Whenever I tell anyone that I have recently retrained as a lawyer they tend to ask me the same question – why?
Why did you give up (what is presumed to be) a glittering showbiz career, rubbing shoulders with actors, with the chance of working in remote and beautiful locations with a bunch of talented professionals?
When I tell other lawyers that I have retrained, they ask me similar questions, usually adding their own versions of why. Why have you given up such a rewarding career to sit behind a desk? Why have you forgone the wonderful catering, the creative freedoms and the glorious and simple joy of creating?
My usual response is to quietly explain that I have always wanted to be a lawyer but that I never sat still enough, for long enough, to get the requisit grades when I was younger and I ended up travelling down a different road.
Filmmaking is an ardous task. It invloves months and sometimes years of preparation. Raising funding. Finding actors. Working with a highly skilled team of talented individuals. Searching for great locations. Finding great locations. Finding out you cannot use those great locations.
Obtaining film permmissions. Personal and public liability insurances. Dealing with multiple contracual issues, copyright issues, compliance issues, managing budgets and client expectations. Mulitple reasons for staying up late to finish tomorrow’s draft of the script. Multiple mornings where I’d get up at 5am to catch the best light of the day, after only a few hours sleep.
Fourteen hour days are common when you are on location. Getting through those days with a number of challenging meetings is normal. Solving problems on your feet with the help of others around you is all part of the process.
That’s why I loved it so much.
If any of this sounds familiar (especially to my lawyer friends) then you’ll understand why I want to become a solicitor.