Journey of a Student Filmmaker Part 3: The Wait

There is nothing worse than the anticipation of good things to come. When your hard work has brought on the summation of your aspirations in a fiery swath of acceptance you begin to wonder, “What’s next?” I believe this is the encompassing problem of individuals who believe in the relentless nature of achievement. Every moment feels wasted if it is not afforded to dream you aspire towards.

I believe this is why I find myself supremely frustrated by the fact I have to wait until the upcoming Spring before I can begin my graduate studies at USC for their cinematic arts program. I’ll be moving to California in August, but I’ll have a few months before I begin. It feels harrowing. I consider the beginning of my graduate studies, rather than the final move to California, as the next progression of my livelihood. I doubt this feeling of ascension to a new culmination with my life will emerge until I leave from my graduate studies three years from now.

Still, the wait produces another feeling within me. A concoction of emptiness that can only be filled with a mission, a goal I must attain. This is the reason I decided to stay in Tuscaloosa and work as Director of Photography on a feature film being produced down here. It is the reason why mid-through that project I took off time to work as Director of Photography for one of my film professors on another project. It is the reason I climbed into my colleagues SUV and spent four days shooting a music video in Atlanta. It’s the reason why I sent my name into a competition that is now allowing me a three thousand dollar budget to shoot a short video for their campaign.

I crave the sustenance of work. I need the dark crevices of fulfillment. If my mind finds itself with idle time, he grows worrisome. It’s a symptom of success and the insecurity of success. You tell yourself you’ve done well, only to realize in the grand scheme, your mediocre ideals of achievement pale in comparison to the real embodiment of fulfillment you seek. No one cares about your journey until it resonates with their own life. When your work becomes the enjoyment of another individual, then it truly begins to matter.

This could be a never-ending hole. Maybe my greatest fear is the inconsolable fact I could work relentlessly towards my goals and never reach them. Others have worked just as hard as me and never achieved. Am I more entitled than the next? Am I willing to admit some avenues of success are dependent upon the luck of the draw?

These are the questions which run through my brain rampantly. Without a goal set to work towards, I am unable to cancel out the whispers of self-doubt. So I find myself creating goals of small stature I can periodically conquer as I wait for the final goal. In the back of my head I realize graduate school is still only a hurdle. It will be a long journey, but a small gesture in the workings of my ultimate destination. I believe I find myself pondering what is the ultimate destination. This is only exacerbated when you work yourself to the point you can reach a plateau you still haven’t truly defined.

Eric & Amira

Photograph of my family used in the recent More Than XY Exhibition

I am a filmmaker with a plethora of self-doubts. It is not a good combination, but I’ll toil ahead regardless. That is the plight of waiting for your next step in life, you begin to question if it will guide you to the next one.

The good thing is all of the extra worked has produced a pretty strong cinematography reel.


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