Last weekend was a reminder of the incredible journey filmmaking can offer. As a husband, father and professor when my responsibilities end at CCSU, I film in hospitals and with artists. However, sustainability has always been about the skill, being trustworthy and telling truthful or meaningful stories.
During the Pandemic, aside from teaching, I was on the front lines of healthcare. I filmed with the most critical patients and the practitioners, who cared for them. To say I was afraid would be an understatement. But I was also protected by an experienced ICU team who took every precaution.
In those days, filming was emotional. Merely lifting the camera on a consenting patient felt difficult. Yet, what I saw was gripping. It transcended politics and bypassed so many divisions. It was as raw and caring as it gets….and those are the places that I always want to live as a filmmaker.
The film I created with a team of collaborators, was called COVIDLAND. It was broadcast on Medscape
and received a WebMD
endorsement. While a national publication of local events could have been enough, last week, COVIDLAND won an Emmy Award from the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, Boston/New England region.
As that occurred, I was reminded about the profound privilege it is to be a filmmaker….To have the ability to document meaningful times and preserve the ever-passing moment. While I am not writing this to gloat or brag, I am writing to inspire.
Should you come to filmmaking with no previous experience, the outcomes are achievable. To earn the skill, it will be painful at times. But keep believing, learning and moving forward. Practice. Risk. Create with partners that are trustworthy and have integrity. Carry those traits as well. Your work will always be a reflection of the skill, courage and challenges that you invest in. While the journey is not for everyone, if it is what you want, it can be an incredible life.
Posted by Jeff Teitler – Film Professor – Central Connecticut State University