Friday, 22 June 2012

Fundamental 02: Perfection is a fallacy

At the very peak of my career, I was a film director at my very own production house. I bought a lovely a apartment, had a girlfriend and many friends that I could call upon. I also had 2 very significant clients.

One day while driving past the building where both of these clients were based, I messaged my friend and told her “Wow. I can’t believe I’ve got these 2 clients in the bag. Life cannot be more perfect!”

A month after that everything went downhill. I was about to shoot a video for one of the client. The cost to mobilise my crew and gear was huge, so I needed the client to pay an upfront fee, which is something that I’ve told them and reminded them for the umpteenth time. Everything was finalised at the pre-production meeting, except for the upfront fee. So I told them “I’m sorry but I’ve told you since day one that I can’t shoot without the money.”

Two days later I found out that the client has given my script, castings locations and stilomatic to another production house. Yup, they screwed me grandly, thinking they’re so huge a company that I wouldn’t dare to take legal action against them. They didn’t realise that I was trained to document everything in black and white. So I furiously stormed into their office with all the documents. They tried to sweet talk their way out by saying that they had no choice or their boss will fire them, they will credit me for writing the script and the rest of the bullshit. I told them I’m not buying any of it and just pay me for all of my intellectual property.

They did. But the whole saga made me a very angry man. I was drinking heavily in the evenings and soon I was drinking in the day time too. I had this sick gagging feeling when I get out of bed and I was trying to ignore this pain in my stomach. I looked terrible and I was sweating profusely during a meeting with a new client.

I was physically exhausted and I grew cynical of the business. I decided to stop working. And I didn’t work for a whole year. Finally I had to sell my condo so that I could afford to be a bum.

Perfect life my arse.

Let me give you another example. Photography is a passion of mine and I shot this model for my portfolio. I got the shots that I wanted and I thought that everything from the model to the makeup, wardrobe, styling and lighting was perfect. The thing is that nobody else has seen the shots until one fine day I decided to post it up on a photography forum.

I only had one person who commented on it and it was a bad one. Even photos of dogs had better comments than I did. What I thought was perfect was clearly not even close enough when judged by the standards of the majority.

Perfect my arse.

Perfection is merely an ideal, a mirage. Don’t waste your time chasing for it. As long as you’ve done your best that is good enough.

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