Friends often ask me why it takes so long to get my short films finished.
Of course, it is a lot of work preparing everything, getting trough the shoot and then pushing through postproduction. Especially the postproduction, the things you do with your filmed material like VFX, is – for some reason – the part that takes the most time and energy in my shorts.
When I started doing my science fiction short films, I was a freelancer doing storyboards and animations for film productions and advertising agencies. And when I got a big gig I worked my ass off for anywhere between three days and four weeks. After that I usually took some days or weeks off. Some gigs where that well paid, that I didn’t need to work for up to two or three months. In this time, mostly in summers, I did not hit the couch but worked on my own projects. I was always doing stuff.
But one day I decided, that I wanted more time for my family. Also, not knowing when your next big hit will come can make you nervous some times. And the one thing that is really cool when you work as a freelancer, its unpredictability, can be a problem when you want to get one of your own projects finished within the timeframe you have set for yourself.
So I though “Hm, let’s try a job as an employee! I don’t need to hunt for gigs, someone else takes care of the negotiations, I can do stuff nonstop, don’t get bored and the company I work for earns money with the stuff I make. Win-Win situation!”
Short time later, I started working for a multimedia company doing animations for websites. The team was nice and I had a good feeling with them from the very beginning. Maybe it was because the boss of the company was a surfer? Hey, my boss is a surfer – any questions?
But somehow, my film projects tend to get bigger and bigger as time goes by and I have less and less spare time to get my tasks finished. Also, working one day a week on my short films was just not enough. I was accustomed to work on high energy loaded, compact three to four weeks nonstop on a project. A method that made sense to me – in terms of project management. Instead of working on one part or another every now and then.
But I did not want to go back.
So I started using my long train commutes (15 hours a week) to work on Echoes. Trains are shaky and I did a lot of trying and testing of routes and train types in order to find those who shake the least.
To be honest, I did a lot of bitching about those train rides. I hated the trains and the time loss.
But it just does not help you focusing on the things you don’t have.
Like for me, I had to give up my studio, don’t get enough sleep, have extremely limited manpower ressources, don’t have any space to finish my miniatures for the postapocalyptic sci-fi short film “Project 17” and I live in a country where the chance to get my full length sci-fi movie, The Wendigo Effect, made is somewhere near to zero…
You gotta focus on the things you have, which in in my case is my family and a few hours a week for my shorts – which is better than having none. Right? 🙂
So if you do want to reach your goal, no matter what, then always keep in mind that the perfect situation for something to occur will never come. So why waste your time waiting for something that won’t come? Wanna loose weight or get something done? Just do it! With or without sneakers. 🙂
My chances have never been better. So I push forward!