficult, making something is extremely exhilarating. The process is out of this world. And, like most of you creatives out there, sometimes you just have to know when it's time to start.
And, that time, is right now.