3 THINGS MY FILM'S US PREMIERE TAUGHT ME
Updated: May 7
"Dear Facebook... I dislike you. You know that, right? Your 'memories' feature, however, just informed me that it's exactly one year since I left San Diego, following the US premiere of my debut short film. So today, I give you a pass. Tomorrow, however, you revert back to being a privacy-sucking, ad-peddling, power-exploiting cesspit." - Sincerely, CK Goldiing.
So, having chewed-over the obligatory "Christ, one year already! HOW?", let's discuss 3 things flying to America for the US premiere of '61 HUGS' taught me:
1: Flukes happen.
I've been a Twitter user for 10 years, and the platform's ability to spark pivotal life moments has never been lost on me. That time I auditioned reasonably successfully to play the lead villain in hit US comic book series 'Black Lightning', for example - that was a direct result of a friend spotting a casting call on Twitter and suggesting I go for it. I did. I'm so, so glad I did.
Also, the biggest challenge of my life - '100 Musicians' - would have been a disaster without Twitter, not least because the person who helped me most during those six life-changing months was Loretta Andrews - who I met during the challenge, via Twitter.
And finally, receiving an email invitation to fly to San Diego wouldn't have happened had I not spent months shamelessly tweeting random people, inviting them to watch my new film. Susy Botello, Director of The International Mobile Film Festival, was among the hundreds of strangers I tweeted. She replied. She watched. She liked. She cried. She emailed. She made an offer. I accepted. I bought plane tickets. I got sunburnt.
Therein lies the truth of life: I guess - it really is a numbers game. I mean, all of the above long-shots sound incalculably impressive, but when you consider the actual number of tweets I've sent over the years - the vast majority leading nowhere - the true picture soon emerges.
2: 'Trust Your Gut' is a cliche, but mostly a true one.
Everyone loves video footage from someone's bedroom, right? No, not that kind of video footage, you filthy fuck, I mean a previously-unseen video diary filmed byy me, in my bedroom, the night I received Susy's invite to San Diego. In this never-before-seen footage (see below), I spoke openly about how spending £800+ on plane tickets makes no financial sense, because at the time, IT MADE NO FINANCIAL SENSE WHATSOEVER.
Looking back on this video, I'm surprised how quickly I committed to buying the tickets and going. As we all know, I'm a big overthinker. Who knows... maybe I just had a feeling that something remarkable was awaiting me. As it turned out, that something was a highly implausible encounter with a man who, apparently, killed a classmate when he was 11. That documentary is one of my proudest creations to date, not necessarily from an filmmaker standpoint, but rather, it's a lasting reminder of what us humans find when we jump into the unknown.
3: Change is the hardest thing.
This blog post would be a total sham if I signed-off pretending I'm now cured of my overthinking, because truth is, I'm not even close. Overthinking comes as naturally to me as perving over a hot, shapely mug of tea, it's automatic. You'd think after creating documentaries like 61 HUGS' & 'WAITING WITH A KILLER' I'd be a reckless loon, forever plunging myself into the unknown, but I'm just not that guy. I get enormous comfort from comfort zones, and no one is more aware than I of the growth limitations that trait brings.
I am, however, getting increasingly adept at challenging that paralysing inner dialogue that constantly wants to keep me safe and secure. Sure, that voice offers me misplaced 'wisdom' almost every day, but I'm honing the art of kicking it in the bollocks.
Sitting here, four weeks into a COVID-19 lockdown, I'm giving deep thought to my next steps post-lockdown, and with each scary new idea, like clockwork, my inner voice chimes-in, saying, "No, ridiculous. Just no!".
I'm stunned that voice still exists, to be honest, because if I remember rightly, that's exactly what it said when I got the email from Susy.
Lying fucker x
Header photo: PEXELS