Monday, April 4, 2011

A Stupid Leap of Faith

So this event was AMP, the Association of Music Producers awards show. Sounds like a big deal, huh? Well, it was to me!! This was awesome!! It was hosted by that guy that hosted Blind Date. And there were stars from the UPN there! This may be sounding sarcastic, and it kind of is, but it wasn't at the time. And it sort of still isn't. I was really excited. And even to this day, I think it was still pretty cool. Here's the link to that video:

At that shoot, I met up with the people that do the music for the United Airlines commercials. A VERY nice agency!! They asked me if I'd be interested in shooting a behind the scenes doc on the making of a United commercial. I of course said yes, and a few days later, I was in the studio shooting a mini documentary for them. Originally, it was slated to play in-flight, or at least that's what I thought, and so that's what I said. And that sounded very good!! Very official!! My video was playing in-flight on United Airlines all across the world! Was it true? I don't know. It was a case of "ignorance is bilss". So it made a good sales pitch for the next year.

That aside, I have to say, that shoot was sort of a tipping point for me. I actually had to call in at work sick that day because it shot on a week day. It was really close to my birthday, and it was almost like a really cool birthday present shooting that gig. I made three times that day what I made in a day at the agency. And there I was sitting in a legendary recording studio with two concert pianists on 9-foot grand pianos back to back playing Rhapsody in Blue. It was nothing short of amazing!! And then after that, 25 members of the LA Philharmonic came in and played a few bars of strings for a couple of hours. It was really cool.

We interviewed a few of the orchestra players and cut together a nice behind-the-scenes video segment of the making of a United Airlines commercial. Here's the link if you want to see it.

I submitted this to the Telly Awards. I received an envelope back. I already knew what it was going to say. I was prepared to be denounced of any sort of peer accolade. After all, this was only a fake real job. One where I had to lie and call in sick to pretend I was in the industry.

I opened the letter of rejection, only it said that I had won a Bronze Telly! I was elated!! This was exactly the validation I needed. My work had been noticed by my fellow video peers that it was at least good enough for a second place Telly.

Just as a side note, a Telly is for video production that hasn't aired nationally on one of the major networks.

So this was a really big accomplishment, and one of the elements, that I feel propelled me to continue in the video direction.

In July of 2004 I had my first kid. I got a leave of absence from my ad agency job compliments of the state of California for a ridiculously long amount of time. I returned to work for two weeks and then quit to venture out on my own. So now I had a new kid, I had just bought a house the year prior, I was up to my eyeballs in camera debt and then both my wife and I quit our jobs about the same time.

Would I succeed? Would I fail? The housing market was about to fall out and the busted economy would hit in just a couple of years... It really was a stupid leap of faith.

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