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I got fired yesterday


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#1 Brian Rose

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 04:40 PM

I had a dream job. I was a writer/shooter/editor at a doc prod company that specialized in history films. I started working there two days after I graduated with my masters, and I thought I was so fortunate. There were some bumps along the way, and I made some mistakes, but I tried to learn from them, and the past few months I felt like I was really clicking with the staff, and finding my place. My latest script for a history film was just approved, and yesterday at 2:30 I was supposed to have a script meeting with my producer, who was one of the co-owners of the company. At 2:30, he calls me back. Only the other co-owner is there as well, and they says, "It's just not working." And that was that.

I don't know what to do. They're advice was for me to start freelancing, which is what I must do I suppose. But I don't even know how to begin. I was only able to save up $4500, which is not enough to put together any kind of package. All I've got is an XL2 and a glidecam. The glidecam could be useful, but that seems to be it.

I'm devastated. I had to work so hard to make it through school and without debt, to get to where I was. I knew there was a lot more hard, hard work ahead, but I felt like I was finally getting to enjoy some rewards for my work. Now I'm wondering what it was all for? What value do I have as a human being, with skills that can't hold up against so many others out there working? I feel like my whole life up to now has been for nothing. My films went nowhere, and I've discovered how poor a cameraman and editor I really was when stacked up against others. I've dedicated my life to something only to find I'm not worth having around. I'm a hack, and the whole of my life has been a waste.

I don't want to live just for the sake of living. I wanted to DO something, and that something I thought was to make works of beauty. Now it's gone, and I'm seeing that I'm not worth a damn to anyone. I don't know what to do now, and all I feel is the desire to run, hide, to end all this pain.

Please, someone, say something. Anything. I'm at the end of my rope.

BR
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#2 Paul Bruening

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 05:03 PM

This may sound weird, but... Never let others determine your self worth. Sure, their observations can be useful to you. But, like James Steven Beverly, here, is fond of quoting- Nobody knows anything. Hitch up your pants and jump back into the fray. Take what you've done and confidently parlay it into something else. You're better than this, anyway.
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#3 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 06:01 PM

Brian, you may be overreacting. You have experience at a staff position, a reel from
that job that is likely nicer than you would have had otherwise, and you do have a camera and some gear with which you can still do a lot.

You sound dangerously depressed. I urge you to find somebody in person to talk to about this and to say exactly what you've said here about how you this has made you feel.

Many of us have been fired unfairly or been dumped by somebody we love and it does make you
wonder what it all means.

Figure out your monthly expenses and see what kind of gig you can get to cover them so that you
don't have to dip into your savings. See if you can cut back anywhere to save some money. If you like documentary work, post an ad for short notice weddings. I'm sure that you would do a good job shooting weddings. You can offer wedding videos to people who decide that they do want wedding video after all. You can make some good money that way and use your skills and not be locked into booking dates a year from now when you may have a new gig.

It's painful to get dumped. Look at this as an opportunity to make changes that you might never have otherwise. You may be destined for great things that you would never have done with the security of a dream job.

If you truly want to make works of beauty,then you can still do that whether or not somebody is paying you. You may have smaller budgets but you'll have more freedom.

First thing is talk to somebody. Your words are despondent and I worry for your well being. Don't let getting fired destroy your life and the lives of others.

Good luck.
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#4 Chris Millar

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 06:47 PM

So quit your moaning and go and 'DO something' !

I'd be asking the mods to delete this thread if I were you ...

But so I don't sound like a prick: just take a day or three, you'll be inspired soon enough ;)
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#5 Bryan Fowler

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 07:03 PM

If I had not have been "fired" by my x-girlfriend, I would have never found my wife.

I thank my x-girlfriend for that dumping, and that was 12 years ago. =)

these guys have given some decent advice. Don't discount it.

Bryan
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#6 Hal Smith

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 07:36 PM

Get up every morning, exercise and run. Do it regardless of how you feel. Do it regardless of the weather. Do it no matter what happens: If you break a leg, hop on the good one. Keeping in good physical condition will get you though bad emotional times better than any drug, job, or person.

I moved to Oklahoma to take a prestigious, well paying job. You know what? The people turned out to be absolute assholes once I was here. One year later I was in business for myself, enjoying what I was doing, making good money, and still at it twenty-two years later.

You're going to be just fine if you take care of yourself.
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#7 Richard Boddington

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 07:48 PM

Whoa Brian...your post was even tough for me to read :D

This industry has kicked the crap out of me so many times I have lost count. Yet.....I am still standing! Much to the disappointment of the many people who have tried to drive me out of this industry.

