When learning to do anything, from ice skating to film making to hang gliding, there are always going to be setbacks and mistakes (hopefully not so many in the last one). What we learn from situations that don't pan out can be just as, if not more important than when things go perfectly. Through mistakes and unwanted situations, we're able to learn first had the consequences of our actions and decisions that we could have possibly prevented, were we aware of where they were leading. Further, the impact of negative consequences is a better teacher than someone telling us, 'don't do this, that will happen,' as we ourselves must then directly face the outcome, and dig our own way out of it.
Something like this happened about half a year ago. Wanting desperately to find a partner in filming, I joined a social network that specialized with video, film and creative arts. I found someone who lived nearby, and we eventually got together to give it a shot.
The shoot was not my favorite experience, I found myself extremely frustrated, it left a bad taste in my mouth. I had to take a few days to really understand exactly what bothered me so much about the event, and realized a lot of it were things that I could have preemptively addressed, if not recognized red flags earlier and gracefully back out before things got heated.
And things indeed got heated.
Now, to be clear, there was nothing wrong with this individual, but we ended up not seeing eye to eye, which lead to harsh words, and blocked numbers. It even let to me holding on to the project, not editing the footage or adding visual effects, because I was so negatively impacted by the experience. I didn't want to see it, touch it, and any frustrations that I would have found during the editing process were only intensified by my feelings towards him and the shoot.
After the parting of ways between myself and the other team member, I had a really difficult time doing anything film related. I couldn't write, I didn't want to try to learn any new visual effects, I didn't touch my camera in weeks. I didn't realize that I was so negatively impacted by not only the experience, but frozen because of the guilt that I didn't want to edit the footage. That negative impact stopped me from moving forward, from getting better, learning more and trying new things.
I was very close to scrapping the whole thing, deleting footage, forgetting that it ever happened. However, I took a moment to stop and think. This supposed failure has been a greater teacher than my most popular videos. I've learned what I will and won't stand for, what to avoid in order to have a more productive shoot, what type of people I work best with, and most importantly of all, the ramifications of negative feelings towards a project.
So, in an effort to close the book on the whole experience, but also show myself that I learned something, I opened up the project file that I hadn't touched in weeks, and hit render. Below, you'll find the uncompleted project, warts and all. It's not bad, and there are a lot of things that I could fix, but it's important to see it for what it is. It failed, but it wasn't a failure. In fact, it's some of my best camera work with what I had at the time. And if it's taught me anything, it's that sometimes, it's OK to fail.