Certain aspects of the shoot overall do not hold fond memories for me, but hopefully the end result will serve its purpose and help a great many people.
Tuesday saw the end of the latest film shoot, a project that I have been working on since last summer. It's only at this stage that I reflect on how I have worked tirelessly for around 5 months on the script, to then work very intensively for the last ten days to bring the words into visual reality. There's always a period of feeling a bit down after a shoot, and this one was no exception. But I also feel that my own preparation and performance was better than my previous film which wrapped last September.
Another project came to an end this evening as well. Since August last year I have been volunteering as a business adviser to a local High School as they participated in a Young Enterprise venture. Young Enterprise are a voluntary organisation that encourage school pupils in their final year to run a small business. The group I was involved with, called PB Design, designed and produced a recipe book, with contributions from local people and a few celebrities with connections to the school, namely Gregor Townsend and Ewan Bremner.
They had a very successful year earning in excess of £1200 in profit, and this evening they quite rightly walked off with the award for Best Sales Director. They also managed to come 2nd or 3rd in four other categories, so overall they should be very proud of themselves.
As I sat there during the awards evening, surrounded by a couple of hundred kids, or should I say, young adults, from 23 schools across Lothian, I couldn't help thinking how every single one of them had been born after I started my previous business, a deli, back in 1991. Now here they were, receiving awards and planning their exit from school and on into university after the summer.
I felt very proud to have had the privelege to work with a few of them for the past 9 months, but I also felt a little sad in realising what I have missed out on in life. If I think back to when I was their age and how I left school with virtually no qualifications, which was partly due to my father constantly moving jobs around Scotland, and how I certainly did not go to university. Actually, I wasn't "allowed" to even think of going anyway. My always supportive father, not, demanded I leave school at 16 and get a job.
I got chatting to one of the girls who was about to leave school, and, unlike her fellow school mates, she was not going directly to uni. She had instead decided on a gap year to work in an outdoor centre in the Highlands, to learn to be a wind surfing instructor over the summer. She was very confident and very sure of what she wanted to do, and had decided to take a risk and break from the norm to follow what I assumed was a dream. To have that confidence and forward vision at that age is something I could only have dreamed of. Thirty years ago I had no idea of who I was or what I would do with my life. In fact I would say that has been a pattern for all of the past 30 years. If only I had had those chances and opportunities, and been secure and confident, with a good education, how different my life may have been by now.
But I also count my blessings. I am doing something I thoroughly enjoy doing, albeit very late in life, and occasionally even get paid for it, and I am very fortunate to be surrounded by the most amazing group of supportive friends. I have good health, which hasn't always been the case, and great variety in my life, and at times feel, and sometimes act, that I too am 18 years old!
I have quoted a certain film before in a previous blog, and it is appropriate here in this one too. The film is A Star Is Born, with Kris Kristofferson and Barbara Streisand. At one point, Kris, a failing rock star, jumps into the back of his limo, and his driver asks him where he'd like to go. Kris looks out into the darkness of the night, then answers: "Back about 10 years".
For me it would be 30.