I am just about having the worst existential crisis of my life.
Tomorrow marks the beginning of my 3rd year in college (technically 3rd year, long story), which means I only have two trimesters to go, and I have no idea what I’m doing. I know that so many other students experience exactly what I’m experiencing right now, but frankly, that doesn’t do anything to help my situation. Knowing that other people don’t know what they’re doing with their lives isn’t banishing the fact that I don’t know what I’m doing either.
Maybe if I chose a different career path, a more stable one, things would be easier, I keep thinking to myself. But I’m not so sure. In truth, if I chose any career path other than the film industry, all I’d be doing is regretting whatever I’m studying and wishing I was studying film.
Here are some things you need to know about me to fully comprehend the extent of my existential crisis:
1. I want a job with a steady income and regular hours
2. I am terrible at adapting to change
3. I am a shy and awkward person
4. I do not take initiative on many things. If anything, it’s a rarity
5. My navigating and transporting skills are 99% non-existent
Here are some things you need to know about working in the film industry:
1. The film industry is an absolutely terrible and terrifying place for anyone with any or all of the attributes above
2. Was that not enough?
Look, I just want to create through this audio-visual medium. I am fascinated by it. I love story-telling and I love film and I love its language and its power and the way it speaks to people and how each and every minor detail has been thought through and put there specifically to enhance the story in some kind of way. I love it. I love film. It’s my passion. And they say, “Do what you love,” right? So that’s what I decided to do.
But here is my problem:
I am the only thing in this nonsensical equation that is stopping me from being successful before I’ve even started. Psychologically, yes. But even my skills are limited. I lack all the technical skills required to operate a camera to its full extent. It just doesn’t stick in my head. My knowledge of film, past and present, is disturbingly poor. The only thing I think I have going for me is that I am “creative”. And even then, I couldn’t prove anyone of that in my “Creative Thinking” class.
I shouldn’t even have time to worry about what I’m going to do when I graduate, because these final two trimesters involve a “specialised project” in which, by the title, we specialise in a certain role, in a certain type of film medium. E.g. The director for a short film, or the editor for a music video.
And still. I don’t know what I’m good at. I still don’t know what I enjoy the most. And I’m pretty sure I’m the only one left in the class who can’t find her little niche. I’m pretty sure I’m one of those people in the class who you wouldn’t want to end up working with because she doesn’t seem to know anything or know how to do anything or is any good at anything. One of those people who you’d think is just taking this course because she doesn’t know what she’s doing and will most likely end up working in a completely different industry.
And I guess that is me. I don’t know anything, I can’t do anything, and I’ll probably end up doing something completely unrelated to film because I chickened out.
I’m thinking… Screenwriting? Production/set design? Editing?
The latter is probably the only promising one in terms of its demands in the industry. And yet that is probably my worst skill out of the three. And even then, I know if I ever told anyone in class that I’d like to get into screenwriting or editing, that I would be laughed at. I’m not even joking. Literally laughed at. Especially editing. Production design is what I’m most interested in, but my lecturer pretty much told me there’s no future down that career path; hardly anyone needs a production designer in small or indie productions. He keeps telling me I have a “good head” and has given me positive feedback about my editing skills and has pretty much convinced me into specialising in editing, but look – the main thing I’m having a problem with about this is that I don’t know how to prove myself a worthy editor to my classmates enough for them to want to take me on as editor for their project. There are some really amazing editors in the class who have known what they wanted to do since before they came to this college – they’ve been practising for so long, edited for a fair few productions, and just really know their stuff. And then there’s me, who just realised a month or two ago, maybe I’d be sort of okay at editing, if that’s what my general feedback has been.
The bottom line is, I have the passion for filmmaking, but not the skills. How stupid is that?