Ken Burns: There Is No Career Path And You’re Alone



Documentary maker Ken Burns:

And the second thing is you have to persevere, particularly in documentary film. If you wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer or a feature film I could tell you the steps to take to do that, but every working documentary filmmaker I know has gotten there through their own unique path. There is no career path. That’s the good news and the terrifying bad news. There is no career path and you’re alone and you just sort of have to bring something to it and what I think it is among many other qualities is a kind of perseverance. It’s keeping and collecting those hundreds of hundreds of rejections for your first film as a reminder that you know you may not have… you may not be the most talented person. You may not have the best ideas, but you’re going to see this through and I’m sure there are lots of great filmmakers or people that would have been great filmmakers had they been able to follow through that had ideas much more interesting than mine, but didn’t and therefore aren’t filmmakers and we don’t know what they are because they didn’t have that ability to persevere against the inevitable problems, the inevitable friction that attends any effort to create something new.

From Big Think.

1 comment… add one
  • “to perservere against the inevitable problems” for sure separates the people who eventually get their art made from those who give up and don’t. so simple and elegant.

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