Setbacks and platitudes

We’ve hit a major setback with shooting my short just now, in a production (like many low-budget short films) that has been punctuated by minor setbacks and resolutions.

A typical response for me is to run through pieces of conventional wisdom. It’s a search to define myself and my situation, and glean from the zeitgeist what my mistakes might be and where I’m headed. The problem with platitudes, though, is they’re shallow and flippant and contradict each other. Here’s a few that I’ve tried out:

  1. Fail quickly, fail often. Failure is part of this industry and life, and if you’re failing it means you’re trying.
  2. Fight kicking and screaming until you win. Tenacity is the only way ahead in film and it will ultimately be rewarded.
  3. Icarus flew too close to the sun and his wings burned off. Don’t ask for everything and expect it. Know what is and isn’t within your reach.

The drive to accept and rationalize events is part of our struggle to wrestle a series of unassociated points into a cohesive narrative that says something about who we are. And I’m not sure what this tells me, if anything, about who I am.

For now, this particular setback has meant that we’re not shooting the film on Thursday and I get to head to my brother’s graduation in Philly early (happy graduation David!) and spend more time with my family. So I guess I’ll add just one more piece of dubious folksy wisdom:

  1. It is impossible to know what will come from events, or what meaning they will come to have in your life.

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