I like creating stuff, I always have. Be it taking a photo, drawing, painting, playing with ink, filming or animation. I’ve always enjoyed the art of creating and one thing I’ve always wanted to do is make my own films. That is really why I set up Broken Antler 10 years ago. I wanted to make a living but then in the down time make my own films. I have managed to quite impressively not achieve this at all, in ten years. I have however managed to find other things to do in those times and I have an untold list of excuses to help me avoid making my own film. “I need to make more money so I have to do this job” or “I really should clean up the studio” or “Lets create a new show-reel, it’s important to keep clients up to date” or my favourite “I’ll just tweak this on the website - because that’s really important!”. I have even been known to say “I better sort my accounts out first”. Accounts… seriously! I hate maths. All of these are ways to stop me from really committing to making something for myself that I have final say over. Why? That is actually a really good question and it only occurred to me this year.
By the end of last year I was really tired. I had worked all year with less than 12 days off (obviously I had weekends but it’s a dangerous place for small business owners and one man bands, you can quickly find yourself working all year because you don’t get paid holiday and there is always something that needs your immediate attention.) I had grown tired of the work I was producing. Some of it I was proud of but we’ve entered a phase in this industry or at least I felt I had, where I always felt rushed to come up with ideas and execute them. Even the half baked ideas clients brought because there was no real time for anything else. It felt like everyone was on the back foot, struggling to keep up and I felt like I had been pulled down into this vacuum. The black abyss that sucks out your inspiration. So I came up with a new plan for 2015 and it was based around the idea that I was going to just do. I was going to do the things I wanted to do. I would find the time (and with kids that can be hard - unless you just neglect them). I was going to make a short film. I was going to make more than just that, I would be creative. Take more photos, draw and design and just do more. Finish those things I had started. This ethos was strengthen ten fold when I went to OFFF in Barcelona. Elaine and I ventured out there for a bit of a business hiatus. To try and rediscover what we enjoyed by listening to others talk passionately about what they do. It was the best thing I’ve done in ages. It didn’t just strengthen this idea I need to create something for myself it cemented it. Elaine was even more convinced than me. So it began.
Why was I stopping myself from making something I wanted to make. It was fear. Fear that what I made wasn’t as good as so and so or had holes or was inadequate to be seen by the world. Everyone is so opinionated about films and music. I love this, I hate that. I obviously want people to like what I make but then it occurred to me. If they didn’t what would happen? Would I let that stop me making something again and really who was I making this all for? It’s because I want to. I have to. My eldest is the same. She comes home from school and immediately wants to make something. Her first request is for paper, pens, scissors and sellotape. She loves doing it, she gets something from it, it’s something she needs to do. She doesn’t do it for anyone else. So I needed to learn this lesson she was trying to teach me. If you need to do something then just do it.
The Quest really has become that personal film. It’s simple. It’s not crazy different but I didn’t make it for you. This one is for me…. Although I still hope you enjoy it!