I mean when you say things like "What value do I have as a human being," That's a bit over the top, I agree with others that you are over reacting a bit here.

I remember well a TV news anchor here that got fired for making jokes about minorities and disabled people when she thought the camera was off. A few days later she was quoted in the paper as saying, "it's just *bleeping* television."

I thought, beautiful! Right on sister!!

Because at the end of the day....that's all it is.

R,
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#8 Jerry Rojas

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 09:28 PM

If I had not have been "fired" by my x-girlfriend, I would have never found my wife.

I thank my x-girlfriend for that dumping, and that was 12 years ago. =)

these guys have given some decent advice. Don't discount it.

Bryan


Im with Bryan Fowler..
Meaby you already have seen it but in case you dont take a look at this...



When one door is closed another is open...

Good Luck

JR.
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#9 Andrew M Banks

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 10:12 PM

It's easy to make moviemaking the center of your life. It fills a deep hunger. I fell dearly in love with it when I was about 13 --- so much so that I studied and dreamed about it all through high school. By the time I started film school, I had already made 40 short movies. In film school, I was told by a few people (not just my mom) that my movies were the best of all the students'.

Then I graduated. I sent my resume to many, many companies, across the U.S. Here in Austin, which is a pretty busy place for film and video, I hit the pavement, knocking on doors. No luck. My first job out of college with my big Bachelors of Arts was at a cafe. After six months, since nobody would hire me, I finally hired myself, and spent a few thousand to buy a camcorder and computer. I started making wedding and business videos.

I did that for four years, but I got burnt out, partly because I never really liked making documentaries. I wanted to make features. Also, I wasn't making enough money. I probably could have if I treated it more distantly, like a business, but I spent too much time and money making each video as good as I could make it.

Guess what I do now? I'm a web programmer. I make good money, and I really like it. If my college self saw me now, he would say, oh no, you totally settled! You failed! But: (A) I made over 100 videos in my business, and most of them were meaningful. Wedding videos help marriages. They also can be very beautiful. Check out, for example, (not mine). I also made a couple of promos for a non-profit I really believe in. (B) It's not over yet. I'm only 32. I'm taking a break, because my artistic juices were completely dry from pouring my heart into 100 videos in four years. There's never been a better time to be an independent video producer. The gear is cheaper than it's ever been. And now you can maybe simply "broadcast yourself." There are (I hear) people making loads on YouTube. © I could have been more successful in my career if I hadn't turned down some things that I thought were wrong. Looking back, I'm happy that I stuck to my beliefs.

Did you feel that the job you had was the one you were meant to have, that it was the perfect job for you, and that somehow you blew it? If so, that would make me feel depressed, too. But two things that have already been said I want to reiterate. (1) Don't base your worth on someone else's opinion. (I myself believe man is made by God and worth something to him, and that's the bedrock of my worth). Also, (2) more than once I've heard of someone who lost something that seemed an irrecoverable loss, but it paved the way for something even better!

Hang in there, keep seeking the things you think are right, and don't give up!
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#10 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 11:29 PM

A few brief things:

-"It's just not working" does not mean "you suck." You could, in fact, be excellent, but not what they need, so don't necessarily read too much into that. Plenty of competent, talented people get fired because they just aren't the right fit for the job or the project.

-The ability to compare your work to others and be honest with yourself that yours needs improvement probably puts you beyond the capabilities of a sizeable percentage of your competition. Most people are not innately talented, and need to work really hard to be good. Being critical of your own work is what lets you elevate yourself above the place you are currently at. Becoming better is a constant process, and you'll be better off if you can look at the people who are better than you as a new benchmark to work towards rather than as a morale destroyer.

-You're apparently in Carbondale? Which is basically nowhere? You might want to think about moving to LA or at least somewhere with a bigger production presence- even Chicago would be a better place for you with more opportunities.

-Also if you've got a Masters degree and no debt from that, that's honestly really impressive, however you managed to pull that off, so it probably says something positive about you.

Now I have no idea if you're actually any good or if you're actually a person that anyone would want to work with, but nothing that you've written would necessarily suggest otherwise. So basically you should consider this to be a crappy life event but not a judgement, and use it as an motivation to find a better direction or a better way to go about your current direction.
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#11 John Sprung

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 04:04 AM

Thing number one, Brian, you were let go from a job where you were a legit employee for a few months. Therefore, you're covered by unemployment insurance. So, file for it. You can probably find out how right here on the internet. Some states even let you file on a web site. Get that money coming in ASAP. Then figure out your finances and what to do.....




