Trying to convince a friend to give up film and get with the real world

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DarthTraitor

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#1  Edited By DarthTraitor

I work at a successful company with great benefits and I'm trying to persuade a good friend to give up on film and come work with me at my company. I just want the best for him and don’t want him to go through what I went through. Don't people realize that the odds of making it big in the film industry are slim to none? Why do they continue to chase a fairy tell that most likely won't come true? Are they ignorant or just foolish?

There are many people I went to school with who have to work several jobs while living in California only to get work on some indie film that will never see the light of day. I personally am glad that I came to my senses and got over that childish dream. Just wish I could convince my friend to do the same. I just don't want him to end up as some loser living in mom and dads basement while he tries to convince everyone that he will get his big break by doing freelance (like most of the people I know).

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EdgeKasey

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@darthtraitor: If your friend is happy then let him lead his own life. Is he hurting anyone by chasing his dream?

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DarthTraitor

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@edgekasey: I don’t want him to waste his years doing something he will later regret. But, I suppose you’re right. He needs to make his mistakes. I only wish the best for him and really do want him to succeed. I just know it’s a very hard industry to make ends meet.

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csl316

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#4  Edited By csl316

It may just be a dream, but people do wind up achieving their dreams now and then.

Maybe he isn't interested in your company, and maybe he's happy doing what he's doing. Trying to control a friend's decisions is a surefire way to push them away.

Sounds like you guys might be relatively young, so now's the time to make mistakes and learn from them. Hopefully it works out for him, but if it doesn't then he can at least know he tried his best.

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FacelessVixen

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Some people learn best though failure. But who knows? Maybe something can come of it.

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SethMode

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I know plenty of people that stop doing what they love to get with the "real world" and then end up completely burning out in a 9 to 5. It seems nuts to me to push anyone to do anything they might not want to do, even if you think you have their best interests at heart.

If it turns out to be a mistake, and he eventually leaves anyway, at least it will have been because he tried and left of his own volition. From my experience not trying at all leads to much larger regrets.

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MrGreenMan

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I been there myself, in college I used to love making shot on video crap and had a ton of fun doing so, but I eventually realized I just did not have the mindset for a career in film making having dropped out in film school. I also know a someone just like this, it took a good 15 or so years but eventually all his hard work paid off has in the last 5 years has worked on the last few star wars films and has made a name for himself in the industry. He was determined as a kid that he would work his ass off to do exactly what he is doing now. You can't reason with creative people who want to create. Not saying they are always right, people like that who are successful in especially that kind of business have to work to get to know people in the industry and slowly work your way up. People like this often have to fail enough and realize it on their own.

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nutter

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#8 nutter  Online

Let him chase his dream.

It’s easier to make money than it is to fulfill a dream. I’d rather regret a few years of income and savings than regret not really going for my dream.

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frytup

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Taking a job you don't want and a career you don't like just for the money is not the path to happiness. For anyone.

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ghost_cat

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What's worse than either of those things is no doing anything. Your friend is living his life and experiencing peaks and valleys unique to him that gives him the qualities and character that I'm sure you admire. Everyone changes within their time and place, and maybe your friend will too, or he could become successful later living his dream. Let him live his own way, and support his dream.

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mikewhy

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I get the feeling, coming from the arts/music scene, I've got a few friends that dilly-dallied and are essentially jobless in their thirties. It sucks, cause I want all my friends to prosper, but for lots of people, sticking them in a job they don't like is the worst thing you can do.

Another thing to keep in mind when hiring friends is that their performance can reflect on you, either good or bad.

But really, best you can do is support your friends in what they want to do. Only if they come to you looking for assistance, that's when you can mention trying to get them hired at your employer.

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wollywoo

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I am not necessarily a big follow-your-dreams type; I do think that people set unrealistic expectations on themselves and the world and can come away disappointed. Especially when the message from inspirational figures is always some variant of "Just follow your dreams! Everyone told me I would fail, but I quit my job and moved to LA and now I live in a $100M home!", not realizing their advice is tainted by post-hoc selection bias and will, statistically, fail for the vast majority.

HOWEVER.

I am a do-what-makes-you-happy type. By "happy" I mean challenged, fulfilled, satisfied, loved - not necessarily eating-a-birthday-cake happy at every moment. If your friend has unrealistic expectations and only has eyes for future wealth and fame, it is an unhealthy situation. But if in the present moment your friend finds a lot of life satisfaction in film, he should keep it up. Even if he fails financially, if the work was worthwhile he will not regret it. Furthermore, for a lot of people the idea of a 9-5 office job is a death knell. They'd rather fail spectacularly at doing what they love than give up on all of it to make a buck in the short-term. It's a valid choice.

I would *not* try to give your friend unsolicited advice on this or discourage him from doing what he loves. Even if you are right, you will not be able to convince him, and the only effect will be to make him avoid you. You have to let people make the mistakes they are going to make. Especially when you don't know that a mistake is even being made.

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BonelessSpirit

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#13  Edited By BonelessSpirit

That's just life. People chase dreams and most of us fail at it. I think it's wrong to try and discourage that if he seems happy while doing it.

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icoangel

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#14 icoangel  Online

Mind your own business.

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Tom_omb

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Who would want to break it big? Doing what you love is the real dream. You don't have to be as successful as Steven Spielberg to have a satisfying creative career.

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shivermetimbers

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@tom_omb said:

Who would want to break it big? Doing what you love is the real dream. You don't have to be as successful as Steven Spielberg to have a satisfying creative career.

^^

There's a lot you could do with Adobe Premier, After Effects, Photoshop, etc. that I see job postings all the time for people looking for work on production or post production work that isn't making it big in California. Now if your friend is dead set on Hollywood, he'll have a slim chance unless he knows a big producer, sure, but even then I think you gotta let him make the mistake and if he surprises you and me, then good for him.

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Kingpk

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#17 Kingpk  Online

@icoangel said:

Mind your own business.

This seems like the proper response. What makes you happy isn't necessarily what makes everyone happy. I wish more people would understand that simple fact.

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Mikemcn

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#18  Edited By Mikemcn

As someone with a relative who is trying a similar thing with acting, it makes sense to want to try and snap them out of it, but you just can't do that. If they ask for advice give it. But otherwise they need to figure it out on their own!

It may end horribly, but I've found the most challenging moments in my life, moments of major change, have led to me growing the most as a person. Perhaps all their dreams will come true or a low moment will lead them to where they really need to be.

I would also say there are relatively few people in film who got their by doing everything right, there is a huge element of luck, being in the right place at the right time and you may not know where that place is. SO it could happen to them.