Who's The Boss?
I want to begin this final post with a giant thank you to NAMAC and the other bloggers for the opportunity to participate in this salon. It’s been an honor to share my thoughts with so many talented and esteemed participants.
I’ll admit it. With the exception of my first year in New York, when I worked as the office manager at a small documentary shop, I’ve never had a regular nine-to-five desk job. Never really had a “boss.” As a cameraman-for-hire on other people’s projects, I’m able to deliver what is expected of me in a timely and professional way. But for some reason, when it comes to my own projects, I have a hard time holding myself to that same standard.
I have multiple hard drives in my office closet, full of documentary projects that I started and never finished. I’ve told myself it’s because I got busy with paying work, or that I lost interest in the project as the production timeline dragged on, or that it probably wasn’t that interesting of an idea to begin with. Now, I wonder if those projects fell apart because I didn’t have a “boss” to hold me accountable. So when Adam writes that we DIY artists are really, “DIY with the help of…” artists, well, I know exactly what he means. I don’t want to do all of this stuff alone. Not only because it’s overwhelming and confusing and distracting from the artistic work itself, but also because if no one else seems to care about the project, I’ll probably just unplug the hard drive and put it back on the shelf.
I’m not trying to suggest that Fractured Atlas or other organizations should play the role of the “boss.” But what I’ve found, is that with every email correspondence and every phone call, I’ve found myself feeling more and more accountable to the organizations that support me. It’s a totally self-imposed feeling of accountability, but it works like a charm. I feel like people are taking the time to answer my questions, advise and educate me, so maybe I owe it to them to see this thing through.
This relationship also goes a long way to facilitating the “Look, I made this” effect that Ingrid described in her previous post. FA’s patient guidance in helping me set up fiscal sponsorship, navigate my insurance options, and coordinate an IndieGoGo campaign, all served the additional purpose of keeping me invested in my own project.
With the help of arts organizations like this, I’m slowly becoming the “boss” that I never had.