Three recent reflections while assembling my portfolio

With work on Chasing Classic Cars behind me, I’ve been touching up the website and building pages showcasing my work history.

While doing so, I’ve taken note of some thoughts found passing through my mind.

1.) I miss producing my own projects

It’s hard not to feel excitement when watching videos I’ve self-produced.

There’s a self-satisfaction enjoyed from bringing something into existence. Nothing is easy to make; each video takes time, energy, emotional bandwidth, and financial sacrifice - either hard cash or trading working hours. Each project proves pursuing an idea with persistent work can be rewarding.

There’s also a satisfaction felt when witnessing growth. From each project there is something learned. Sometimes, I choose a project to strengthen a weakness, or try my hand at something never personally attempted. Rewatching these videos, I recall the moments of elation at the computer when I heard or saw my dreams become reality, when the skill building paid off.

Yes, I’ve felt good revisiting old projects these last few day.

But I also thought: I wish there were more.

And I only solve that problem by making more projects a reality.

2.) Time spent in post-production has paid off professionally

I felt a capable interviewer when hired to produce Chasing Classic Cars thanks to the countless hours spent logging footage as an assistant editor, when I actively eavesdropped on producers questioning subjects.

But the benefits didn’t end there. Not only had I learned to competently conduct an interview, I had soaked up countless lessons that saved me from making mistakes I’ve had to cut around.

What happens when the host is in a bad mood? What happens when a subject isn’t as available as previously discussed? What happens when an interview goes poorly? All these potential story killers can be mitigated if the right compensations are made. These lessons can be learned in the field, or they can be learned from the safety of the edit bay.

Once in the field, my limiting beliefs about my limited field experience were overcome thanks to countless hours of mentally-engrained raw footage and experiences editing shows.

All that said, why then do I still hold this limiting belief when it comes to personal projects and ambitions?

3.) There’s true utility to being a jack of all trades and working with specialists

As a director or producer, I’m interacting with each and every aspect of production. So, having worked on just about every aspect of filmmaking, I’ve had the chance to experience the challenges and limitations encountered in each aspect of production and post-production.

To lead a team and problem solve on the fly, these diverse experiences have helped in moments of panic. Such experiences have provided reassurance that there are solutions if I just keep a level head long enough to access them.

Maybe it might be wise to take that jack of all trades mentality and put it to use finding collaborators for a personal project. Rather than insisting I can do it all, it might be wise to use these experiences to find those who are the specialists in their fields to assist with the next projects.

The challenges I’ve faced producing Chasing Classic Cars have both strengthened weaknesses and opened my eyes to strengths I have taken for granted.

Looking back at personal projects reminds me of the work that helped me succeed producing the documentary series. But it also stands to remind me of projects I’ve paused while working tirelessly on the show.

If I want to produce more moments of artistic elation…seems I need to make more work and bring more collaborators along for the journey.

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