Jumping Off a Cliff (or: How I Want to Call Myself a Filmmaker)

Many of you probably know that my day job is working at the Phoenix Zoo.  I’ve been there nearly five years.  I love it there.  I love the people (the co-workers, that is).  And I love the animals.  But it’s time for me to move on.  I’m starting my last week there tomorrow.

An underwater picture I took at Stingray Bay at the Phoenix Zoo

Right now I’m experiencing equal parts of sheer and total panic with a sense of exhilaration.  The “goal” (…like how I used quotations there…) is to make freelance video production my primary source of income.  This means more freedom to do the Squishy Studios film projects (since we got two web series rolling out), but also means lots of unpredictability of where the next paycheck is coming from.

Freelancer = Gun for hire.

All this is so … in a weird way … so I can finally say that I am in fact a filmmaker.  

“Well of course you’re a filmmaker, Nathan!  You’ve been making movies for years!”  I know, I know, but my brain just won’t let me say that to people.  Like someone who centers their whole life around painting, who completely associates their identity with their craft, but yet works thirty-nine hours a week at some part-time job to pay the bills.  Do they say “I’m a painter!”  Telling someone that, the reaction is first an impressed surprise.  After all how does one make a living doing such things?  Then they follow up with, predictably, by asking that very same question.  What then follows is a wrought elaboration of how it actually isn’t your “career”, per se, but that you actually work at a Home Depot in Scottsdale.  But you really do like to paint!!

So then they’re thinking, well if he gets to label himself after his favorite hobby then why can’t I?  I’m a Video Gameteer!

Yes, this is completely ridiculous, but there’s some truth to it as well.  I’m a big fan of Joseph Campbell.  His views on mythology, religion, and the cultures of the world have been a true inspiration.  In his lectures he talks about the King Arthur legend, where before the Knights set out on their quest to find the Holy Grail, each must find their own spot to enter the dark forest.  Each must follow their own path, the one that they find is best for them, and to do otherwise would be to take someone else’s journey.

My badge from last weekend's Phoenix FearCON IV Film Festival

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