Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Careers Are Prototypes

As I was perusing through Zite articles on my iPad when I saw this post from "10 Things I Learned at the Guerilla Filmmakers Masterclass." In addition to several great tips, #2 caught my eye:

2. Careers Are Prototypes: Chris had a really interesting five stage model of career progression for filmmakers.  (BTW Chris – you need to publish this!) It went from Day One Newbie declaring “I want to be a filmmaker” through to being Chris Nolan.
I found this an incredibly interesting way of looking at your own development. Your development is in your own hands. Intellectually we know this, but seeing it laid out on the screen brings it home.

There is not a set amount of time required for each of the five stages. and the big thing to remember is everyone’s career will be different. Also good to see is that there is no ONE big break. There will likely be a series of breaks. In fact, you are best thinking of your career as a game of snakes and ladders. Sometimes you go up, sometimes you go down. There may be an element of luck in some of the “breaks” but mostly it is a strategy, a laser vision and MASSIVE action involved in getting to the next stage.

During a general meeting with a writer today, the idea of one's career and the progression it takes came up and I remembered this article. It's really easy to get caught up in what everyone else in this town is doing, how they're ahead of you, how they've been given opportunities you haven't. 

I went through this in the couple of years following my win at the MTV Movies Awards. As I've mentioned on here before, I fully expected my career to just be handed to me following my acceptance of the Golden Popcorn and it was a cold, hard wake-up call when I realized that wasn't gonna happen.

For me, the next major benchmark in my career is the feature film and I'm actively pursuing making that happen. I've always seen that as the first major step I need to take in order to move my career to the next level and my management concurs (as far as directing is concerned). But it's important to try and not look to others with jealousy or anger. Otherwise, anyone older than Josh Trank (25, director of Chronicle) should just give up.

I thought the post made an interesting point. How have you dealt with your own setbacks, goals, wishes, seeing others get further, faster than you? Share your thoughts below.