Now What?


If you’re just tuning in right now, here’s what you need to know: sometime back in 2010 I read Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers”, which posits that it takes 10,000 hours for an individual to acquire mastery of a skill. Somehow, I translated this into : “start keeping track of your hours when you work on filmmaking and see how long it takes to get to 10,000. According to the book, this should take about ten years.

I’d started pursuing filmmaking as early as 2004, but it was sporadic and often part- time, and there was no obvious way to get an actuate estimate of the hours I’d already worked, so in the spirit of accuracy, I decided to start from zero. This was probably late October 2010. At first I just kept time in fifteen minute increments- written down by hand in a notebook with a brief summary of what I did during the time ( as a way to keep myself honest). Later I downloaded a time clock app and used it to punch in and out of my work time for finer accuracy.

According to my calculations, I reached 10,000 hours sometime around April 25th. So it took me just about six years to reach my goal.

Now what?

I’ve contemplated this question before but never settled on an answer: the looming inevitability seemed very far away- why get ahead of myself? But now it means that I’m faced with the dilemma of having reached my goal and not knowing what the next step is. And it doesn’t help that I’m graduating at the same time: gaining mastery and a Master’s Degree at the same time seems serendipitous, but does add an extra weight to the “what’s next?” scrutiny.

I think the next step is to focus on directing and writing. Now that I’ve supposedly gained mastery in the art of filmmaking in general, why not build on that success by specializing? So maybe from now on I only count the hours when I’m in the role of the director. Of that’s really the job that I want I might as well put the hours in. Besides, keeping track of directing related hours might help me stay focused when I’m working the job to pay the bills. So there’s that.

On that note, I’m falling asleep, so I’m going to masterfully call it a night.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on May 9, 2016.

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