Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools of humankind.
An argument is that telling stories is what differentiates us from the other sapiens in the first place, and is the one thing that transcends through time almost untouched.
I have always been passionate about a good story.
From when I could first remember, my mind would make stories about little communities in the plant life or about fictional tribes living in the forest near my house, who that would experience life in a completely different way from normal society.
Later on, when I got my first phone with a camera that could pause while filming, I started making little short films with my childhood friends.
I remember creating episodes of a very “original” version of CSI, where all the action would happen around our neighbourhood.
I would find inspiration in anything around me, whether that was people, nature, or books, but I remember the first thing that inspired me to become a filmmaker was a film with Steven Seagal.
I was only 4 years old but I remember it well. After watching the film I started behaving and acting like the main character, Nico, and started saying that when I’m older I want to become a film director.
Secondary School came and I started filming vlogs and videos of me and my friends doing tricks with bikes, in the hope of landing a sponsorship deal of some kind.
Spoiler Alert: We weren’t that good, and none of us has ever landed anything but laughs. But I was passionate about filming and editing sequences, and then piecing things together to create something visually pleasing that would also tell our story.
Set for the Future
By the time the second half of secondary school came around, I gave up on those dreams.
I stopped thinking about being a filmmaker and I stopped making vlogs and videos of biking and skateboarding. I was told that I had to focus on my education and that I had to study to get into a good high school.
There was no point focusing on films as there were no creative lessons that would focus on anything media related at that time.
In my home country of Romania, the best high school lessons were maths, computer science, and Languages.
I got into computer science and math and was pretty good at those subjects too.
I already had it embedded in my head that I would be a programmer, because “that’s the future.”
I studied my first year of high school studying maths, computer science, and ICT.
I completely forgot about wanting to do something creative, although, I think subconsciously; that creative desire was still there.
I would still take random photos and I would film everything I did with my friends and make short edits. They absolutely hated me for that. Fast-forward to today, and they’re all asking to see the footage!
At the end of my first high school year, I found out that I would be moving to the UK.
Me, that one person from my group of friends that didn’t speak English, is now moving to the UK.
I got here and started my first year of 6th form studying math, ICT, and business studies. It wasn’t great as I didn’t feel like I fit in.
I wasn’t passionate about it and passion is everything for me; I can’t do something if I’m not obsessed with it.
In my spare time, I started taking photos and started learning about composition and framing. During this time, I found that there are courses for media production, which sounded so much better than maths and ICT!
Needless to say I dropped out of all my courses and took my chance with this course instead.
180 Degrees Turn
I started learning a lot about film production, photography, graphic design, and other creative disciplines.
At this time I started watching a lot of YouTube videos about filmmaking and cinematography (Casey Neistat and Peter Mckinon being some of them).
They were a big inspiration for me and Peter was the person who inspired me to look more closely at photography.
In my head was the idea that a film is made out of pictures, so if I can master photography and practice framing, composition and colour editing, that will later help me as a cinematographer.
I’m still proud of that way of thinking today.
Everything started snowballing from there.
I fell in love with cinematography and photography, and immediately knew that this is what I wanted to do. Throughout my university course, I had a chance to work on different projects from music videos, documentaries, and promotional videos, which took me around England, Poland, and Iceland.
To Wrap It Up…
I feel very fortunate to be able to pursue my childhood dream.
Whilst I may not be a film director, I am a videographer, and that will do just fine for now.
P.S: Corny or not, never give up on what you feel is going to make you happy.
Listen to your gut and work hard to achieve what you want with your life.
Happiness is worth it.