I'm a film producer, and have been working on several projects for a few years now. The first thing people want to know is "How did you get into that?". They wonder if you attended film school, or interned in film production, or had family in the business. No, I explain, I always wanted to do it and an opportunity to do it just came up.
And how did that happen, you may ask? In this case, my Italian teacher who knew that I liked movies introduced me to another student of his who was working on a documentary. I met the other student, saw a rough cut and declared with full brashness "It's great, can I help produce it? I don't have an experience but I've read a lot about this and will work hard". The reply was "of course!" and thus we began producing this project.
Thus was born "This Time", a documentary about musicians whose careers are facing challenges, and how they try to overcome them, and the faith and passion that keeps them going after so many years of obstacles and disappointment. Four years later, after the trials of Job, that final film is coming out in theaters on August 10th at the Quad Cinema in New York. You can see our trailer and our facebook page below. Please go see the film and support your fellow artists trying to keep chins up in a brutal business!
And this work on a documentary brought, through an introduction by generous super-connector Michael Roderick, to Kennon Hullett. She was beginning work on the documentary about obesity and the science behind it, and needed some help. Michael knowing my documentary background, put us in touch and I'm working as an executive producer, to shape the presentation, make introductions and just be an adviser to a hard-working, talented first time filmmaker. Little did either of them know that at the time I've done lots of reading on the subject myself over the past few years and was excited at a chance to do more work on the topic and see these ideas spread to a broader audience. Now that project is coming into the final stretch on kickstarter (please support us below if you can !) and it looks to be headed to filming and raising the full budget in the fall. The fact that I knew nothing about kickstarter before this is incidental, because our team managed to include someone who did and is a generous teacher.
So these two documentary projects I've been working on, among others, are really the fruits of nothing more than being open to an opportunity and to take a risk. For the past few years I've always had lots of meetings where things didn't line up between me and the person on the other end of the table. Or projects that I thought would be a financial mess, or where I didn't share the view of the creator. But, before you meet that artist or creator, or the producing team on something, you'll never know if it's going to be a good fit.
So the next time, make sure you take that random meeting someone proposes and learn more about the vision and the business behind it. Think it over, see if it feels right, and be open to taking a risk. One of those random meetings is going to turn into a great opportunity for you to move you into a whole new level of creativity and visibility for your work, you'll just never quite know ahead of time. And this sort of risk taking seems to feed on itself once you make the leap, attracting the like-minded and other brave risk takers