I look at creativity as being like your car. It gets you to where you need to go. Without your vehicle, you go nowhere. So what if you crash that car?
Well, I did.
That morning I was excited. In the evening for the span of a few hours, I was escaping my everyday job, and I would be filming an event doing one of the two things I really would like to do full time, filming and writing.
For this particular shoot, I would be using my Canon 70D DSLR camera. Regularly, for recording sound, I depended on my boom mic mounted on the camera, but this time, I wanted to challenge myself and capture the sound through a separate mixer, the TASCAM60D.
I realized this would add one more step in the editing process, but it allows me to hear the audio being recorded. For those who do not know, the Canon 70D does not have a headphone jack. In my opinion, this is its only drawback.
All afternoon I practiced with the TASCAM making sure I understood the entire process so there would be no chance of losing the sound. Leaving nothing to chance, I also would bring along my ZoomH1 field recorder as a sound backup although I was sure I wouldn’t need it.
To also ensure that the shoot would have all that I needed, I packed my lighting kit, stands, extension cords, clamps, gels, everything I owned that I could think of for any challenges I could face.
Because I was doing everything myself, I got to the location early. Time can either be an enemy or an ally, and I knew that to get things just right, I needed extra time to make sure all was ready.
When I arrived at the location, I immediately faced with my first challenge of the evening. I could not find power for the lighting above the stage where I would be setting up my first shot, an interview with the hosts of the event. I eventually found power offstage, and because I had brought my extra extension cords, I was able to power up the lights.
From there, I set up my interview area. I looked at the scene through the Canon and determined that I would need the lights that I had brought. I even had additional lights ready to go just in case.
The hosts arrived about thirty minutes later, and the interview went off without a hitch. Now it was time to set up for the event. I chose an area to place my camera that I felt captured the stage.
However, before the event began, circumstances forced me to have to move to another position not entirely ideal. I positioned myself, and the event started.
I also had brought my iPhone to use for capturing “cutaway” shots so that the video would not be this dull, one-shot piece. I mounted the ZoomH1 on my IPHONE rig to capture any sound I thought would add to the shots. It was just there in case.
The event began, the Canon was rolling, and I then began to move around the room, shooting bits and pieces with the iPhone from the audience. While doing that I quickly found that there wasn’t enough lighting for the audience to make any of the footage useful. There would be no chance for insert shots. Realizing that the only good footage I was going to get would be from the Canon, I positioned myself there. On the headphones from the TASCAM, everything sounded fine.
About 40 minutes in, the Canon shut down. I had forgotten that a DSLR camera that continuously runs would overheat. I panicked.
Luckily I had the iPhone. I quickly turned it back on and turned the ZoomH1 on as well. Without a tripod, I held my iPhone rig as steady as I could. I had only lost a part of the event which could be fixed somewhat in editing. But with no headphones, I had no idea what it sounded like, and that’s how I finished the event.
Nothing had gone I as planned. Thoughts raced through as head. Am I cut out to be a filmmaker? The event and its mishaps made me question myself. Was I fooling myself all this time chasing an impossible dream that I have no talent for?
I had crashed the car. At that moment I was going nowhere and because of the damage would never go anywhere with filmmaking. I drove home really feeling that what I wanted to do with my life was a pipe dream.
This is where we go back to the car analogy.
I realize when we crash our cars, there’s always insurance to help get it running again. We have benefits to help repair the damage.
During that shoot, I was doing what I love to do. That in itself should be my focus. I had used my creativity and imagination. The Canon went down, but I didn’t lose the event. I had my used my iPhone and had stepped out of my comfort zone to see the project through.
To do this required me to be creative and use the resources I had not to have the evening crash and burn. I also had the ZoomH1 to ensure that the sound would be there.
Plans sometimes fail due to circumstances beyond our control. Creativity allows us to deal with those situations. We cannot judge ourselves by allowing obstacles to dictate who we are and what we want to do in life because barriers are a part of life.
Cars get repaired in most situations. The thing we need to understand is that we have that car and those dreams to get us to our final destinations. An accident is not the end of the vehicle. We have to get to the mechanic and get it fixed. We may need a tow to get it there, and that is our perspective of the situation. The point is to get back on the road and be able to get to where we need to go. And as long as we keep going, we will reach our destination, which is our goals and our dreams.