Ever since I graduated from Berkeley in December 2014, I got sucked into a massive time hole: Making a living as an artist, and continuining to grow our production company Prodigium Pictures.I can’t tell you how much of a time suck it is to do these two things simultaneously. It’s a 16 hour a day, 6 or 7 day a week type timesuck.
I promised myself that I’d open a new blog as soon as I knew how my life would go; first I worked on my OPT, so there was no way I was going to waste any second that I could spend building towards the coveted O1 Visa. I was sitting on a ticking time bomb – either I get good enough during my OPT to get the visa, or I’m entirely fucked and need to deport myself.
Well, I invested the time wisely because in the end, I got the O1 Visa for Cinematography. I finally had no more pressure to perform – but that just opened the floodgates for obsession and rising skill, so I kept working myself to sleep, with no time for a blog. I actually co-founded another magazine, Cinema of Change, and organized some cool getaway for it where we essentially had 12 heavy-hitters in the intellectual pursuit of social impact through film talk for 72 hours straight. Still no time for a personal blog, or a personal life.
I just had a phone conversation yesterday with a friend:
> So, Toby, how’s your private life? Any girlfriend?
>> No girlfriend, just the sporadic fun. And private life is good!
> Ah yeah, what are you doing in the private life?
>> I finally got a good work-life balance, you know, found a space to take time between projects .. and I really enjoy the work! There’s this project I’ve been working on…
I’d immediately go back to work. It’s been like this for the past 2 years. I just don’t allow myself much time off. My main private life really consisted of watching fail videos or win videos on youtube while eating lunch. That, some parties and sporadic dates/hookups was pretty much all the hedonism I engaged in. All my other hobbies are film stuff, in disguise.
A big part of my hedonism in the past was this blog, actually, because it motivated me to do weird shit and write about it. Back in 2008, I didn’t care about anything. Now I care a whole deal, about everything. I care about the world, I care about how I treat other people. I treat about being a good collaborator.
The film industry is so competitive that you can’t just do a bunch of careless things, make fun of people in articles and then expect to get hired again. Same with running a social impact production company – you have to be responsible, grow intellectually and represent the company in your public persona.
So, the plan for this new chapter, the 4th Chapter of this Blog, is to share a lot of what I’ve learned working in the film industry, to share what I am trying to change about the industry, and to do enough weird shit so I can finally reclaim my private life outside of lunch breaks and late night escapades. I’ve been such a responsible citizen for such a long time that it’s time to get back to what is important too: The weird, stupid, silly things in life.
Have a Happy 2017, and don’t fear the Apocalypse!