City Lights

Nov 3, 2014

I made a short film recently.

It was work, but it was fun too. I had been getting random ideas for spooky situations in my apartment building for a couple weeks, but I decided to try and actually film something because I wanted to learn more about the process. Specifically, more about my Canon T2i camera I bought for an interview last PAX (in April) and my Kickstarter video (in June) but has been collecting dust since. I also wanted to learn Adobe Premiere Pro better, as I had a great time learning the basics for the Kickstarter video and then wanted to know what editing an actual film would be like.

I realized the excitement and wonder of learning these things parallels my early teens, when I got really excited about programming and game design. That passion fueled me for a decade and is the reason I’m working in Boston today as a software engineer. I have a theory that what I’m doing now, whatever it is, should also lay the groundwork for the next decade.

20-year old Andrew being successful was the product of the work and dedication I had in my teens.

30-year old Andrew will similarly be better or worse off based on what I do now.

Before I can work towards a goal for my 30’s, I have to decide what that goal is. It’s no secret that I consider myself a creative person, and I guess I have always had the expectation that I would someday be in the financial place to pursue that creativity full-time. After thinking about this for a few years, my current plan is to use my 20’s to become financially stable enough to start that process in my 30’s.

Right now, I’m trying a lot of different things. My Kickstarter was for a web animation series. The video above was a short live-action horror film. I have a lot of ideas for a potential comic series, which I expect to pursue with an artist early next year. I’ve never really let go of my game project 4kg and have retooled design aspects for it over and over since 2011. And right now, I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month with the goal of producing a 50,000-word novella by the end of this month.

I’m trying all these different creative mediums to push my limits and learn more about them. The process for each of these reminds me of when I was picking up and learning different technology stacks on the fly as I needed. Hmm, I want a website… better learn HTML! Hmm, I want to make it look nicer… better pick up CSS! Hmm, I want to make it dynamic… better pick up PHP and MySQL! Hmm, I want to make a game… better pick up C# and XNA! And so on and so forth.

To be clear, I didn’t master any of those (although I would say I’m pretty darn good with HTML and CSS these days.) But just the process of getting out of my comfort zone and learning something new is what made me a better programmer in general. It’s just a good attitude to have.

In my 30’s, will I be an accomplished movie director? A popular fiction writer? A respected game designer? A widely-read comic writer?

I don’t know, but I don’t have to know just yet. Right now I’m just trying different things.