By Guest Author: Ashley Meek
After graduating with a BFA in Film Studies I decided to take a leap of faith into the unknown and take several months on a solo backpacking trip around the world. My journey affected me in many ways but as a filmmaker it was the best decision I have ever made and here are the ten reasons why...
There is a huge world out there to explore. If you are struggling with writers block or feel that all the good ideas have already been played out you are wrong. Sometimes you don’t know your story until you stumble upon it.
While traveling you have to quickly learn to adapt to new situations and be comfortable in a variety of environments with many different types of people. As a woman, after traveling, I know that I can take on any challenge. If I can travel around the world I can surely face a room of investors for my film.
Backpacking you quickly learn when to save and when to spend and creative ways to stretch your penny..or pence...or rand...or baht. You find creative ways to adapt to tricky situations.
It is important to see the world from different angles of life. Depending on where you are, different values come into play and this can make for a completely new outlook on the theme, mood, or portrayal of a documentary film.
Anyone in the business knows it’s all about who you know. The people you come across while traveling will be some of the most helpful, creative, and understanding individuals you could ever meet. And it doesn’t hurt to have a worldwide web when you’re looking for distribution.
Travel is a perfect excuse to put those skills to use on an everyday basis. Whether it is film, photography, or writing you are able to practice your art in a variety of landscapes and spaces. You might learn and discover more then you ever expected.
You won’t know what you like until you have gone out and tried it. Perhaps you find a new part of the world that sparks your curiosity.
Being able to survive and learn to enjoy a variety of living and traveling conditions will allow you to be more prepared for the unexpected. Traveling around the world will make you stronger physically, emotionally, and intellectually.
Visual, verbal, and cultural diversity can present more dynamic ways to tell your story and make for a spirited riveting documentary film unlike any other.
After traveling I would have moments of realization that are so many people, places, and weird happenings in this world that there are endless possibilities as a documentary filmmaker. The real world can often times be so much more fascinating, heartbreaking, strange, and amazing then fictional films because it is actually happening on this earth in real time. As a documentary filmmaker you have the unique ability to share this with the world through your lens.
Ashley Meek is an independent documentary film director, writer, and producer based in Brooklyn, New York.
The last time we checked in with Ashley, she was in the pre-production stages of co-directing her first feature documentary in Vietnam and co-producing a web based talk show.