Having just finished another semester of uni it’s becoming clear that I’m learning way more from the difficult situations than the easy ones. The things I find myself learning in these situations aren’t necessarily related to the curriculum, but more to do with the people I’m working with and the best way to work with each person.
This past semester we were asked to make a 10-15minute documentary. It was weighted at 50% of the unit’s total marks, so if you failed the project you pretty much failed the unit unless you somehow managed to get 100% in all the other assignments.
Anyway, I was in a pretty decent group, everyone seemed switched on and had a good idea of what their role required. However, it was the director who always just seemed too busy to ever focus on the project.
I was in a difficult situation: I wanted to make a great film, but it seemed it wasn’t going to happen because the director couldn’t put in the hours to provide the crew with a clear vision of the story.
Initially I was really annoyed, and I struggled with the situation for at least a few weeks. I thought about asking the tutor if I could change groups, or if the director could be replaced with someone who had more time to spare. But after I’d struggled through a few weeks of production I realised why I was so annoyed. I had high expectations for the project, possibly even too high. And by acknowledging my expectations I was able to let go and accept the situation for what it was. By letting go I don’t mean I gave up, I kind of just looked at where my expectations were in relation to what was actually happening, and if the two didn’t match up I would just forget about what I thought should happen and move forward with what was actually occurring – it felt good.
I also realised during this process that there wasn’t a right or a wrong way of going about the project. All that was important was that I learned from what wasn’t working and that I kept moving forward.
I think the lack of story direction definitely shows in the finished film, however I learned so much about myself and about working with other people, that it really doesn’t matter.
If the project had gone smoothly, without adversity, I doubt I would have learned as much as I did.