Standing at the foot of a Mountain

February 5, 2018


Today marks me officially standing at the foot of a mountain, in view of quite literally everyone I've ever known, and telling the world I'm going to climb to the top. Some well-meaning friends have told me I'm crazy, or too young, or simply not ready; however, I've also had people who've stood in my place and successfully climbed the mountain tell me to go for it. Of course, I'm not actually climbing a mountain, I'm directing my first feature film.


Is he serious? Yes, I actually am serious. Since picking up a camera and cobbling together my first films I've directed A LOT of films and videos. I took the time to count, and I have directed around 90 films. This number depends on how you're counting of course. If we're talking about scripted projects with budgets and crews and professional actors then that number would be significantly lower. I was somewhat generous in my estimation of what a "short film" is, but I did not include my time doing free-lance videography or managing my Church's video department; if we were to include my videography or Church videos then we could add another 100 videos to that original number. This doesn't even go into how much time I've spent at a computer alone (like right now) writing film scripts. None of this is me trying to say "Hey look at how great I am". Many of my 90+ films and scripts are terrible. So he's saying he wants to make a big movie because he's made a lot of little bad movies? I promise not all of my movies are bad! My overarching point was simply to say that I have spent a lot of time learning how to make films, and this has involved making a lot of mistakes. So he's saying he's made 89 bad movies? Yeah, pretty much.


I've had some very well-meaning people tell me to either wait or cancel the project, and they've given some very valid concerns. I've actually lost sleep over some of those concerns. Yet, my bags are still packed and I'm still standing at the foot of the mountain determined to try. I've also had men and women far more qualified and successful than myself tell me to try this crazy idea despite the inherent challenges. You know who you are. One of my greatest mentors, Pastor Robin, said this when I came to him discouraged one night: the size of the challenge someone is willing to take on says a lot about their character. I have a lot of practice under my belt, what I (and others) think is a reasonable plan, and now I'd like to put myself to the ultimate test and make a 90 minute film.


I've never written a blog like this, but I prefer the likes of "Blue Like Jazz" over tweets and Facebook rants. This little blog will hopefully catalog the climb up, and if we're lucky we'll be able to stop and take in some of the sights. Many have tried and failed before me, but others have succeeded. Let's see where the road takes us.


- Calen


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