Friday, January 28, 2011

Where We Are, Where We Came From

There was no struggle in naming my business. I started this blog six years ago and just kept writing here, at first, never stating my last name - and then one day, I just decided to put my full name in my bio, thus, allowing a Google search of my name to locate my blog. After I made a video for The Richards Group advertising agency as a solo director, they Googled my name, found this site and they linked to my blog as my company website, thus driving traffic to it from important people all over the advertising world.

So I went and registered the name Deliberate Industries as an L.L.C. and that is the name I worked under for all of 2010. Coincidentally, I've had my best year ever, as an employee of Deliberate Industries. The problem with my blog sharing the same name as my business, is what was once just a personal space to nearly anonymously share my thoughts, this simple website is now the landing page for my professional career as a filmmaker. For the last year I've been very hesitant to share anything very personal, the way I used to, even going so far as to create a secondary, private Twitter account for myself, which clients are strictly banned from viewing. I like to work with individuals whom I have a relationship with, old-fashioned, trusting and friendly. I work hard for my clients. When I say that I'm going to do a project, I do it and I do it by the deadline set forth. Last year I pulled as many all-nighters as I did in college, finishing, exporting and uploading videos so that they'd be viewable by my clients first thing when they arrived at the office in the morning. In return, I've built some really important and meaningful relationships and gotten opportunities to do really fun and inspiring video projects. A few times, the people who've hired me haven't lived up to the bargain themselves, sometimes paying way later than what we agreed upon (this was a rare occurrence in 2010) - it's something that just baffles me. For the first time, over the last year, I hired crew to help shoot the videos I was hired to make. I almost always pay up front, and if I ask the crew to invoice for the job, I make sure before taking on the project that there is enough cash in the company account to pay everyone, even in the event that the client defaults on payment. I refuse to grow bitter even when I've had a couple bad experiences working with small businesses and entrepreneurs. I'm going to continue to work with the same level of integrity that I expect from everyone else.

The really hard thing about running a business is that it's affected the way I carry myself online. I used to video blog, write stories and jot down my emotions in blog format. Now I feel like everything I post online needs to pertain to my career as a filmmaker, or make me look smart, or link to something that is educational and shows that I am relevant.

I'm sick of being so guarded.

The reason I started writing this post tonight, at two in the morning, is to say that last month I ended an 18 month relationship. I'm kind of sad about it. On one hand, we both have peace about breaking up and that is a rare thing and a good thing. On the other hand, we spent 18 months getting to know each other, hoping for a future together and now we can barely be friends. Being single affords me some luxuries that people in committed relationships don't have, for example, traveling the world on a whim, which I do regulary. There is nobody at home missing me. There are no children missing their father. I'd actually much rather be married by now, but I'm not married, not because I'm defective or because I missed some opportunity, I'm just not married yet. I choose to see the positive and I'm making the most out of where I am in life. Some could say that the constant world-travel doesn't exactly lend itself to the opportunity to meet someone to be committed to, but I don't believe it works that way. God made me a certain way, adventurous, disarming, even possibly charming, I'm using those qualities now, to get the most value out of where the circumstances of my life have brought me. And that place is directing videos, writing stories, making connections around the world and serving people in need. I don't have a lot of money saved or invested and I'm not even bringing in a lot of money in income at the moment, but I have a feeling that is going to change and I'm not anxious for it. I like where I am. I like the freedom of not having possessions and not having the responsibility of maintenance.

This update is necessary because I've been holding in details about who I am in the hopes that new clients would think I'm bigger than I am, but I've realized recently that my power is not in an office, not in the ownership of equipment, but in the training I've received and the way I'm executing my ability as a filmmaker, story-teller and director. I now have a solid reel of cinematography work, editing work, pieces that I have directed and even a finished narrative film. I always knew those things existed inside of me but my own belief in myself really doesn't matter to anyone else, not to someone who is going to hire me to complete a job, what matters to them most is the trust that is created in the relationship we have, my tangible history of completed production and the plan I've created and shared with them to complete their project. Where I am and what I have do not matter. What matters is that I'm honest, that I have integrity and that I continue to produce content with consistency. I can say whatever I want here, even if it comes from a place of vulnerability, because no matter what anyone thinks of me personally, my work speaks for itself.

This entire diatribe was written for me to say two things: I'm eager for the future and I'm happy now.

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