The following thread is not necessarily related to 1st ACs. It could be for anyone really. I still wanted to share this with you:
Imagine, you are starting in the filming industry and getting your first jobs. Imagine you just stepped up and are becoming a 1st AC, invested in your own lens control system, and are really excited about it. Or you are an experienced 1st and looking forward to a big show coming up. You are planning everything in detail and getting really excited about that.
But suddenly the world is put on hold… It`s the start of a pandemic.
At first, you only hear from it in the media and it doesn`t bother you, because it`s only happening in a country, which is far away. However, things can change fast and it finally arrives in your country. Everything is shut down. Productions, rental houses, your projects - everything got canceled.
But luckily, you can adjust quickly. You say to yourself, that it is actually nice to have some time off and spend it with your loved ones. Spring goes by and summer comes, and it doesn`t look that bad at all. You have a few smaller jobs and projects coming in and things are starting to look better.
Unfortunately, there is still the Pandemic, and autumn and winter are coming, which doesn`t make it easier. Even if your industry has adjusted well, with all COVID-19 regulations, you can see productions shut down or being set on hold almost every day. Even if you are lucky to be working on a project and do a PCR or rapid test every day, you don`t know when it will hit you. You take every job, that you’re called for. Going to set every day, without knowing if it will be the whole day, or if one of the crew members or yourself will have to quarantine because of a positive test result.
That quickly compounds the constant pressure, you are experiencing as a 1st AC, and see building in your fellow co-workers.
Unfortunately, throughout the last year, so many of us have experienced fear, uncertainty, and doubt. So many have fallen into a depression of not knowing when they will be able to work again without an outlook for income over the next months. Even the colleagues who are lucky enough to have work can be struggling and suffer depression. It`s not only the lack of work but the overall situation we are globally all in, which can turn our lives upside-down.
I have been talking to a lot of people the last few months and at the moment, almost everyone is struggling, myself included.
The only difference is, that each of us, seems to handle this struggle in different ways. Some become silent and find it hard to get out of bed, others are active and try to do everything to escape reality.
No matter, how you deal with this, the only thing which might help everyone, is being here for each other. I’d like to invite you to share your story with your friends, loved ones, or FPAW community because sometimes it makes it easier to see that you are not alone.
After all, the Pandemic will subside; and we are lucky to work in an industry which will come back stronger than ever before, allowing us to get back to what we love to do.
Until then, stay healthy, try not to let yourself down, and do what you can do best: Keep in Focus!
To start with, here is my personal story:
When the whole thing started, and during the first lock-down, I was doing ok. More than that, I was enjoying to have more time with my family. I said to myself “It`s nice to have a little of a reset and enjoy other things in life.” And also I said to myself, that in autumn, everything will be back to normal. But in September it started to get worse. It was getting cold outside, which made the COVID numbers rise. There was no light at the end of the tunnel. I realized I wasn`t able to concentrate anymore. Couldn`t sleep and started to keep my mind busy with all kind of things. I have lost 10 kg within 3 months, as I didn`t eat a lot and tried to escape through doing sports. Also, I was struggling with my family and I also know, that I wasn`t the only one who did. 2020 wasn`t a good year for relationships either… Bottom line: I wasn`t in a good place...at all.
The only thing, which kept me sane, were my friends also within the FPAW community. I started texting with all kinds of people on IG and on WhatsApp and realized that I wasn`t the only one struggling. It`s funny how you find connections with strangers when both are not doing good.
It helped me a lot and I finally can see, that things will get better for all of us. I am sure, 2021 will end much, much better than 2020 did. (well the bars are not too high, but still)
I am grateful to have met all kinds of people through the internet these days and I am looking forward to having a drink with each of you in real life very soon. And maybe that is one good thing, which will stay after the Pandemic: New friendships.
PS: I am aware, that this thread is a little off-topic, but you are welcome to comment or tell your story as well.
How did you make it through the last year? What were or are your fears? What did bother you the most? What hurdles did you experience on set? What helped you to get through? What advice would you like to give to others?
Maybe sharing your own experience, may help others, who go through the same. In the end, this is the reason I started with the forum. Everyone, no matter where they are from, or which cultural background they have, is facing the same problems if it is on set or during a pandemic. Perhaps by sharing our different solutions we can help each other move forward as a community.
Also, I wasn`t sure, if I should post it as a blog post or in the forum. I have decided for the forum, as it leaves more space for comments and discussions.
Don`t forget: You are not alone!