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Socially Awkward Penguin still makes progress...

Socially Awkward Penguin still makes progress…

A few years ago I happened to read “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell and was introduced to the idea of putting in ten-thousand hours of time in order to become a master at a skill.

I liked this idea.

At the time I was attempting to define myself as a filmmaker with no real training to back that up. I’d made one or two short films and figured out how to get them into festivals, but did that make me a filmmaker? I wasn’t sure. My training was in theatre, which was good for teaching me the basics about storytelling and building visual drama and working with actors but which was not so good for opening up doors to get experience on films. I knew that it was going to take some time before I could call myself a filmmaker and believe it and mean it, but I didn’t’ have a good sense of how long that feeling would take. Until I read “Outliers”, of course, and then I had an answer: ten-thousand hours.

So I decided to start keeping track of the time that I put towards filmmaking. I downloaded a time-clock app for my phone and began clocking in whenever I worked on something film related and then kept a running total of the hours I collected. I reasoned that; even if it still took me ten years to make it to ten-thousand hours I would at least have some sense of how far towards my goal I was. Ten-thousand hours is a deceptively long time and I figured that making it a goal would at least prevent me from giving up too soon.

Well, I finally passed the three thousand hour mark earlier this week and I feel like celebrating it a little bit. It took me about four years to get this far, which may not seem like very fast progress, but I’m in it for the long haul. Also I suspect the next three thousand hours will happen much more rapidly since I’ll be going to school full time for filmmaking instead of setting my own lackadaisical schedule each day.

Only seven thousand hours to go! (Give or take).

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on July 21, 2013.

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