Finding That Thing I Lost

I have been wandering through a career purgatory for some time. It began on the tail end of my time in Regina, and continued into the present, here in Toronto. That’s three years of aimlessness.

Certainly, my goal to write for television has been pursued with vigour. I have learned much about the craft over that time, and I have been reasonably productive with my work. I know I can be doing more however.

In the meantime, I stopped thinking of myself as a producer. I lost something that goes beyond a job description. Producer.

In Regina, I sat on the board of the Directors Guild of Canada – Saskatchewan District Council for years. I also sat on the board of the Saskatchewan Motion Picture Association, and chaired its training committee for many years. I was at the centre of my industry. I knew everyone. I involved myself in some very impressive projects and forged powerful relationships as a result.

Here in Toronto, I’m not any of those things anymore. I am a small drop in the ocean, and I have done very little to involve myself in the industry out here. I’m writing scripts, but I’m not actively pursuing their production. They’re calling cards – a means to an end.

I used to believe I could produce anything. I knew everyone I needed to know, and I knew where the resources could be found to make things happen. After two years in Toronto, I’ve only added a handful of industry contacts to those I already knew from Saskatchewan. My ability to find resources, should I want to produce something in this town, is severely compromised.

I woke up the other day, and realized that’s what’s been lacking in my mentality of late. I stopped being a producer. I stopped being a producer, and I really NEED to be a producer to feel like I’m myself.

This ain’t about job titles. Ain’t about ego either. It’s about possessing the means to create something from nothing, whether I want to or not – whether I actually do or not. I need to recapture that.

I met with Alan Goluboff yesterday, Chair of the Directors Guild of Canada – Ontario District Council. He’s someone I’ve known for years. He’s from Saskatchewan, but has been working in Toronto for 35 years. He knows everyone in this town. Everyone. Producers. Cast. Crew. Suppliers. Everyone.

We’re going to make a short film together. I’m going to write it. He’s going to direct. We’ll produce it together. The team will be assembled over the coming weeks, and the proposal goes in December 3.

Most significantly, I walked away from our meeting, feeling like a producer again.

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