Dull Vision

Yeah, I'll get there eventually

Yeah, I’ll get there

The problem with this goal of taking a photograph every day is that I am coming to realize what a creature of habit I am and my habits are not very visually stimulating. Today, for instance, I spent nearly seven hours staring at a computer screen. When I wasn’t staring at a computer screen I was restocking the bathroom or the meeting room fridge with toilet paper (for the former) and soda (for the latter- although come to think of it, it is all one big cycle).

Over lunch I elected to read which meant staring at a book. A good book- “The Martian” (I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I can already tell it comes from excellent source material), but again, not very visually stimulating for a photograph.

I did have several hours of commuting in which I stared at tail lights while proceeding at a walking pace along one of Los Angeles’ larger highways for eight or ten miles. Not very visually stimulating- and not a very conducive condition for taking photographs anyway. And it was dark.

I’m beginning to realize that my life looks pretty boring.

Generally speaking, it’s not as boring as all that- the computer screen isn’t interesting to photograph but it sure can transmit a lot of ideas and information. Books aren’t interesting to photograph but, heck, they can take me to Mars so I’m not bored in the least. Maybe I’m simply failing to see things in an interesting way. Maybe this is a matter of training- that since I’m not the world’s most skillful photographer I’m depending too much on the content of the image to be what makes it worth looking at. Or maybe I’m failing to take risks because I want everything to be “good”. Or maybe my eye just isn’t that good after all.

This is another one of my

Yesterday it was bad dreams about being unable to communicate, today it is the fear of not actually having talent after all.  I know why I am experiencing it too: Directing class. Tuesday night was my first Advanced Directing class and it consisted of hearing all about the marvelous experiences of other people who had become successful directors. They made a short film and it went to Sundance and won a bunch of awards and made a lot of money. Then they directed a bunch of features and they have all been amazingly received. Or they made a short film and it was a Staff Pick on Vimeo and they got an agent while they were still in school and now they’re a professional director.

I try really hard to not be jealous. Often I fail. Especially when their work is good- and the examples that were shown in class were very good. I found myself asking: who am I to consider myself to be a director? How do I think I can compete with work like that? I have trouble getting through a directing scene. Maybe I should stick with what I’m good at- I have a lot more practice being a producer. Etc. It’s a cycle of thought that keeps me circling around the creative things that I really want to do, getting closer by increments, but never actually approaching zero.

It needs to stop. I know that I can do it. I know that I have something to offer, even if I can’t articulate what that is. I need to stop directing myself away from my objectives because it seems too intimidating or difficult to face the fact that I’m going to have to go up against people who are just as clever and creative and artistic as me- and that they might get opportunities that I want. I need to start running with them instead of around them. It’s time to be direct.

Maybe that should be my one-word goal for the new year: direct.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on January 14, 2016.

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