Here’s a fact: every person that graduated from animation/film school has a short film.
Here’s another fact: very few people have ever made another one.
The second film
The film/animation industry is intense.
When you get a job or a project, the hours are very long and the work is demanding. That could make it very hard to ever have time to work on your personal projects. I know that many recent graduates have said that they would like to make another film, but so few of them ever do.
Why you need to do it right away
Hey, I get it…
Making a film is really hard. In school it takes us between 1-2 years to finish our film.
But here’s the thing – it’s only going to get harder. The more you wait before making your second film the harder it’s going to be to do it.
You’re going to have a lot of stuff going on. A job, a spouse, kids, after school is probably the most relaxed time you’ll ever have until you’re 50. Plus, you still have that momentum of work from finishing your first film. That’s why making your second film right after the first is probably the best time to do it.
But why make another one anyway?
You already got your awesome demo reel right? It’s full of great shots from your film, and you don’t really need another one. Plus, your first one won all these special awards and went to all these festivals, so why, really, do I need to do that all over again when I can probably get a job right now?
There’re basically two very good reasons to do it:
- You want to keep creating.
- You’re having trouble getting work.
This is for those who enjoy the creating process. Born filmmakers. Pixar fans. People who for them creating is not a choice. Let me tell you, it’s not easy being one of those people. If you’re like that, and you get a job and just stop making things, you’re going to be very unhappy very quickly.
For those people, having some kind of project they work on on their spare time is a must. Evenings, weekends… Even if it takes you 3 years instead of 1, try keeping that creative work alive – for your sake. It’ll be worth it.
Trouble getting work
That’s another problem you might face. You have that awesome demo reel with all these film awards – but guess what? So does everybody else. And for some reason they did a better job networking than you, and you’re stuck for weeks without being booked.
In that case, having a second film puts you in such a huge advantage over the rest, because it not only shows your talent, but also your dedication, management skills, accountability and so forth.
Plus, it gives you something to do when you’re at home waiting for the phone to ring.
Sad isn’t it?
The hardest part
What’s really hard about keeping at it is the fact that after sitting all day in front of a computer moving pixels around at your freelance gig, you get home at 7-8PM and – sit on your computer moving pixels around.
Some people say “The last thing I want to see when I get home is Maya”.
Well you need to push through that if you want to stand out in the crowd.
I’m using a second film as an example of something bigger. The idea of staying creatively active after graduation. You’re a creative person right? Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this right now. Don’t let the daily routine kill your creativity. Remember who you were before you got that job.
My second film
You didn’t think I was just self-righteously preaching here without doing the work myself right?
Look forward to July 8th and watch my upcoming second animated short – LIFT UP.