The pleasant stress of film-making.

February 28, 2019

 

Ahhhh. I shot something last week. It was something I'd written a little while ago, and it quickly fell into place. The footage looks good, it's pretty much what I envisioned when I set out to make it, and everything came together to enable us to go out and shoot it last week. It's been far too long. Far, far too long. Because I love filming.

 

You know what I love most about filming? How damn stressful it is.

 

That might sound like a contradiction, but it's not. Now, look, I hate stress. I hate it when my computer doesn't work or it takes a billion years to export a bit of footage. I hate it when I realise I haven't go enough money to do something I want to do or I sit down and try to help my kid's with their homework only to realise I don't actually know any of the answers. Those things are horrible and they're stressful and they drive me mad.

 

But the stress of making a film, of being on set and having thousands of problems punch you in the face - from people dropping out last minute to certain shots not working properly, to members of the public being super unhelpful and wandering into shot (or sometimes just sitting down) or aeroplanes flying over head - is different.

 

But why? Why doesn't it make me want to curl up into a ball and cry like almost every other type of stress I encounter does? What is it about the stress of film-making, with all of its unsolvable problems and frustrating left field attacks, that makes me feel different? Hell, why do I enjoy it?

 

Well, at the risk of sounding big-headed, simply put it's because I can deal with it.

 

In fact, I think I'm quite good at dealing with it.

 

Don't ask me why, but when an issue arises on a film set I can just see a way out. I can see a solution, almost instantly. Sometimes I might have to take a step back and think, but I can always think of a way around it, or way to solve it.

 

I'm not trying to say that I'm the world's bestest film-maker, that would be arrogant as anything, but I do genuinely think I'm not too bad. I think, when I get on set and I start looking at my storyboards and talking with the actors and crew and figuring out how all of this is actually going to work now that we're there and ready to go, that I am in my element. I know how to deal with things when I'm on set. I just do. For me, it's one of the most comfortable places to be.

 

Perhaps that's why I miss it so much when I'm not doing it. And perhaps that's why I feel an immense sense of satisfaction when I know a filming day is coming up, or that I have a new idea I'm ready to start putting together. I don't know. And whether or not you all enjoy my work, I enjoy doing it. I genuinely can't imagine doing anything else. In fact, I'm outwardly depressed when I'm not. And, simply put, it's because I feel successful. When I solve a problem or work around something and we finish off the shoot with everything shot and looking good I feel like a success. I can do this job.

 

Man, it's good to be back filming.

 

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© Alex Secker 2018