s I reflected on everything that I had accomplished in Alaska, I could not imagine having taken any other path. It was undoubtedly an incredibly challenging experience — mentally, professionally, and physically. My tired and bruised body bore evidence to the epic journey. And I arrived home with hundreds of hours of footage to sort through.
As exhausted as I was, I was, and still am, far from done. Now I have a movie to make.
The footage will be used for the film I am making. But beyond that, I need to find ways to use this footage to build up my professional portfolio. (That’s another advantage of doing my own internship: I own the footage. Had I interned with a company I would likely not be able to claim any media as my own. And in the unlikely event that I was involved in creating media, I’d probably have to request permission to use it for my portfolio.)
I completed one of my reels a few weeks ago: you can find it here
Now there is a tremendous amount of pressure on me to deliver a film worthy of everyone who contributed to it. My interviewees, funders, and everyone in between — even the guy from Craigslist who rented his RAV4 to me — I owe them my very best.
There is one other person that I owe my best to. That’s myself. I gave everything I had to this project. If I hadn’t taken this path, it would have been a disservice to myself. And I would have known it.
It was more challenging, uncertain, risky and audacious than anything else I could have done. But it was the right choice. I learned more about myself and my profession than I could ever enumerate. I suspect I’ll continue to learn from the experience even as my career progresses.