I thought I’d use this blog to tell a little story.
This story is about the conflict between dreams and responsibilities. Or more accurately, where we really want to be in life and the sacrifices and gambles we take to get there.
On Monday I was offered a job, with a very good salary too. After a lot of thought and hesitation I turned it down. Why? There was a number of reasons but the main reason the one that was screaming at me not to do it was that this job wasn’t anything to do with working in film. In fact it wasn’t anything to do with films at all. The job was for an online virtual game. I’d be in charge of a department, I’d be making computer generated models and animating them.
Now don’t get me wrong, working in the games industry isn’t boring, and if you do it well you can make a lot of money. But my heart has never been in the games industry, despite doing it for 12 years of my life. You may ask, why did I work in games for so long when I wanted a career in films.
Now I could go into the whole life story of how I begun making films from the age of seven. At 18 I was on the right track working as runner in an editing studio, I got sacked (I wasn’t very good at cleaning the toilet)
I then fell into the games industry when I saw a job post in the back of game magazine. I thought it would be a quick way of learning computer graphics as I really wanted to be able to add CG to my films and so this felt like a good way of learning CG while also earning money and having fun. I could go into detail on all this but actually that pretty much covers how and why I got into games.
The plan was to stick it for a year or two while making my films in my spare time and then get back into film. Problem was, real life got in the way, meaning paying bills, mortgages and all the other crap that life throws at you. And so the small stint in the games industry became a career.
I was made redundant in 2011 and so I decided it was the time to get back to following my dream. I felt the first thing was to test the water by creating an animated short film. After all I’d spent 11 years of my life learning computer graphics so I might as well use it. After 6 months I finished my first animated short Baggage, which if you like, you can view below. It’s only 3 minutes long.
To keep money coming in I’ve been using my skills as a freelancer with the aim to do enough jobs to keep me afloat while still having the time to make films. These past couple of month have been pretty tight to say the least so when this job offer came up it was very very tempting. But I knew if I went back into the games industry I most probably would have to kiss my chance of directing good bye.
So I’ve decided to step off the games career ladder completely. I’m taking a step back so I can find the right step, the one I was on right at the beginning (I shouldn’t of complained about cleaning toilets). I know I’m going to have to take a massive pay cut and start at the bottom somewhere. But when I think about it, it still feels so much better than taking a massive pay increase for a job that I wouldn’t like.
Although what makes this decision even more scary is the fact that I’ve got a baby boy and I know that what ever happens he comes first. But I also know that if I’d taken that job I really wouldn’t of been happy and that my son would end up suffering because of the fact his Dad was such a grumpy git.
Here he is
So have I made the right decision? Is it complete madness to of turned down such a good job?Am I bad person for following my dream and not thinking abut the extra cash I could be giving my son. I really don’t know the answer to that, what I do know is making decisions like this when you have such great responsibilities is really difficult.
Having these dreams when you’re young is so much easier as you don’t have so many people counting on you. You can go for it all gung-ho and if you fall on your arse, you can get up a little red faced but still unscathed. Now it feels like last chance saloon. I’m putting my money where my mouth is and I can’t screw up. I’m walking that tight rope with out safety netting. If I get this wrong then I’m not just falling on my arse I’m falling off a cliff. Ok so that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But I want to succeed so much and don’t want to let people down. I believe I can do it and 22 days later is really helping me exercise my belief.
It’s a long road but I know it’s where I’m meant to be.
What do you think, would love to hear your thoughts and if you’ve been through anything similar?
Thanks for listening