I must be crazy. Or insane. Probably a bit of both. Which is why I volunteered for something crazy and insane.
I'd like to say I feel a little like Katniss Everdeen, taking on the big bad Capitol, but I don't feel nearly as brave. Instead, I feel like a clown, trying to learn to juggle chain saws, while riding a unicycle on a tight-rope fifty feet in the air. In the middle of a raging storm.
Which would be totally awesome to witness, but pretty difficult to achieve.
Volunteering as tribute
So what did I do that's so crazy and insane? I volunteered, nay, asked to be the producer of our next feature film. Which means I'm now responsible to see everything come together for 90 minutes of film.
Oh, but it gets better.
It's an independent film. Which means there's no big company backing us, not a lot of resources and zero finances.
The struggle's real
I really am crazy and insane. And I love it.
Let me compare the journey to Star Wars for a moment. Everyone loved the original saga and I'm convinced it's because everything was done on a tight budget with limited resources. Half the programs filmmakers today take for granted didn't exist then.
In fact they were created because people like George Lucas had to think outside the box to get the job done.
Or another example, Peter Jackson and Weta Workshop. They had to think outside the confines of celluloid to fully create the world of Middle Earth and in the process they too created a new term for the film world.
"Bigatures." Small enough to house an entire city within a warehouse and big enough to actually be used in a shot.
One of my favourite directors, J.J. Abrams did Ted Talk titled The Mystery Box. He shared a story about working with Tom Cruise on Mission Impossible 3 and how he had to think outside the normal filmmaking traditions, to capture a ten second shot. I won't give you all the juicy details, because you should watch it.
But the lesson is the same.
The harder the struggle, the more powerful the film.
Well, this film is going to be quite the struggle to make. Which is why I'm loving how crazy and insane I am.
Because it's going to be good.
Actually it's going to be a great adventure.
It's a hero's journey kinda thing
This next year is going to be insane and crazy. Did you catch that yet?
But mostly it's going to be an incredible journey.
Anyone who studies story will know about Joseph Campell's Monomyth and how every protagonist experiences a call to adventure.
Well as a filmmaker, my call to adventure was the idea of becoming a producer.
The next part in my journey is whether or not I accept the call and cross the threshold.
I know there will be great days, bad days and days in-between where I won't know what to do, but that's part of what makes this a journey. An adventure.
Or rather, a life worth living.
J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, said this, "The most useless are those who never change through the years."
I don't want to be useless.
So I'm accepting the call and crossing the threshold.
I really am like Katniss taking on the Capitol.
Really what this means is I get to challenge myself, to see what I have to offer.
If I'm successful, then by the end of this year, I'll be sitting in an air-conditioned room, with the lights dimmed and my name splashing across the screen under the title of Producer.
And when I see my name flash across the screen, it will be followed by a powerful film.
I've applied this idea to my world of filmmaking because I don't want to become useless in my field, but the truth is, it can be applied to all of life.
Every single one of us go on a journey.
Several in fact, and the more we choose the new world (new concept or idea) and step out of the familiar, the more we will grow as people.
So, how about it... you ready to produce something powerful?
Written by Charis Jackson
Originally Published for Christian Today