Last year, in February, a series of dreams told me that I would be leaving my job and entering a new season. Over the course of the rest of 2015 and the beginning of 2016, things have moved forward in that direction and I will be leaving my 13.5 year career as a media
producer for Vineyard Boise in June. I don’t yet have a clear plan for what the next season looks like, only an end dream: a film ranch in Kuna, Idaho, with ties to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and many other online programming agencies.
That dream is not likely to pop up out of nowhere in June. The reality is I have little in the way of understanding in how to get from A to B right now, but through direction and visions told to me by other friends who pray for me, I know that my family and I are entering a season of unlikely “oasis” once I cross through some fears and temptations. This “oasis” period will be an in-between station of an undisclosed length of time before further instruction arrives.
I believe my part in building this “oasis” is not to simply wait for things to fall into my lap, but rather to stretch myself in being more plugged into the culture around me, and less protected by the walls of a church employment, where viewpoints are similar and unity is easy. It’s time to get out there and get tested, so to speak.
There are now 60 days, starting today, April 1st, for me to prepare for my departure from full-time, benefits-included employment. There are a few practical things I need to get sorted out.
I will still have a video production contract with Vineyard Boise that will last me until the end of December, but this won’t be enough to make ends meet. I will need to determine if I am either going to become a full-time freelancer, or if I’m going to look into getting another full-time position. My gut tells me that it’s the former, that I need to focus less on pursuing full-time employment and more on securing regular clients – both individuals needing video services and production companies needing additional crew – but I’m not ruling out anything and will start making job websites a regular stop on my daily browsing.
If I am a full-time freelancer, I am going to need to, in the next 60 days, figure out how to purchase some equipment. I recently sold my camera – the Lumix GH4 – and have that money sitting in the bank with “God instructions” to wait to do anything with it until June. Until June, I have access to the church’s gear and will take advantage of that as needed. I may need to come up with about $10,000-$15,000 for a full kit, which would include a camera system, a cinema lens kit, some basic sound and lighting tools, and a steadicam/gimbal for smooth mobile camera work.
Health & Professional Insurance
Up to this point, insurance hasn’t really been something I’ve had to think much about – having a salaried, full-time job with benefits alleviates most of that stress. However, I’m likely headed into a season of needing to take care of my health insurance myself. On the professional side, I will be needing to set-up a proper LLC in anticipation of doing much more freelance work, as well as looking at insurance to protect whatever gear I can scrounge up.
We have a consolidated loan for $15,000 that we’ve been chipping away at, and while my secure income is decreasing by quite a bit, I want to ramp up and kill this thing as quick as possible so that I’m carrying it with me. So between the gear I likely need to get and the loan I definitely need to kill off, I need to come up with around $30,000 total.
Beyond the practical, here are things that I have to keep in focus, the “why”:
Film Community Development
In the midst of taking care of my family, I need to also keep at the forefront of my mind the purpose of all this – that film ranch in Kuna. In order for that to be a relevant discussion, I need to put most of my energy into developing educational opportunities for the next generation of emerging content creators in the Boise area. Idaho Media Professionals is focusing heavily on creating these opportunities, and I need to make sure I have space to be as involved in this endeavor as I have been with my church in the past. It’s time for a shift in my drive, and I believe my experience with non-profit work will be an asset. To that end, I am also looking forward to ramping up my energy for this year’s Boise Film Festival as its Tech Director – another non-profit effort.
Short & Feature Film Writing/Production
In July, I’ll be directing photography for a feature film called “The Poorest Man In The World“, by Matthew W. Griffin. I’m also pursuing a few other features being produced in Boise this year in an effort to get further connected to the other filmmakers here. Meanwhile, I’m forcing myself to get back into the game, aiming to have four screenplays written – either by myself or with other writers – by Fall 2016. I also aim to produce three new short films by Winter 2016.
Faith & Family
Another benefit of working at a healthy church has been that part of the job is taking care of your family, and your own spiritual walk. I’ve taken for granted how amazing it has been to work in a space that pushes me to continually improve and deepen my walk with Christ. I’m not going to be in that space day-to-day anymore come June; I’m going to have to be a lot of more purposeful than I have been to keep Christ in front of me, never putting Him behind me. Same goes for my family – we’ve all been in the same workplace for several years now, and it’s been wonderful. That’s changing, and I need to keep my family in front of me, never behind me. Time for more purpose and more intention.
A prayer that’s been on my heart for a while now has been to be more mobile. I’m ready to get out into the world, beyond Boise, and experience some stories that go beyond what’s been my normal. Most likely I expect this to happen in the form of contracts and short-term jobs – I want to get out a bit and explore, but mostly I want to connect with people as we’re getting a specific job done.
That’s about it for now. Income, insurance, gear, and debt – these are the things I’ve got to sort out in the next 60 days. But I want to make sure I don’t lose sight of the bigger picture while I’m the thick of it.
I’d appreciate your prayers, your insights – and hey, if you want to help me out with purchasing gear or knocking down some old movie debt, I wouldn’t mind that either. Easiest way’s probably Paypal – mine is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for tagging along!