You know, despite the obvious oncoming obstacles, I like where I'm at in life right now.
I know who I am as an artist. Hell, I acknowledge that I'm an artist now, which is something I didn't do a couple years ago.
I was the kid who got made fun of because he named his gecko "Hitchcock". I got bullied for writing Paper Mario fanfiction in the fourth grade. When who you are is under constant scrutiny, it does something to your work. Like, you work on it, and you keep quiet about it. And when it comes out, there's this angst to it. Your work began as this puppy that was abused. And now it's this snarling dog.
There's a bite to it.
I'm also the guy who's not afraid to bother people by being who I am.
I think it's a wonderful thing to piss people off by being who you are.
This is different from a Gaga-Cyrus-Marilyn Manson thing when your artistic expression is based on pissing the audience off. Cause it can come off as insincere at the time.
When you act like who you are, and do the things that you do, it is guaranteed that it will ring in tune with someone. And maybe that does feel like a contradiction.
But this all goes back to what Christopher Nolan said about a quality film being one where "the person making the movie feels like it's the greatest movie in the world".
This is why Tommy Wiseau's "The Room" and James Nguyen's "Birdemic" resonate with people. The (dis)respected filmmakers truly believe in their work.
This differs greatly from a "Sharknado" when the people making the film clearly don't give a shit.
I doubt Uwe Boll enjoys the movies he makes.
And I feel that a large amount of filmmaking output are not enjoyed by the people making it. There's a lot of people who I want to ask "Do you even enjoy doing what you do?".
This goes for film critics too. Film critics are tortured artists without the artist. That just feels like a miserable existence. More miserable than any task I have encountered in life.
They get caught in the commodity. Worrying about award shows and not offending demographics. That shit ain't rock and roll. That destroys creativity.
These people are suffering because deep down they know they are not living their full potential.
Full potential is not about making the most money, or having the most fans. Full potential is about being who you are to the highest level. It's Hitchcock spending the first twenty years of his career making amazing films that most people don't even know about it, cause the next twenty years of his career had just as amazing work.
Now, it can be said that films like "The Lady Vanishes" and "Sabotage" differ greatly from the Hitchcock name that we all came to know. Writers like William Goldman have gone even far enough to say that the auteur theory of the French had greatly damaged Hitchcock's later output with films like "Torn Curtain" and the like.
But you can't worry too much about the misfires. Misfires will happen.
Bruce Lee was undefeated. This is true. But Bruce Lee deep down felt like a failure. He pitched a project to Hollywood that ended up becoming Kung Fu with David Carradine. His original vision was lost, and he ended up having to flee to Hong Kong to make his movies. This felt like a large personal failure for him. But no one will call him a failure. Failing does not make you a failure, nor does winning make you a winner.
It's about the mindset.
I know a lot of people who would rather bring someone's wisdom down than live their dreams. I know someone reading this wants to argue over syntax.
I'm not going to lie, I used to be one of those people. But that gets old. And it didn't get me to where I wanted to be. And I was miserable for it.
Eventually, with time, you figure out who you are. You know what you're willing to put up with.
You figure out what you want.
You can have access to all the power and influence in the world, but it will be useless if you do not know what you want. The genie can't grant an unknown wish.
The first draft of your life is constantly being written. It is only when many years go by that you figure out what the narrative is. Sometimes, you emphasize events in your life that didn't seem like a big deal at the time over others.
So, do everything, experience the ups and downs, and find yourself saying "oh well" more than "I wonder what could have been".