Last Friday I had the displeasure of having to tell all of you that my next independent venture, Love In Training, was going to have to be put on hold indefinitely. While I generally try not to make a habit of canning my own work, instances such as these do often serve as wonderful learning tools. For me it reminded me of the importance of staying positive and maintaining a strong, independent spirit. While the importance of having a positive attitude is hardly new news, it is something, that for whatever reason, we need to remind ourselves not to forget every once in a while.

Andrea and I got away for the afternoon this past Sunday and in our journey (much spent in traffic on the 405) we chatted about what brought us to LA and how dramatically different our lives were prior, yet how similar our respective origin stories were -if you were to look at the overarching themes. For me I came out here in what was my second attempt at college. I was young, naive but determined since my first go ’round was a miserable failure (sorry Dad) and entirely my fault. I knew that this was it for me, that it was now or never and for two and a half years I never took my foot off the accelerator. I graduated in record time and among the top of my class. But I didn’t stop there, I soon found work -granted this was over 10 years ago now (damn I’m getting old) – and kept on accelerating. It’s all I knew and those who know me best it was me getting back to being me. But something happened along the way. Right around the time that I started to make a decent living for myself I stopped being independent and instead became very dependent -dependent on stuff. Back in the day I was the type to figure it out and build something comparable before I ran off and bought anything. I taught myself software, built computers with my friends, learned to draw my own comic books and even make movies in my parents’ garage. At the height of my professional advertising career I did none of those things, instead I hired folks to do them for me for I believed that my time was too valuable. That I would somehow achieve better results by entrusting those results to someone who I had never met but was instead referred to me by someone else, who’s time was also too valuable. I stopped doing things for myself and in doing so became indebted to others.

Then it all went away, just like Love In Training.

But nothing important really goes away. I’m still here. I have my health, my creativity and my desire to march forward and take that next step. And regardless of what career or field of study you may find yourself that next step is all that matters. That’s what being independent is truly all about.  It’s not about what music you listen to, what clothes you wear or what phone you have in your pocket; being independent is about being indebted to yourself, and working hard each and every day to make sure that you live up to your own standard(s). It’s a frame of mind, nothing more and nothing less. It’s not simply believing in your own success but instead knowing that you’re the only one who’s going to make it happen. It’s not about being different for the sake of being different, it’s about being different out of necessity, because normal just doesn’t work for you anymore. It’s about creating a new normal for yourself -whether that “normal” is working on cars or making movies. Because you must.

For me it’s as much the journey as it is the end result. I love the act of making movies on a set or location but am discovering the whole process to be as rewarding; the same could be said for my job as a managing editor. The journey is proving as rewarding as the end results for real, genuine discovery and learning is happening, something I’m not certain I’ve felt that in quite some time. This is why I’ve chosen to build my very own screening room. To take my creative process in-house and to learn alongside all of you so that I can be better, be independent but more importantly be a part of my own creative process again. To enjoy it and have fun. Fun is good. Too often those in the film business and even the specialty AV business forget that a lot of what we do is supposed to be fun. Film is a business but it isn’t only a business. Same is true when it comes to home theater; after all when I got into home theater is was widely referred to as a hobby. It needs to be that again, just as film needs to return to its roots and be about good stories versus what camera or format someone chose to use.

So there you have it. Maybe not the most informative post ever but never the less one I felt compelled to write. Anyway, I thank you all so very much for reading and for your continued support of me and my independent endeavors. Until next time, take care and stay tuned…

Andrew

  • Grasshopper

    Great inspirational article Andrew , I especially like your statement that ‘ film needs to return to it’s roots and be about good stories ‘ . To often these days movies tend to focus on sensationalism , explosions , car crashes ,and gun play, etc. while the story takes a back seat . I have recently discovered a whole new genre of films . Independent movies that transcend mainstream movie conventions . The enjoyment in these movies is that they move you on an emotional level , and for me that’s what makes a great movie . p.s. I love the picture of Walter !

  • http://twitter.com/ARobinsonOnline Andrew Robinson

    Thanks Grasshopper and I love that you got my Fringe reference -it’s my favorite show on TV right now.