-- J.S.
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#12 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 05:39 AM

People often ask me how I am. I always answer, alive. That's the thing, you're still alive, and getting fired is nothing more than a small set-back. For me, I've walked away from good sized projects and pay checks and sworn I'd killed my "career," but I'm still here. You're still here, and once you settle yourself, you'll be able to figure out how do keep on doing what you love. Just keep living, keep shooting, and hold out.
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#13 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 09:04 AM

Boom goes the dynamite! ;)

Richard hit the nail on the head. It's just f*cking tv.

This is a business that is soooooo self-important. It wants you to believe that you are working these crazy hours in crappy conditions for zero pay because of "THE PASSION, THE ART". You know what, most tv sucks. So do most movies. You know what they aren't? They aren't nearly as important as what a teacher does or a cop or a doctor or a plumber or the guy who bags your groceries.

Movies are ENTERTAINMENT. Sure, they can be fun to work on and you can meet lots of cool people (and tons of assholes) but at the end of the day, they aren't all that valuable.

Don't go knocking yourself in the head because in a down economy you got let go. poop happens. If you really like this industry, you will find a way to work.


Now go edit your résumé to make it look like you didn't get fired! :P
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#14 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 11:52 AM

What THEY all said... :)

And, look, you really can't please everyone all the time. What your co-workers didn't like, someone else may think is brilliant.


For another anecdote from recent history to prove the point, I remember some time ago, the witty Sports Announcer from ABC 7 here in Los Angeles (Bill Weir) was fired because he wouldn't "play" nice on the company website with a serious bio. They fired him for it.

Who would've predicted that he'd pop up again a few months later in NY on the main ABC Network and is now being considered for a major position on GMA.

The "take themselves too seriously" folks at the local level did him a favor. Maybe your "firing" was a favor too. Personally, I've always avoided "staff" positions. It seems like handcuffs to me. I look at my freelance career like this: I get fired every day at wrap! I have to work hard to be "rehired" every day. That means I work hard when I AM working to prove myself so that people will want me back. Staff jobs have the potential to lull the employees into a state of complacency as if this was the 1950s when people worked at the same place everyday forever and earned a pension. That Ozzie and Harriet world never really existed and it certainly doesn't now. The Conservatives/Milton Friedmanist/Ayn Randists have made sure of that!

Anyway, USE your passion for your work to your advantage. You would've just been making money for those other guys anyway with your hard work. Go achieve something on your own and take the financial and creative benefits for yourself (while, of course, giving credit and proper compensation to those with whom you collaborate with and work with... being selfish and greedy, as Ayn Randists want you to be, will earn you a reputation that will quickly run your career into the ground).

Good luck!!!!!
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#15 Brian Rose

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 12:44 PM

You all speak a lot of truth. And to answer one person's question, I'm actually not in Carbondale anymore. I'm in KC, which is a pretty good scene for production work.

What I'm having trouble with is that I'm still so shaken up. It's called everything I thought I knew into question. At this moment the last thing I want is to pick up that camera. Yet I know I must, because it's all I know, all I have and all I love.

I feel like something has broken within me. How do I fix it? How do I recapture the passion?

BR
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#16 Jim Hyslop

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 01:29 PM

I feel like something has broken within me. How do I fix it? How do I recapture the passion?

At the risk of sounding like a cliche, right now you need to just take life one day at a time. You've just been hit with a terrible blow, and you're still feeling the effects of the initial shock. It will take some time to recover. I can't predict how long - it all depends on the individual.

In the meanwhile, do as Hal suggested - make sure you exercise every day. The fixed routine, along with the exercise, will give you a basis on which to rebuild your life routine. Also, it's been clinically proven that exercise helps fight depression. I was fired from my job several years back, and looking back on it, the routine DID help.

After the initial shock has worn off, that's when you start working on fixing it. For recapturing the passion, maybe a trick my wife and I learned from a marriage counselor will help. Think back, and figure out what first attracted you to the industry. Why do you like doing this? Then start doing those things that you liked.

You have indicated that you believe your work isn't as good as others' work. As Scott said, that's an important first step. The next step is to analyze your work and determine exactly how your own work can be improved to match - or exceed - the others.

So, take a step back, catch your breath, take stock of your situation, figure out where you want to go, then go for it!

--
Jim
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#17 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 01:50 PM

You all speak a lot of truth. And to answer one person's question, I'm actually not in Carbondale anymore. I'm in KC, which is a pretty good scene for production work.

