Dec 31, 2009

End of a Decade

For as arbitrary as the date rolling over really is, I think we can't help but box things up, categorize, reminisce, and measure what made this time meaningful and significant. I remember the end of the nineties, if only because of how overblown Y2K was, but this is the first decade that I can actually say was experienced on my own merit. In many ways, if I were writing a story about my life the 00's would be an introduction, proof of my ambitions, but largely about finding meaning in what I wanted to do and who I was/am now.

In 2000 I was in high school, soon to be 16, and I generally felt like life was sh*t. It didn't help that all my spare time was eaten up by a job I hated and that my social life seemed to be in a continual flux - I just wanted to be independent already. My video work didn't branch too far out of the classroom these days, but I felt like I was on the cusp of big things as digital video cameras appeared (I ended up getting my D8 that summer) and home editing software became r
eadily available.

In 2002 I graduated, the planning for university was over in a flash, and soon I was in film school in Saskatchewan of all places. I thought I was awesome - and maybe I kind of was, haha, but in comparison I really didn't know where I was going. It's still amazing to me how aging makes you see that, even when at the time you thought you were really sharp. The uni route seemed like the only real option and so I went with the flow (out of province albeit) to have some 'real' experiences.

Somewhere between film theory and Keys I pinpointed my love for post-production and knew that editing was worth pursuing. In many ways, it felt relieving, less cliche, to say that I wanted to be an editor over a director or an actor - though technically
, I'd still be doing all of those.

Between '05-'07 I hit my stride with my first film festivals and contests, some becoming quite notable achievements for me, and soon began shifting more of my attention to self promotion and making myself known online. I had a simple Windows/MSN blog first in 2005, very casual, followed by a YouTube channel in 2006, and later the debut of this, Editing Luke in 2007 (which was really the push that changed things).

By late 2007 however, I was lost. University didn't make sense to me anymore, I was spending money I didn't have, and I battled with the feeling that m
y efforts were all for nothing. Debt, stress, and a fear of finding meaningful employment took its toll emotionally. Leaving school and heading back home in 2008 was both the lowest point of my decade, but without question also put me back on track.

Relief came quickly with my first post-uni job. Working with Stream Media became a huge ego boost as I was paid to edit and shoot corporate promotional videos (everything from commercials, highlight reels, and instructional materials). I slowly began repaying my loans, found new motivation in several festivals and contests, and for the first time in
years had some money in the bank.

With the economy suffering, 2009 had a rocky start, but I found more permanent work with a website that took interest in my video work. A copywriting position evolved into photography and editing content for them, with Stream Media still sending me projects as they came up. I even had some freelance work coming through.

It hasn't simply been a shift in my mindset or goals that's brought this decade to such an optimistic conclusion, but instead, it's the feeling that the
hard work is starting to pay dividends. I'm in a position to take bigger, more calculated risks now, and I'm not sure I'd be nearly as confident were it not for the personal wrestling and failures that I had to
confront as my university career evolved and ultimately collapsed. I can now see how university just wasn't for me, despite the years I invested there, it was, however, that cocoon that actually made me search out my personal ambitions, submit my work abroad, and shake my apathy to find opportunities that suited my motivations.

If anything I can say I don't regret going to uni because it would've been a bigger regret to miss out on some of those experiences, the lifestyle, and the time I needed to grow up - I only regret staying too long.

As this decade comes to a close I'm left with a sense of gratitude and relief for what's now behind me and simply chalked up to my personal experience. The road ahead seems just as risky and even more trying, but in 10 years I've learned a lot about myself, and perhaps most importantly, how to make myself happy. I think some people spend a lifetime trying to figure that one out.

Yes, things are changing pretty fast these days, but it feels like I'm finally riding the wave instead of drowning in it. Show me what you've got 2010!


Tyler Cyrenne said...

Here! Here! I never really thought about the upcoming New Year as a split between one decade to the next until you mentioned it here. It's been a pretty crazy decade, and I don't think it will get any less crazy this next one.

I dunno if it ever stops whilst one is on the journey of self-exploration and experimentation, but will we be looking back in 2020 thinking about how naive we were when 2010 rolled around, thinking we were so sure of ourselves?

Life in film is a gamble. But damned if it ain't a helluva ride. Here's to the New Year, Luke! Thanks for proving to be the best competition, best supporter, best co-star, and best motivator I've ever had the pleasure of working with.


Editing Luke said...

And cheers to you Tyler!

I'm sure there will be complications, rewrites, and a fresh view by the time 2020 hits, but I'm already an adult at the start of this new decade. The biggest change was all the growing up I had to do through this last one.

One thing is for sure, I'm starting the new year in a pretty good place - a lot better than years previous, and I can't help but be excited to finally make some of the big changes that I've been talking about for so long.

On that same note, I'll be expecting just as much excitement and renewal from you Mr. Cyrenne, haha, and no, I'm not talking about 17th year film project.

Happy New Year!

Kath Lockett said...

I feel like 2010 will be 'your' year Luke and I hope it'll be mine as well. Have a great one!

Editing Luke said...

Thanks Kath, I really appreciate that! And a happy and prosperous new year to you as well!