Why I’ve Put My Filmmaking Career on Hold

Chasing a childhood dream when you are an adult can be extremely difficult if you do not have the resources or opportunities to pursue it. What do you do? Do you give up? Let go of your dreams to open something else up? Read about this and more here!

Though I’ve put it on hold, I haven’t quite given up yet. Times are changing. Things are cheaper and easily accessible.

Why haven’t I given up yet?

I don’t believe in giving up on my dreams, and If I do, I’d feel like a failure.

Having my own children has put it in perspective for me how important it is to become a role model – someone who they can look up to, who is there to protect them, raise them and provide for them.

I’ve been passionate about filmmaking since high school. I had big plans then on to pursue a filmmaking career and follow after the ‘Greats’ of cinema!

I was all set, following the educational system through to the end point in order to come out of it with a career. LIFE IS NEVER THAT SIMPLE THOUGH.

I completed University with a BA (Hons) Degree in my chosen field, but there wasn’t any job openings or opportunities for me to pursue after that, so I had to return home and begin my research.

Where could I possible go to chase after my dreams?

London? Manchester? Leeds? Sheffield?

I was torn. The most likely place in the UK to find film production opportunities was in the capital – London. I knew I had to go there. In the meantime I was caught up in a part-time job raising money to go ahead with my plan.

But then I met a girl who I fell in love with. Not to say she stopped me from moving to London, but I put it on hold for the time being until I could convince her to come with me.

Time flew by and we decided to have a baby together. This was a BIG step for us, but I knew she was ‘the one’. I became a Daddy. Our baby needed me, so we couldn’t do a big move just yet.

We had researched into possible opportunities that I could get into if we did move, and had contacted many companies for work, but very few got back to me. It was a very competitive marketplace, and very few look to hire entry level staff.

This had me worried. I wasn’t getting anywhere. I even looked in to the National Film & Television School for a Masters Course in my chosen field. It looked rather interesting, but housing for a family of 5 at the time would have been very expensive, so I had to cross that off my list.

I looked at other cities where there may have been a film production presence. Manchester was my next target, until I found out that it had more of a music scene than film.

Liverpool was our final choice. This is where we had moved to in order to pursue my dreams. We arrived there in October. I had contacted companies in and around Liverpool to open up the possibility of work within the industry, and again NOTHING. The closest I got to was freelance work, and even so was unreliable and very little work came my way.

Since Liverpool I figured the film production industry barely exists in the UK. When big film companies do film here, they usually come over from America and provide their own crew, so need very little local crew to hire. Besides that, there are independent companies who hire on a freelancing basis when the work comes in (so getting a regular average paycheck is unlikely).

Having children makes it harder to go off and work either around the country or on a freelancing basis because of the time away from the family and needing to provide money to support the family, and not just myself.

I haven’t completely dismissed the idea of going back into the film industry further on in life, but for now I need to be able to work at something else which will provide a good income and stability. I’ve also felt that pursuing a creative career doesn’t make me feel like I’m contributing to society in a productive way.

  • Manufacturers on their production lines make things that people use everyday.
  • Lawyers protect the innocent from going to jail.
  • Scientists research into all sorts of things to understand life better etc etc.

I want to feel like i’m doing something that MATTERS.

So I am looking to start my own business (not a film related business either)- one that I can work from at home (so no need to be away from family), and will seek to grow throughout the year. I’m in my research phase at the moment so hope to launch it very soon!


If you feel the same way and wish to share your thoughts or frustrations, please drop us a comment in the comments section below! 

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Author: Liam Plimley

Dad of 4. Happily cohabiting with my partner. Have a background in Video and Film Production.

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