Trying my Hand at Documentary Work: The Art of Thrifting

This documentary happened to be nicely timed with two specific revelations I’ve had. One, is that inspiration is for people who don’t feel like thinking. Two, is that mediocrity is a state of mind. What both of these have in common is that, despite what other people may think of you, you have total control over what your position in this world is. It is up to you to create ideas and art, and it is up to you to take initiative, even if other people may think you’re being overly audacious. At this point you’re probably thinking “what the hell does this have to do with a documentary about thrift shopping”. I’m getting to it. As I watched my peers flounder around for concepts to do their documentary on, given we had complete freedom to do any topic we wanted, I decided to not think so hard about it. I thought about something fun I enjoyed doing outside of dance and ran with it. I didn’t take my questions or my subject of interview to seriously, and I’ll openly admit I did some shopping of my own as I followed Natalie and Lauren around Volunteers of America. I through my footage together and had a concrete base within an hour of working, and after what would equal about another hour of tweaking, I had a completed product. Is it the best documentary in the world? No. But I don’t work for the History Channel and, hey, I’ve never done something like this before. My point is, sometimes it’s just about getting the job done to the best of your ability. Deadlines are a real thing in the world, and it’s the only way to thrive as an artist without taking the easy route and falling back on the title of “starving artist”. I can’t wait around for inspiration, and, I can’t feel sorry for myself. Moping around and telling everyone that will listen that “my documentary is crap” doesn’t make it any better, despite the misconception that it will lower people’s expectations. Everything is what it is. All we have control over is how hard we work and how often we work. If we do those to the absolute best of our abilities, we all have equal opportunity to strive as artists. After all, Van Gogh would hardly be a household name if he did one painting, decided it was “crap” and stopped working because he thought he was “mediocre”.


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