Am I doing it right? Don't give up. Keep pushing forward. You will encounter these and many other questions, thoughts, positive words, etc. throughout your journey.
I remember going to the movies as a kid. No matter the genre of film there was always some indescribable feeling I was left with: goosebumps up and down my arm, a hair-raising chill across my neck, even the rapid heartbeat when the two star-crossed lovers finally shared their first kiss! I wanted to do those things to the audience. I wanted to touch people; have some [any] effect on them. Truth be told, that's all I've ever wanted to do...
I live to create: write, direct, produce, edit-any aspect of the production. The feeling I get when I'm collaborating with a group of people who are there to help bring their piece to the whole puzzle is just amazing. It's a rush. We all should get to experience collaboration like that!
Here we go again-am I doing it right? School can only teach you so much. You've got to put yourself out there and be as hands-on as you can. Volunteer. Make anything with your friends. Heck, make a movie by yourself if you have to. I'm thankful that I got involved with many 48 hour film projects over the years when I first started trying my hand at productions. It was during those crazy, fun filled and sleepless 48 hours that taught me some movie-making essentials. I learned what a typical, but rushed (hey, we only had 48 hours!), day and night on a set might be like. I actually carry a lot of those experiences with me to this day: things like trouble shooting, critical thinking, etc.
You know, we are our own worst critic. You'll question yourself constantly. KEEP GOING. My first non 48 film found itself rejected from every festival entered into. I pushed myself to continue learning from every part of it. I set out to do better, be better. In less than six months, my team and I made yet another film. This one was more challenging, setting the bar even higher. That film? It not only was accepted into five festivals throughout the country, but it also garnered three award nominations! While attending one of the festivals to support the film, shortly after my film screened, an older couple approached me in the lobby: "Thank you for that film; it really moved us. It's nice to see a piece of something we can relate to. We hope to see more of your work in the future." Then they hugged me! And there it was- after thirty plus years I had done it. I touched someone; people were affected by my art. Of course, I couldn't have done it without an amazing team by my side.
I've since relocated to the South. I don't have quite the resources or network here like I did in New England, but obstacles have never stopped me before. I know this is what I am supposed to be doing. Don't give up. Don't be afraid to fail. Most importantly, don't be scared when you don't know the answers. Educate yourself. Read. Watch. Then go out there and make it happen any way you can!
- Jennifer Grossman
Jenn Grossman is the founder of Seven Times Productions, she is the creator of the short films Taboo and Unconditional and the web series It's Just Coffee.