Freelance your dreams: quitting a successful career to pursue film

Let’s be honest: A 9-5 career is not for everyone. Checking your work emails first things in the morning, spending your lunch breaks in skype meetings and going for networking drinks in the evening takes its toll. The perks of my last job in digital movie and TV editorial were insane, and I cannot pretend that I don’t miss the frequent movie premieres, award shows and celebrity sightings. I had landed a job most people would have killed for (think fruity), but I was absolutely miserable. I needed to freelance.

The benefits of working for a large multinational company don’t need repeating: healthcare, opportunities for promotions and travel, and the peace of mind that our career is taken care of. The daily blueprint we’re given has been tried and tested, and all we need to do is follow suit and not fall out of line.
My body was protesting louder and louder against the gruesome hours, and I had gotten unlucky with my team who used my inexperience to get away with their own mistakes (but not for long). I was having trouble with the strict hierarchy, and was yearning to be my own boss and freelance.

Not a unique dream, but after 6 months of backpacking across Southeast Asia, I decided to follow it. I had met people from all kinds of paths of life, and felt inspired. I had been obsessed with movies all my life, and must have single-handedly financed my local cinema.
Growing up, my theatre group wrote and produced a play and movie each year, and I have been an extra on more movies than I could possibly name. However, when asked why I didn’t pursue filmmaking, all I could say was “well, isn’t that really hard?”

Definitely with that attitude it is!

So I went to film school, I came out and directed a short I wrote and am now freelance editing. I’m going after set experience, writing for competitions, and to tide me over, work in a cinema. I literally traded cushy living for a minimum salary job, and I do not regret one bit of it. The road to freelance is hard but incredibly fulfilling.
It’s easy to sacrifice everything you’ve ever known if you know what for: the one thing that has ever truly made me happy. And that turns out to be writing.

Want to know how I’m getting on with editing my first short film or how I wrote my first script?

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