I am humbled…
I spent a dozen years working on big Hollywood films, most of them very expensive and very bad.
In 2003, I moved the family to Virginia and switched focus from features to documentaries. The ‘doc’ business is notoriously difficult and highly competitive, yet gratifying in terms of content and personalities. Some of the world’s brightest and most talented filmmakers plug away at documentaries for PBS and the Discovery Channel, only to earn annual salaries on par with your average Taco Bell assistant manager.
But they (we) keep on truckin’, and are frequently rewarded with riches far beyond cash money. For example, Summer Running put me in the orbit of several cancer researchers who spend their days quite literally saving lives. They fight tooth-and-nail for funding, struggle with lab management and typical family issues, yet still manage to clock in every morning and take the fight to cancer. (Incidentally, the catering budget from one major Hollywood blockbuster/bomb would keep a lab operating for a year. But I digress.) They were incredibly generous with their time and stories, and remain friends to this day. I am humbled by their dedication and continued friendship.
God and Country was and continues to be a lesson in personal humility. I’ve met courageous people in my life, but none like those I encountered on this film. Some are troops in the field, while others are parents and friends of warriors lost. You’ll have to see the film to understand the extent to which these people define honor, courage, commitment and faith. I am humbled by their dedication and continued friendship.
I am humbled by the support I receive from my friends and family. This is a damnable business, in terms of consistency and ‘stability,’ and it’s one where open praise or outright condemnation are part of the game. When I put something out there, the odds are equal that I’ll either inspire positive feedback, or have my ass handed to me in a very public manner. Only an outright loon (or narcissist) would welcome such scrutiny, and I reckon there’s a little of each wrapped up in my DNA. I just hope I lean more toward ‘loon’ and ask you to smack me upside the head if I get a little too full of myself. I am, after all, nothing more than a Hillbilly with stories to tell.
Finally, I am humbled by the little things in life. I sent DVD copies to a number of military and political figures, mainly those that have proven to be supporters of the military. Yesterday, I received the letter below. My wife and kids think it’s cool, and I do too. (Bush-haters, please save the teeth-gnashing for another thread.)
[Click to enlarge.]