Richard's Open Road
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Other: Montreal Team
practical advice, self discovery, time
Before Richard discovered filmmaking, he wanted to be a writer. He was the guy who always won the writer's fair in the small town in East Texas where he grew up. In seventh grade he even wrote a play that his school produced. Writing was his only outlet then, yet he was never encouraged to pursue it seriously. He needed something more practical to fall back on, his family and friends insisted. "Go to medical school," they said. "Go to law school." He knew those choices were wrong for him. While trying to figure out what he really wanted to do, he worked as an offshore oil worker for a few years and saved some money. Still in his early twenties, he read voraciously, watched lots of movies, and bought some editing equipment. During that "monkish, dropout, total-devotion phase," he laid the foundation for his true life's work—filmmaking. Richard underwent a rite of passage that many successful people experience—they withdraw for a while to regroup, and then they re-emerge stronger and more lucid than before. Though, discovering his passion was one thing, and succeeding at it another. He spent another few years making films that flopped, a pattern of failure and frustration that, he emphasizes, is common in the arts. Undaunted by the setbacks, he persevered and over time made a name for himself as a talented filmmaker.