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The Hardest Parts of Your Careers (1 reply and 3 comments)

alex2928
1 month ago
alex2928 1 month ago

Roger & James,

I absolutely love how the podcast typically starts with a "how I got to where I am" story from the guests. It reminds me that there's certainly no concrete path that everyone must take to succeed. 

That being said - I am thoroughly interested in hearing more about these origin stories, specifically the difficult parts. I'd love to hear about various bumps in the road of your career and how you were able to overcome them. As someone working in the industry and dealing with his own set of challenges, I'm curious about a few of the following predicaments and whether or not you've experienced them:

  • Early on, did you ever have to deal with self-doubt? Did you ever struggle with comparing yourself to colleagues or other professionals in the industry? 
  • Did you ever find yourself lacking the 'spark'? Where yes, you could go to your job and perform well yet struggle to always be passionate about it. I am sometimes dealing with this now as I shoot commercials, sometimes for brands I'm not even necessarily a fan of. I will sometimes get done with a job and realize I didn't really experience any of the fun I remember having when I first started just making movies with friends and a camcorder. 
  • Narrative work is my passion, but finding money is always a challenge. Did you ever have to deal with making concessions on creative direction or execution to get work paid for? I'm dealing with situations where finding money to make something comes with so many strings attached that it feels difficult to keep the creative integrity of the project intact. Any strategies to overcome this?
  • Maybe some more expansion on the brief stories I've heard about quitting jobs or being fired. Not for the drama, but more so to discuss what must have felt like career-ending events and how you dealt with not giving up.  

Hopefully this doesn't read as too negative or dramatic, I am genuinely curious about how you managed the challenges you've faced thus far.

Thank you for building this community and podcast! 

Roger Deakins
1 month ago
Roger Deakins 1 month ago

There is always an element of self doubt. I have not shot commercials because I need to have a passion for the work. I have had low points and been fired more than once, but I am not sure I want to talk about that. Those moments definitely felt 'career ending'. One producer threatened me with 'You'll never work in this town again'. I guess I am still a little angry.

MattBendo
1 month ago

Wow. I think a lot of us see where you're at in your career Roger and forget that you would have encountered adversity like this - as silly as that sounds.

Perhaps thats just me though since I have been looking at your work/presence at this current stage and not realizing there could have been a time in the past where someone told you something as absurd as "you'll never work in this town again".

Insight like this just reminds me that everyone has encountered rough waters on their journey and you need to overcome it and keep sailing.

fukuichi
1 month ago

Your story must have given us courage and a feeling of never giving up. Thank you Roger!Let's do this!!

TWSILK
1 month ago

I feel the most honest creative artists are usually the ones that still have doubt... or a feeling of insecurity. I know as a professional photojournalist even after 25 years I still have doubt... but then once the assignment starts, the magic starts to flow. In the hard news/still world, we don't get reshoots or redoes so it is easy to get into a rut during an assignment when it turns sideways, but I always learned there is still a shot for me, if i missed something, that wasn't MY shot. Lots of mental games we have to play to survive 🙂

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