What I'm having trouble with is that I'm still so shaken up. It's called everything I thought I knew into question. At this moment the last thing I want is to pick up that camera. Yet I know I must, because it's all I know, all I have and all I love.

I feel like something has broken within me. How do I fix it? How do I recapture the passion?

BR


Brian,

A lot of people here have already given you good advice, but I will do the same from a different perspective.

I LOVE FILM. It is my first true passion and always will be. With that said, I graduated college and went into a dead-end A/V job just to start paying bills.

I was making a film on the side.

That job had NOTHING going for it and I ended it after 1 and 1/2 years. Then came a bunch of web-design jobs. I'd finished the film but it hadn't gotten into the few festivals I'd submitted it to.

But I was very happy with it.

Then I was laid off from my web-design job. I went three years without ANY KIND of work, no matter how many resumes I sent out.

Then, one day, two planes flew into the World Trade Center.

From then on, I was committed to doing something service-related. You see, I wanted to DO something too. After considering a career in law enforcement for a short while, I became an FDNY Emergency Medical Technician in 2005. And I can honestly say I've made a difference out there.

But, this is not my life. I began to miss film. I hadn't made one in years. I bought my own equipment after a while, set up my own production company and entered graduate school for Media Arts. I am currently finishing a 16mm film outside of school, and I am a teaching assistant at grad school. I absolutely love what I am doing over there.

So you see, if anyone had ever told me that my life would take this path, I would have laughed in their face. But you never know what events are going to take place to get you even more on track with life. And I found my way back to film.

As others have stated, it's a big mistake to allow others to determine your self-worth. I'm all for creative-criticism, but at a certain point you have to stand up for what you believe in...in this case it is your art.

Do you think it's good? Are you proud of what you've done? Do you think you can become an even better artist over time?

At the end of the day, all that matters is how YOU feel about the work. And I discovered that if you truly do have a passion for something, it never really leaves.

Keep your chin up.
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#18 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 01:54 PM

I feel like something has broken within me. How do I fix it? How do I recapture the passion?

BR


When I was writing my book, I just "knew" that it was something I wanted and needed to do. I wanted to truly help people and part of that was creating an overall "package" that would attract aspiring "Filmmakers" so they would know that there was something inherently different and special about MY book that set it apart from the other garbage that sits on bookshelves today.

I was very hyped about it. The publishing process managed to kill a lot of the passion I had to continue. "They" took my design concepts and didn't just reject them... the bitches ignored them outright.... not for real marketing reasons, but just because it was a part of the publishing process that they could control.

So my book content is essentially mostly there, but the package that it was released in (cover, interior format, fonts, photos... NO photos) was/is crap. They essentially gut the emotion out of it just to satisfy their egos.

That literally KILLED the passion I had to continue and write the next book in the series. Those Cu*ts in NY, who had no connection to the film industry and know NOTHING about it were making decisions that affect who picks the book up to find out real information will help them. But to those bitches, it was just part of their ego game.

I let their small-mindedness and insular attitude affect MY choices. I know that it was wrong OF ME, but emotions can be difficult to push back even when you know better. DON'T let your former bosses kill your passion when you know you have something to offer. They have their own agendas which may or may not have absolutely NOTHING to do with you and what you are capable of. When someone kicks you down, write them off, and go out to prove them wrong. If they were that brilliant and special, they wouldn't have needed you in the first place. In your own mind, tell them to "Fu** off!" then go out and make a billion dollars more than they'll ever earn in a lifetime. Earn that Oscar or Emmy. Go back to the next reunion and make the Prom Queen jealous and regretful that she didn't pick you.

We come into this life alone and we go out alone. And so do they. Some people get off by pushing others down. It's YOUR job to make them feel even more envious of your talents so that they want to go out and deprive the world of their existence.

Stay at it. We have only one life to live of approximately 75ish years. Don't waste another day because someone else doesn't think you're good enough. There isn't enough time for that.
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#19 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 02:36 PM

Just pull yourself up by your bootstraps and realize that you still have your skill set and experience.
The end of something is the beginning of something else.
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#20 Andrew M Banks

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 03:12 PM

it's all I know, all I have and all I love.


That is a problem.

How do I fix it? How do I recapture the passion?


The Chinese symbol for "crisis" is the same one for "chance." This crisis may be a chance for you to grow and mature.

Do you have any good friends or any non-toxic family members? Find people you can trust and just share your life with them. For a long time. Don't expect life to get better overnight. After a couple years, you may find yourself a different person, and love different things. Film is not the end, for sure. It is only a shadow of real things. Find out what is real.
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