I wrote a Tweet today about how I felt. It said… ‘Success is so often a mirage. The journey is so much more important than the destination.’
In response I received an anonymous message today that put into words with more eloquence than I can muster…
(note the YouTube clip above is from the soundtrack to ‘Crimson Tide’, the first half of which is what we loved Tony Scott for – bombast! – the second half being a hymn)
I think that the importance of focusing on the journey cant be underestimated. There are many reasons for this, perhaps the most important one is that the destination doesn’t actually exist.
As filmmakers, we work so hard, push so much, squeeze everything we have, make sacrifices – all to get to THAT PLACE. Nerves become frayed, pressure mounts, visions blur – all because we try, relentlessly, to get to THAT PLACE.
But – there is no ‘place’. We may think there is – most commonly for folk like us, it is making feature films for a living. But a destination is a finite thing – and who really would stop once they have made a feature film? It would just be a continuation of the journey that we are ALREADY ON.
I see so many filmmakers with panda-eyes, wearing themselves down, worrying that they are running out of time. They are unaware that they are already DOING IT. If only they could stop for a moment and smell the roses.
I have actually stopped thinking about myself as a filmmaker – preferring ‘a person who makes films’. The change in syntax is slight, but very important. We are more than filmmakers – we have other dimensions. Other passions. More strands to our personalities and lives than folk who only scribble and hold a camera at people acting out those scribbles. We are not what we do. The danger of identifying too closely with our profession, any profession, is that a person will lose their sense of identity – lose a sense of who they are. So, if things don’t go as they hope with that one thing, they paint their entire selves with that failure. But we are not what we do. Believing that we are, losing ourselves and then being brought down because of that attachment is sad. In fact, there are not many things more tragic than that, in my opinion.
I care about other people. I care about other people that make films. Even the ones that I don’t know. But then again, knowing others isn’t important. To care about others you dont need to know other people, you only need to know yourself.
The key is living in the here and now. Not obsessing or resenting things in the past, or stressing about the future. We experience everything in the now. I think it is right that we spend as much time in the now as we can.
If we do this, then we will realise that the journey is all that counts.
It isn’t my place to comment on why Tony Scott did what he did – and the purpose of this email is certainly not to speculate – but maybe some people will read this and it will make sense.
The author has asked to remain anonymous. Thank you for writing and sharing.
Onwards and upwards!