Filmmaker (Director, Producer, Writer)
I make historical documentary films and series for PBS.
I start work at anywhere from pre-dawn to 8:00, depending on what I'm doing (shooting, editing, business) and keep working for ten to fourteen hours.
My mentor said: Go, See, Do, Be. Don't be trapped by the expectation of others or the self-imposed false expectations we foist upon ourselves. It's a Socratic process of asking yourself: Who am I? To know yourself is to realize that whatever you choose, it requires extraordinary perseverance & nothing will be handed to you. It's terrifying but exciting. Emerson said 'find what inwardly rejoices.' I followed my voice, found out whether I had something to say, and how to say it-and I'm grateful.
Here's the first step for college students
Know who you are. As Robert Penn Warren said, "Careerism is death!" I can't tell you how to become a documentary filmmaker because each person's path is their own. That's both a blessing and terror, but I'd rather have that tension than be an automaton toiling away at something that doesn't grip me. You don't want to wake up at 50 and go, "What happened? Where were my dreams?" I can't prescribe any one method, but I do hope the conditions are such that you're able to do what your heart wants to.
"You should work for someone else, not yourself"